All the Lost Places
by Amanda Dykes
Publication Date December 13, 2022
Published by Bethany House Publishers
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Genres: Fiction / Christian / Historical, Fiction / Christian / Romance / Historical, Fiction / Romance / Historical / 20th Century
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
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.
"Introspective, surprising, and achingly beautiful."--Booklist starred review
"Dykes's pen is fused with magic and poetry. Every word's a gentle wave building into the splendor that is All the Lost Places, where struggles for identity and a place to belong find hope between the pages of a timeless story."--J'NELL CIESIELSKI, bestselling author of The Socialite
"Luscious writing, authentic characters, and an ending that satisfies to the core of the spirit, this novel is another winner from Amanda Dykes."--HEIDI CHIAVAROLI, Carol Award-winning author of Freedom's Ring and Hope Beyond the Waves
All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes is a dual-timeline historical novel set in Venice during the early 1800s and the early 1900s. This beautifully written story involves a complex mystery, some romance, and love for the beautiful city of Venice.
1807 A basket with a baby inside is found floating down a Venitian canal. Fisherman Guiseppe pulls the baby from the murky canal and starts to take him to the local orphanage. On the way, he changes his mind and decides to keep him and he takes him to his guild to help raise the baby. Guiseppe the fisherman, Pietro, the glassblower, Elena, the gardener, Dante, the printer, and Valentina, the lace maker, all decide to raise the baby together. They named him Sebastien Trovato, and each member of the guild train him in their perspective careers.
1904 Daniel Goodman needs to redeem himself for the trouble he’s been in. Fresh out of prison, and working in a cannery in San Francisco, he makes just enough money to repay his debts. When he finds out his mother is in financial trouble, he needs to make more money, so he takes on a job to travel to Venice to obtain a rare book and to sketch the city for a San Fransisco developer who wants to replicate the canals and beauty of Venice.
This is the story of two men, Sebastian who is searching for his parents and wants to know why he was left in a basket, and Daniel, who wants to make up for the sins of his past.
This book has everything I want in a story, I loved both mysteries, and they do intersect eventually. Daniel was such a great character. He needs to atone for the mistakes he made when he was young, and needs to help his mother before she loses her house. His dedication to his mother is heartwarming as is his love of books.
Sebastian had an unusual and loving upbringing with the guild acting as his parents. But, he always wondered why he doesn’t have just one mother like his friends growing up. When he saves a young woman who washed up on his island, she helps him uncover the mysteries of his origin.
The star of this book is Venice. The author wrote lovingly about the history, and the people of Venice, but it never felt overdone, or too much. In each timeline, the characters are trying to solve a mystery and we get to follow them along the roads, bridges, and canals as they search for clues. We get little snippets of Venitian history woven into the beautiful descriptions as we follow Sebastian and Daniel on their individual quests.
I highly recommend All the Lost Places to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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