In the tradition of Sue Monk Kidd and Beth Hoffman comes a compelling debut novel about a young woman's quest to find herself—and her voice—on the island where she lost both.
The tiny state of Rhode Island is home to even tinier Tillings Island—which witnessed the biggest event of Izabella Rae Haywood's life. For it was there, on Iz's sixth birthday, that her father left...and took her voice with him.
Eight years later in the summer of 1974, Iz’s mother is through with social workers, psychiatrists and her daughter's silence. In one last attempt to return Iz’s voice, the motley pair board the ferry to Tillings in hopes that the journey will help Izabella heal herself by piecing together splintered memories of the day her words fled.
But heartbreak is a difficult puzzle to solve, and everyone in Tillings seems to know something Iz does not. Worse, each has an opinion about Izabella's dreamer of a father, the undercurrents of whose actions have spun so many lives off course.
Now, as the island's annual Yemayá festival prepares to celebrate the ties that bind mothers to children, lovers to each other, and humankind to the sea, Izabella must unravel the tangled threads of her own history and reclaim a voice gone silent…or risk losing herself—and any chance she may have for a future—to the past.
What the Waves Know is a moving, magical novel that asks us to consider the stories which tell the truth and the stories we tell ourselves.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Tamara Valentine obtained an M.A. with distinction from Middlebury College and has spent the past fourteen years as a professor in the English Department at Johnson & Wales University. Presently, she lives in Kingston, Rhode Island, with her husband and three children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What the Waves Know is a different type of story for me. The story is told from Izabella (Iz) voice. It is the story of a 6 year old and a 14 year old. She relives the worst time in her life when her father leaves her and she stops speaking as she saw it through 6 year old eyes. That part of the story shows how what a child perceives happening is not always the whole story. Then it tells the current story and how at 14 she has not been able to move past what she feels in her fault. In those 8 years she has not spoken a word. She feels like her voice left her when her father walked out the door. I felt like this is a sad story. Imagine the grief and stress that a 6 year old can put on themselves when they feel at fault for an adult leaving. It was heart breaking to see her struggle with life when it should have been a carefree and easy existence. Because of this life changing event she has no friends, she is home schooled, called names, and struggles with her relationship with her mother. It was also uplifting to see how she works through her struggles and come out on top. This is a story about a girl, who thought she knew what happen, coming to terms with the truth of her father’s abandonment. The mother and grandmother also had an interesting relationship. I think it is a typical mother daughter relationship for grown women. The grandmother makes her comments and pushes her way into their world while the mother tries to hold on to her own life and make her own decisions. In this case the grandmother was the wise one. She saw that just the mother was always “busy” and was not seeing what was truly happening with Iz. She pushes, inserts her opinion, all for the better of Iz’s relationship with her mother and Iz’s life. I recommend checking out What the Waves Know. Tamara Valentine wrote a great book with amazing characters and a unique storyline.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A young girl experiences something that at the age of 6 she can't comprehend and because of it, she goes mute for 8 years. Her mother at her wits end decides that maybe they should go back to the island where the event occurred to possibly cure her daughter and find closure for them as a family. And so the story began! I was first interested in this book to see how an author can make a character full and whole without them able to speak their mind without use of words, but she did. From the beginning, I wanted to know why Izabella went mute and what could help her find her words again. I won't spoil the outcome, but I was happily surprised by how she found her words and what made her lose them in the first place.