Saturday, May 25, 2019

Whose Waves These Are By Amanda Dykes

Whose Waves These Are
by Amanda Dykes
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764232664

Ok, can I be honest with you? I'm terrible at giving new authors a chance. I like staying cozy and comfy with my familiar, tried and true authors. I mean, true, they were all new to me at some point, but then they became reliable. When I saw the offer to review Whose Waves These Are come through my email, I actually glanced over what the book was about and past the cover. I decided I'd read Amy Green's (BHP Fiction Publicist) reason as to why they chose it as their book of the month to see if I'd have any interest.

There'd already been some buzz about this author, that somewhat, sorta piqued my interest, but I'm not a hype person. I don't get pulled in. BUT, I have a lot of respect for Amy and with how she described the book, I knew I had to give it a try. And with that, I'll have to share my review.


In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Its message? Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss's humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the harbor village on the coast of Maine, and he sets his callused hands to work.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when GrandBob, the man who gave her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is the one in need of help. But what greets her is a mystery: a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Memories of stone ruins on a nearby island ignite a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

Together with the handsome and enigmatic town postman, Annie uncovers the story layer by layer, yearning to resurrect the hope GrandBob once held so dear and to know the truth behind the chasm in her family's past. But mending what has been broken for so long may require more of her and those she loves than they are prepared to give.

My Review:

I had high hopes for Whose Waves These Are. Everything I read in reviews about this novel was how incredibly well written it was. The anticipation was strong and I'm happy to tell you it's as good as everyone is saying.

The book actually starts off in September 1944, which was the month and year my mom was born. A few chapters in it switches to May 2001. I wonder why 2001 and not 2019, but that's a question I'll have to ask the author.

We meet Roy and Robert Bliss, twins who have futures looming in front of them neither are ready for. No one is ever prepared for war and being sent to fight will have an impact on families, friends, a whole town, and an entire nation. Getting to know these men as the story flashes back throughout the book, you see how strong their ties are, even apart from being twins. Their lives are intertwined with each other, and span the generations in unexpected and beautiful ways.

Then we meet Annie Bliss along with all of the inhabitants of Ansel-by-the-Sea. What a cast of characters. They're exactly what you'd imagine in a small fishing village in Maine. They're the kind of people, salt of the earth people, who you hope you get to meet in your lifetime. One of those people is actually a newcomer, Jeremiah Fletcher. He's rooted himself in this coastal harbor. This is where he and Annie begin a journey that will have her working on getting her sea legs again and him figuring out what his future looks like.

The way this story is written, you literally feel like you're in Ansel. You can picture the post office, The Galley, and especially Sailor's Rest. You're in the moment with each of these characters being pulled along with their stories. The writing is incredibly descriptive and it seems not a word is wasted. As you read Whose Waves These Are you'll be tossed and turned like the waves on the sea as each of the main characters' stories unfold before you.

This is the author's debut novel, but along with the novel there's a novella called Up From The Sea. It's free, so a perfect way to become introduced to a new author because it'll have you setting sail for this novel immediately! Get your summer started with a great read!

About the Author:

Amanda Dykes ( is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. Give her a rainy day, a candle to read by, an obscure corner of history to dig in, and she'll be happy for hours. She's a former English teacher, and her novella, Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, was met with critical acclaim from Publishers WeeklyReaders' Favorite, and more. She is also the author of a novella in The Message in a Bottle Romance CollectionWhose Waves These Are is her debut novel.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.