Author: Amanda Dykes
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2022
Publisher: Bethany House
When all of Venice is unmasked, one man's identity remains a mystery . . .
When a baby is discovered floating in a basket along the quiet canals of Venice, a guild of artisans takes him in and raises him as a son, skilled in each of their trades. Although the boy, Sebastien Trovato, has wrestled with questions of his origins, it isn't until a woman washes ashore on his lagoon island that answers begin to emerge. In hunting down his story, Sebastien must make a choice that could alter not just his own future, but also that of the beloved floating city.
Daniel Goodman is given a fresh start in life as the century turns. Hoping to redeem a past laden with regrets, he is sent on an assignment from California to Venice to procure and translate a rare book. There, he discovers a city of colliding hope and decay, much like his own life, and a mystery wrapped in the pages of that filigree-covered volume. With the help of Vittoria, a bookshop keeper, Daniel finds himself in a web of shadows, secrets, and discoveries carefully kept within the stones and canals of the ancient city . . . and in the mystery of the man whose story the book does not finish: Sebastien Trovato.
Reviewer: Joy Hannabass
All the Lost Places is my first book by Amanda Dykes. I was excited to read this book, and the cover was intriguing, so I chose it to review. I found the story very slow starting out and hard to connect. The story was beautifully written, though different from most I am used to. Each scene is very descriptive, down to the smallest of things sometimes. I was able to picture Venice in many of the beautiful scenes. I want to go back and reread this soon, so I can picture them.
I could tell that a huge amount of research was involved before writing this book. But, for some reason, I just couldn't connect with the story like I wanted to. I somewhat connected to the characters, but not like I usually do. I know it's me and not the author at all. This book is getting too many great reviews not to be good. I wasn't sure I could finish the book, but I did. Maybe my problem is I have a lot going on right now, much more than usual. So, I will keep this book and reread it soon when I can sit down and read it without interruptions. I know it will be as grand as others say. I don't give up on books that easily, and I'm not giving up on this one. It's too intriguing.
I read the author's note at the end and enjoyed it very much. It brought a lot of light to the story and the story behind this story. I want to encourage you to check out this book, check all of the wonderful reviews, and buy and read it for yourself. I know All the Lost Places is as good as all of the awesome reviews says it is.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest review.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
Full of eloquent language, this book painted the imagination with a beautiful picture of Venice, not just descriptive of the physical aspect of the city but the emotion depicted in the very heart of the city contained within its inhabitants.
I found it beautiful to read, but there was so much that it overwhelmed the story. I found myself skipping to the people who were rich in character, well-rounded, and so believable my heart pounded for them, and my tears fell for them. I was immersed in their very lives.
A child floating in a basket, rescued by a fisherman, and raised by a guild of five artisans was a wonderful way to begin this book. It immediately invested me in what was going to happen to this baby.
Although both timelines were necessary, I was drawn to Sebastien’s story, as was Daniel, which also drew me to him. Though almost a century apart, both were entwined together, making this a most satisfying book to read. I recommend this book.
I was given a copy courtesy of Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This is my honest opinion of the book.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
This was my first book written by Amanda Dykes. I had a hard time getting into this book. The author is very intelligent and shares many details of Vienna's history. I got bogged down with the details. After a while, I got used to the way the story progressed.
Sebastian Travato and Daniel Goodman were searchers. Sebastian's parents were not known, and his life began in a very interesting way. He benefitted by being raised by four members of a trade guild. Sebastian always wondered, "Who Am I?" Daniel Goodman had made mistakes in his life and was assigned to look for and translate a lost book. He has lost the ability to draw, and this is really heartbreaking to him.
There are 2 timelines in this story - the 1800's and 1900's. There are 2 locations - California and Venice. The author shared a lot of historical facts about Venice, its people, and its traditions. In the author's notes, she mentions "true to life" facts.
You will see glimpses of the Holy Bible and its characters, and I loved how the author wove that within the tale.
I received a review copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Charity Henico
It took me a very long time to get into this book. So long that I thought about not finishing it. But Daniel's story intrigued me from the start. I wanted to know his back story as well as his future.
The Book of Waters is what I found confusing. But then, when that became more than just a book-when, that story also came to life, I HAD to finish it.
The language in this book is beautiful. It took me some time to get used to it, but it's haunting, timeless, and heartbreakingly beautiful. This book went from an almost did-not-finish to a solid 5-star read. I literally got chills at times and cried my way through the end. This story made me FEEL.
I also REALLY want to go to Venice now...
I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House and Interviews & Reviews. No positive review was required.
Reviewer: Adriann Harris
Amanda Dyke’s amazing story that combines faith, mystery, secrets, hope, and the history of Venice will hold you captivated with its magnificent poetic prose.
The author’s note at the end was the most touching aspect. I appreciated the tender experiences Amanda shared of her own struggle and how this book came about. I suffer from short-term memory loss, and not only is it difficult for me, but it is difficult for those who share my life. Many times I have to reread a book before being able to write a review.
When I first read All the Lost Places, the characters and settings sometimes seemed sad, dreary, and even depressing. Despite the enchanting writing style and mystery bridging the two timelines, I struggled to fall in love with this book. But after reading Amanda’s author’s note, I reread Daniel’s story and the “Book of Waters” separately, which made me fall in love with both stories. Sebastien’s story is a dreamlike, magical story full of hope, love, and forgiveness, while Daniel’s story is true to life and its struggles. This dual-timeline story is full of truth and hope for the heart that questions, “Who am I?” from both POVs.
I needed a book like this at this time in my life as I have been asking myself, “Who am I?” as of late. All the Lost Places is a perfect winter read, leaving one feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Thank you, Amanda Dykes, for penning this story and sharing your struggles.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley through Interviews & Reviews. All the opinions are my own, and I was not required to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
“Empty places . . . are not always lost places.”
I always have to give myself extra time when I read a book by this author, because I don’t want to miss a single beautiful word, thought, or phrase. I find myself rereading many of the lyrical and thought-provoking sentences and paragraphs and marking them for future reference. Her stories are some of my all-time favorites, and I recommend them often to other readers.
Set primarily in Venice during two time periods—the early 1800s and the early 1900s-- this stirring novel stars a baby foundling, Sebastien Trovato, who is raised by a group of artisans, and Daniel Goodman, who is trying to atone for past crimes. As Daniel travels to Venice on a quest to obtain and translate a lost book, he finds himself immersed in Sebastien’s story.
“This sense of anticipation flexed its reach until Sebastien was certain the air must be pushing right out of the windows, slipping onto the balcony and tumbling over the waters below.”
The characters are colorful, unique, masterfully crafted, and set amidst historically intriguing locales. It was very interesting to learn much about the history of Venice while reading this absorbing tale. This book is filled with broken, bruised, and hurting souls searching for answers, lost places and lost people searching to find who they are. It’s a story of redemption, hope, family, and identity. It’s the kind of book I finish and immediately want to start reading again to find more hidden meaning and beauty.
“Courage keep and hope beget, the story is not finished yet . . . “
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"The tale with no ending, Daniel, . . . To give you hope. Remember - though it may feel as if it is, the story is not over yet."
Hope, she said? "This . . . was my life. An empty chamber. A glorified crate carved out to make way for atonement. Capture it, cage it, live it. And yet, across the city, the one I had wronged the deepest was about to lose everything."
Daniel Goodman embodies a tortured soul, until one day his heritage provides an opportunity; an all expenses paid trip to Venice . . . . to capture its magic and mourning through the eyes of an artist while confirming its history through the pages of an unfinished manuscript. What he discovers is far different and yet entirely the same, for he and the unknown author from so long ago share the same burning desire to discover, "Who am I?".
" . . . but I do know that I can never begin to say how thankful I am that, of all the circumstances that brought you from the canal, from the basket, to the islands, to pull me from those waters, to be the man that you are, to be with me here and now . . . . I am forever grateful." I am . . . forever grateful.
All the lost places. All the broken pieces. Found. In the hands of an almighty God, placed carefully and intentionally within a masterpiece, a mosaic showcasing His infinite design. . . . one man's journey becoming every man's journey; for in being known, hope springs eternal.
A tutelage in imaginative fiction, this tome carries its enchanted readers down the very canals which whisper their truths as loudly as their secrets, taking up spaces and places in their hearts that had previously been vacant.
I received a copy from the author and publisher, I also purchased a copy of this book. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Monica Huyser
All the Lost Places is the first book I have read by Amanda Dykes. It is a time slip novel with the story of a book within a book--different than other time slip historical novels that I have read in the past.
Part of All the Lost Places is set in 1807 when a baby is set in a basket and floats through a canal to a new home as in the way of Moses. Sebastian Trovato is then raised by a guild of artisans who all teach him a variety of trades. He is well-loved, but he doesn't really feel like he knows who he is and where he belongs.
In 1904, Daniel Goodman is fortunate to get a work assignment in Venice as he seeks to make restitution for past mistakes and help his mother out of a predicament, which he also feels somewhat responsible for. Goodman goes to Venice and meets Vittoria, a bookshop keeper. Together they begin to unravel the mystery of a book, the mystery of Sebastian, and the mystery of who he is and his place in the world.
I'll be honest. It took me a while to get invested in All the Lost Places. I struggled initially to connect with the characters and gain footing in what was happening in this book. About halfway through the book, that changed, and I started to connect more with the characters and got more of a handle on the storyline.
This novel is both deep and full of beautiful prose. I would encourage anyone to take the book and hideaway in quiet with time to think and reflect through this book--and to persevere through the beginning until you start to understand the unfolding story. Dykes encourages readers through this storyline to think about their own life and who they are. I marked several passages to go back to, and some great quotes are in this book. There are themes of mercy, grace, redemption, and a connection to God as our creator. All the Lost Places is a timeless piece of literature.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions within this review are my own.
Reviewer: Deanne Patterson
This book deserves many more than five stars.
I am not sure I have ever read a book quite like this one before. Some books come into your life, are read, and quickly forgotten, but not so with this one. It will be remembered by myself and many other readers for quite some time.
I feel spiritually fulfilled after reading this. The descriptions are so vivid that I feel as though I was experiencing this with all the characters in the time periods portrayed.
All the Lost Places is a real gem. The words are clear, concise, and fluid. I am really looking forward to reading more by this author.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Have you ever finished a book and then turned back to the first page to read it all over again immediately after finishing the last page? That is what I did with All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes.
I was first introduced to Amanda's writing with her book Set the Stars Alight. I was enchanted by that book and expected to feel the same with All the Lost Places. I wasn't disappointed. Amanda's writing is a combination of magic and lyrical beauty. She has managed to capture the essence of Venice and wrap it up in a story that is heartfelt, mysterious, and intriguing. I might have to read it for the third time.
The theme of finding oneself and the importance God plays in our identity as humans are presented in a way that is not preachy. We all experience feelings of being inadequate or not living up to our full potential. In this story, Daniel Goodman is plagued by his past and is trying to make things right. He meets "the Garbin," also called Vittoria, who literally blows into his life and changes it for the better.
We also meet Sebastien, who has a story of his own to tell and asks the question, "Who am I?" As both men try to find who they are, the author helps readers understand what it means to be lost and find hope again.
"A person never knows how far their life might reach." He paused, deep in thought, as he often did. "Courage keep, and hope beget...the story is not finished yet."
"Broken things, harvested as treasure and pieced together into something entirely...different. Old, but new. Broken, but whole."
"Perhaps you are becoming a tool for a new work. God is not bound by the way things used to be, Daniel. There is great hope in that."
This book encouraged me so much. It helped me realize that even in my broken places, God can rebuild something new. It was exciting to know that someone like me, who has an incurable disease that almost killed me last year, could still be used by God for something else. My story isn't finished yet, and I would like to thank Amanda Dykes for reminding me of that. I cannot recommend this book enough.
I received a review copy courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley.
Reviewer: Diana Varela
Wow! I'm in awe of this book. It was such a beautiful book. It's a captivating story of finding who you are. We all have those questions, especially the one of "Who am I?" Amanda Dykes does a fantastic job of portraying that while telling a beautiful story. It has mystery, redemption, and hope all loved into it. I loved the different timelines. I loved the poetry of Amanda's words. It was refreshing and new.
What I really loved was Daniel's story. He couldn't live with his past. He had so much guilt for what he had done. He didn't feel he deserved love, especially his mother's love. It was like God and his children. Some can't live with the past, but it will always be there. What matters is the future. I love this book, and I liked the content about God. It really showed His love.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. All the opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.
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