Whose Waves These Are

Whose Waves These Are

by Amanda Dykes

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Overview

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. 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 tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn't anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764232664
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 210,804
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Amanda Dykes, a former English teacher, is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales. Her novella, Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, was met with critical acclaim from Publishers Weekly, Readers' Favorite, and more. Whose Waves These Are is her debut novel. Find her online at www.amandadykes.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Ansel-by-the-Sea, Maine September 1944

One minute a guy is splitting wood in the northeastern corner of the country, stomach rumbling and heart afire with ambition in the wake of his eighteenth birthday, and the next minute he's pumping water from the old kitchen sink to clean the work o_ his hands and pick up a letter from the president of the United States of America himself. It lies there on the red, paint- chipped kitchen table, like an old friend who has let himself in and put his feet up, the most natural thing in the world.

But it's anything but natural.

Somewhere in transit on the postman's boat ride across the bay, the letter has taken on some drops of water. The mail usually does in Ansel-by-the-Sea, and the postman doubles as a sleuth, delivering letters with partial addresses with infallible accuracy. This time the name is blurred, only Bliss and the house name legible. Usually just a name suffices, or if one was being very formal, the house's name. Sailor's Rest.

Robert Bliss rips it open, grips it too hard.

ORDER TO REPORT FOR INDUCTION

His pulse pounds in his ears. This is it. Almost exactly four years now, he's waited for this day. Ever since he'd gathered along with the rest of the town to watch President Roosevelt announce the first number of the draft. They'd watched on the town's only television, over at the Bait, Tackle, and Books shop, craning to see the capsules filling a towering glass bowl on the screen. Tiny white papers, each inscribed with a number and rolled up tight. A man had lifted a wooden spoon — hewn from the very marrow of the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed long ago — and stirred. Slow and sacred, moving the numbers until they were as mixed up as the war-torn world outside their country. Even through the television's grainy image, Robert could feel the thick gravity of the moment in that room of Washington men, electric with awareness that these numbers ... they were people. Families. Lives about to be turned upside down by this thing called the draft.

Four years later the electricity pulses through Robert still, assurance that this is what he was made for. For such a time as this.

He holds the letter a moment longer, feeling a thousand nights of prayers gathered up in it. Answered here. That finally, at eighteen, he could go. Finally — though they'd closed enlistment "to protect the home- front workforce" and he couldn't just sign up — the draft is calling him to rise and fight. Protect. The only thing he has ever been good at.

He runs a thumb over the crookedly stamped return address in the upper-left corner — the local draft board.

The President of the United States,

Not yet ready to read the salutation, Robert skims down to the bold word GREETING in all capitals.

Having submitted yourself to a local board composed of your neighbors for the purpose of determining your availability for training and service in the land or naval forces of the United States, you are hereby notified that you have now been selected for training and service therein.

Selected. Training. Service. Robert's breath comes quick at those words.

You will, therefore, report to the local board named above at

The next words are hand- typed in.

Machias Railroad Station at 7:15 A.M., on the 17th day of October, 1944.

He scans the rest and then closes his eyes. Swallows. There's one line yet to read, and a part of him doesn't want to read it. It'll be his name. It has to be. Still, a knot twists in his stomach at the knowledge that there is one other soul in this family whose name might appear there instead.

The clock ticks into the silence as Germany rains fire over Britain across the ocean. And he returns to the top of the letter.

To —

The screen door slams, jolting Robert. Instinct closes the letter, tucks it behind his back. It's his brother, Roy, giving him a mouth-shut grin as he chews, a half- gone apple in his hand. He is Robert's twin in every way but two: Roy came two minutes earlier into the world, and Roy now wears a simple band on his left ring finger.

One that, try as Robert might to stop it, still sears something awful into him every time he sees it.

"Come on," Roy says. "We're going for a clam dig."

Robert folds the letter slowly, hoping not to draw attention to it. "We?"

"You. Me. Jenny. And ..." Roy takes a breath, his shoulders wide. There's something of the little kid in him, some untold excitement. "Someone else, too. You'll see when we get there. Let's go."

Robert nods, slides the letter into his back pocket. He's been avoiding these outings with the newlyweds, but the letter drives him, wanting to get Roy as far from it as he can. But Roy's grin freezes. He's spotted the empty envelope on the table.

Two lanky strides and he's spun the envelope still on the table to read its nameless text. Sees, no doubt, that it's from the War Department.

Heaviness rolls through the room like a tide. They both know there are only two people it could be for, and they're standing face-to-face.

Robert's jaw locks.

Roy gestures to Robert's pocket. "Is that the letter?"

It's like lifting lead, but Robert pulls it out.

Roy snatches it, unfolds it, reads it from the beginning — and his face goes white.

Robert's heart lands in his stomach. He can't see the letter, but he can read his brother's face. And it's not the answer Robert hoped for.

The screen door creaks open but doesn't slam this time. That would be Jenny, the gentle closing of the door so like her. A month and a half a wife and, as their mom liked to say, she had the glow of a bride.

"Poor as church mice and rich as kings," Jenny had said when Roy showed her the wedding bands. He'd carved them from the wood of an old-growth tree Dad and Mom had found on the mountain many years ago.

Robert's gaze settles on Jenny as she approaches behind her husband, wood-and-wire clam hod in hand. Cheeks touched with the chilly wind, she looks brighter than ever — with a quiet beauty that can take a man's breath right out of him. Robert looks at the floor.

"Did you tell him?" She slips her hand into Roy's. Robert forces himself to look. This is how he needs to see her. Together with Roy. He must look, so his heart will see, so his soul will follow. She's Roy's now, Roy's forever.

"I ..." Roy looks at her as if there's a whole ocean between them. She squeezes his hand and chatters on, her melodic voice at an excited tempo, weaving through the silent currents the letter has brought.

"Well," she says, "your mother was thrilled. You should have seen her, Roy." She laughs, and it's music. "She jumped right in the Ford and took off for Machias to see Mrs. Laughlin about some yarn. She says she has to get started knitting a blanket ..." She talks on, her hand falling to her stomach. The leaden weight inside Robert grows. He looks from Jenny, to Roy, to the letter. And back at Roy. A baby. And Roy standing there with a letter that may as well be from the grim reaper.

His brother locks his stare with Robert's. Everything fades away, and they're ten years old again, looking out over the ocean as a storm bigger than their whole universe approaches and Dad motors off to town to fetch Mom home before it hits. "Stick together, boys," he hollers, and disappears around their island. "Keep inside away from the storm, and don't let each other out of your sight." Robert had failed then. He could not fail now.

Jenny has stopped talking, the flush on her face fading as her smile does, too. "What is it?" she asks, watching this unspoken knowing go on between the brothers.

Roy shakes his head. "Nothing. I'll tell you later." He grasps for — and finds — a smile, pulls Jenny close until her head is leaning on his shoulder.

And just as they've done a thousand times since their youth, the three of them walk down to the clam flats by Milton Farm and dig up a bounty. Jenny swinging the basket, Roy hauling a clam rake and grinning at her as if she's gold itself, and Robert's chest yawning into a cavern over this injustice.

"What's got you all tongue-tied?" Jenny's sprinkling of freckles over her petite nose drives the stake deeper in him. But for her ... even now, he tries to muster some semblance of a smile. It feels so mangled and forced on his face, he probably looks like a bloated puffer fish. She laughs, all silvery, and some of the edge falls away inside him.

He knows, despite everything — looking at her and looking at his brother, who wouldn't hurt a fly — he would do anything for them.

"You two meeting up tonight?" Jenny looks between them, entwining her fingers with Roy's. "For your birthday tradition. I didn't hear you mention it, so I wasn't sure ..."

Roy looks at Jenny, drinking her in, knowing what she doesn't know yet. That any time spent away from her now is time that cannot be reclaimed in this ticking clock of a draft. Any time spent on the island of their boyhood, resurrecting their juvenile midnight-birthday traditions, is priceless time away from his bride.

"I was thinking we'd maybe skip it this year," Roy says. He looks at Robert, and the message is clear: Please understand.

He understands more in this moment than he ever has and prays Roy won't hate him for this. For there is only one thing that can make this right.

"No," Robert says. He flinches at how abrupt it sounds, sticking his foot in his mouth like always, fumbling with words. "I mean — let's meet up." He pastes that puffer-fish grin back on his face. "Please? For old times' sake. Just one last time."

Those words hit Roy harder than Robert intended. Too much silence passes, and Jenny looks quizzically between them. "Go ahead," she says, laying an arm gently over her slim stomach once more. "Who knows how many more times you'll be able to do this?"

The question, meant in kindness, socks Robert hard. If all goes well tonight, Roy's days with Jenny will never end.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Whose Waves These Are"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Amanda Joy Dykes.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Whose Waves These Are 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Windi 2 days ago
Whose Waves These Are took hold of my soul from page one and didn't let go through the acknowledgements in the end. WOW! I've been waiting on a full length novel by Amanda Dykes since I read her two Christmas Novellas: Bespoke and Tin Can Serenade. She did not disappoint! This debut novel is every bit as rich and exquisitely written. This book deserves a sit down and soak it in kind of reading time - intent on losing yourself in Ansel-By-The-Sea and her characters through the generations. I recommend starting with the novella prequel "Up From The Sea" to gain a richer history of the main characters. (I believe it is free right now on Kindle). Well Done Amanda Dykes - I hope we get to see more of Annie, Jeremiah, and future generations from Ansel-By-The-Sea "Eines Tages" (some day). I own this book and would definitely recommend to anyone who loves a great story worthy of getting lost in for a bit. All opinions are expressly my own.
swissgranny 3 days ago
What a stunning and riveting debut novel Amanda Dykes has crafted! I was quickly drawn in and completely captivated with the exquisite, descriptive prose and the magnificent, complex characters. The story revolves around Robert Bliss, a small-town fisherman in Maine, and various members of his immediate and extended family. With a dual time-line split between World War II and the year 2009, the author has masterfully unfolded the story layer by layer until it melds together perfectly into a powerful ending. The carefully crafted characters are realistic, beautifully drawn, and so endearing. Robert is caring, courageous, and deep, and he glues the story together flawlessly. I loved Annie Bliss and her heart for helping Robert. And Jeremiah Fletcher is a wonderful, broken and hurting, yet kind-hearted hero. (I must admit I was swooning a bit over him). The author infused a great spiritual depth and beautiful metaphors into this book. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to go back and read it again to find the hidden layers. As a warning--this story brought out all the emotions in me—a real roller-coaster ride! Keep some tissues handy. It’s definitely a book for the keeper shelf and easily one of my top reads of the year! Kudos to Amanda Dykes for a completely captivating read. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this author. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/Bethany House. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 6 days ago
Paula Shreckhise ‘s review: Whose Waves These Are is the debut novel by Amanda Dykes. This novel is a dual time story with many facets. Ms. Dykes writes with heart, just the right words on every page. It is a story of love and loss and hope, packed with emotion. Fascinating details are effortlessly meshed to tell an amazing tale. It unfolds like a beautiful flower with many layers. “Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story”. This opening line spoken by Bob Bliss to his niece, Annie epitomizes this whole book. There are many stories here, delicately told by this gifted author. Stories that are intricately woven together in a tapestry showing how God weaves circumstances to build something worthwhile. “Sometimes the past has a whole lot of treasure to mine.” This is a book to be savored for excellent prose that is sheer poetry.”The moon is high and new, its pale sliver of light slips into the vertical crevices of the cliffs like liquid silver.” Savored for lessons we can learn from days gone by in another era when love of country and respect for those who fought for our freedom was commonplace. Annie Bliss is conflicted about her chosen path in life, the one she has given her all for. Can she find her own story by uncovering the stories of her family’s history, especially that of her great uncle Bob? A woman talks about Bob’s brother saving her life: He submerged into the pain. And he gave himself into it. It’s as my husband used to say, just what our Yeshua did for us, giving life through His death. And we with to honor His life with ours.” Amanda Dykes pen is as mighty as any sword, cutting deep into the emotions. She depicts so many nuggets of ordinary but profound pieces of life and they come together flawlessly on the last page. This book is a treasure trove. She is an author to watch closely. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* Paula Shreckhise
JenaBooks 7 days ago
Oh my, I started this book and was swept away to Maine, to a small town where regular folk live with the rhythm of the ocean. I was with them, as they tended their lobster traps, as they ate Gretel cakes in the local diner, and as they celebrated the Fourth of July. And I was also with them, praying with them as they faced hard decisions, searching with them as they peered through the fog and storm clouds to find a light, and giving thanks with them when they found their miracle. I am not a crier, but I cried with them, too. This is Christian Historical Fiction. It’s not preachy though- it’s both profound and practical. Sometimes people do just need hope, a good meal and a purpose. Someone to remind you to “Lift your head.” when you can’t. The book tells the story of twin brothers Robert and Roy and their families and friends, through chapters that alternate from World War II, the 50’s and 60’s to 2001. It’s also a story about rocks, waves, and hazelnut pie. Most of all it’s a story about hope, home, a poem, and a guiding lighthouse. The author writes with beautiful, poetic word pictures. Romance featuring the heroine Annie and a brooding sailor, are one of several tales of love in this book. In the author’s notes at the end, Ms. Dykes shares interesting observations. I highlighted this part, “And to our nation’s brave soldiers, past and present. Thank you, to you and to your families. A novel-or a thousand of them- is insufficient thanks. With all my heart, thank you for what you do.” I highly recommend this incredible debut novel.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 7 days ago
'She looked straight into him and just settled right into his soul.' This novel is based on the lives of twin brothers, one called to World War II, the other not. Robert Bliss stayed home, but his life was and is profound. Told in a dual time slip, this novel is deep and rich, full of generational relationships that delve down into the reader's heart. All set in Maine, a state I'd love to visit. These folks just get into you as you read. Recommended. *My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion stated here is entirely my own.
FictionAficionado 7 days ago
Out of all the different elements that come together to create a wonderful reading experience, evocative writing that transports you effortlessly into the world of the story would have to be my favourite. The gentle lyricism of Amanda Dykes’ writing did just that—despite the use of third person present tense, my least favourite narrative tense. And when that gorgeous prose tells a story of love and loss, pain and healing, separation and reconciliation, all wrapped up in a poignant mystery, you have story gold. And the characters… Every one of them has layers that are gradually peeled back as the story unfolds, and I would be lying by omission if I didn’t admit that Jeremiah Fletcher had me captivated from the moment he walked onto the page. I don’t know what it is about the quiet ones that seem aloof at first glance, but they’re like catnip to me. It’s so true, what they say about still waters running deep, and I absolutely loved the way each scene allowed us to glimpse just a little bit further into Jeremiah’s still waters. Amanda Dykes is also one of those authors who lets things rumble around in the subtext until the moment is perfect, and that scene toward the end, with the letter, and the sunrise… One of the most perfect moments EVER! Tears, heart bursting, the lot! But Robert’s story, the one that really holds this book together, is just as affecting, and this was one of those time-slip stories where I was thoroughly engrossed in whichever time period I was reading at the time. I loved that the setting was not only a vividly described reality—a character in its own right—but also a beautifully rich metaphor that was explored throughout the story. I didn’t just need the tissues for the moments of mourning; I needed the tissues for the moments of beauty! If you are a lover of evocative writing and stories that cannot fail to leave you moved, make sure you don’t miss this one. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
EElizabeth 12 days ago
To me, school was stressful because I wanted the best grades, but fun because I loved leaning. Now that I have been out of school for a long time, I find myself missing parts if it; not the tests and papers but the constant learning of new subjects. I think that's why I love when I finish a book and realize that I have learned something. In my latest read, I learned quite a bit from Whose Wave These Are by Amanda Dykes. First, I learned that I want to visit the New England coast. I've never been anywhere in New England. After reading the gorgeous descriptions of that area, it's moved high on my list of places I want to visit.  The people and their accents, the lobster fishing, the quaint towns away from the touristy areas- all of these details are so clearly described in this book.  Second, I learned that words are beautiful. I'll be honest (since this is supposed to be an honest review), that at first, I had a hard time getting interested in the book. The writing style seemed to be written in a different tense than most books. But, as I continued reading, the beauty of the way the words flowed together made me forget about the writing style and focus on the story itself. It truly is a beautiful story and Amanda Dykes definitely is talented in how she puts words together. I learned many other lessons from Whose Waves These Are, but instead of reading about what I learned, maybe you should go read the book for yourself.  I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical and contemporary fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
DixieJudy 13 days ago
Whose Waves These Are kept me turning pages from the minute I opened the cover to past my bedtime, Set in the small town of Ansel-By-The-Sea, Maine in 1944, this dual-timeline begins here with the Bliss brothers, Robert and Roy who are twins…… This book has it all. Depth and emotion, loving friends and neighbors so ready to help one another. Danger, romance and selfless sacrifice. I loved visiting the Maine coastline through the words of the author. Dykes is definitely an author that I will follow and I look forward to her next book….. This copy was received from the author and Bethany House Publishers. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own
BBulow 14 days ago
“These are the waves that have brought her home. To these people, this place…and to life.” Well, I did it. I closed the final page of Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes, and it happened. I hugged the book. Now, this may seem silly, but it’s just a thing I do, have always done. If, and only if, I connected to a book on a heart and soul level. I’ve read three of Dykes’ novellas, and they were so good, so I admit I had high hopes for her debut novel. My expectations were blown away. Lyrical and poetic, whimsical and full of heart, this story had me captivated from the first page. Whose Waves These Are is one of those novels that defies genre a bit. It’s contemporary, but not too recent. It’s also historical, a bit romantic, a bit whimsical, yet full of depth and emotion. The dual timeline spans decades and generations of the same family, intermingling stories together in a seamless fashion that had me engaged in both time periods. The story is quite layered, but I never felt overwhelmed by it. Dykes deftly ties each piece of the story together in a way that is pure joy to read. I loved getting to know these characters, these friends, Annie, Jeremiah, and Bob. Their stories are tragic, triumphant, and messy, full of that real-life-ness that all good characters need to make them shine. Sometimes a setting takes on a character-like quality, and that’s how I feel about Ansel-by-the-Sea. With the quaint locales and quirky, endearing residents who have found respite by the sea, it’s a restful, whimsical place of history and a simpler time. The author’s descriptions are gorgeous, painting a beautiful picture of this place and its inhabitants. Whose Waves Are These celebrates and commemorates life. It reminds the reader of the power of story. We all have one, and there’s power in sharing our own story and listening to that of others. Truly my words are inadequate to describe the beauty and magic I found while reading this story. It is a favorite of the year, and I am so excited to read whatever Amanda Dykes pens next. Highly recommended! The prequel novella, Up From the Sea, is offered as a free ebook. It’s a lovely little story all it’s own and sets the stage nicely for this one. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.
ReneeAnn 15 days ago
In lyrical prose, Amanda Dykes invites us to visit the Maine coastal world of GrandBob, Fletch, Eva, Roy, Jenny, and so may more. It’s a “pocket of a harbor where broken lives, like waves upon the shore, are gathered up and held close.” There, we become a regular, along with Annie Bliss, who “never imagined then that it would be [her] breaking place, too. Nor how beautiful the breaking could be.” Though Annie’s journey starts out with “a key. A closet and a boathouse full of rocks,” she ends up unlocking the secrets of her own heart as she builds relationships with and learns the stories of the townspeople—especially one taciturn young man. He’s a “typical” New Englander—close-lipped, prickly & with well-guarded heart—but thaws into a strong, good, tender companion. This is story of love, loss, healing, redemption, and forgiveness. I found it to be a true celebration of life. And, of course, I loved the portions set during & after WWII, when GrandBob himself—the true bedrock & heart of this story—was young. Thank you to NetGalley & Bethany House for giving me the opportunity to read this beautiful, poignant novel! What a treasure! Before you pick up this book, you might be wondering—what’s so special about this island world? A time-honored inhabitant lets us in on that secret: “It’s not the isolation that’s medicine for the soul. No, ma’am. See, an island is a world unto itself. And if God can keep the tides comin’ and goin’, if he can use the sky itself . . . to pull back an entire ocean, just roll it clean away twice a day, easy as pie . . . Why, then he can walk us through this life. Did it at the Red Sea. Does it for us now. One step at a time. There’s little here to get in the way of seein’ that, and boy, did I need to see it.” QUOTES I LIKED: “Sometimes the best way to love is to choose to let go.” “He said courage looked like you. Reaching out. Pulling him up. And he said that’s what you’d always do, because it is just in you.” “‘Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story.’ Bob told me this a long time ago, his voice brined with wind and water.” “At his side, she studies his face etched in kindness, and she knows those etchings did not come easily. She does not fully know the stories but has heard rumblings enough to know this man has lived through loss deeper than she can imagine. And yet it’s his laughter that echoes in her mind.” “And they dance. Snow-dusted sidewalk for a dance floor, stolen strains of music coming in snatches on the December wind. He feels how she is like him. They are the same—lonely souls beating against the walls of war, asking in, being denied. But tonight they find a home together. The chill in the sky thickens the falling snow, and together they look up. They still. There’s something about this moment completely outside him—a sense they are standing in the calm before a coming storm.” “Unseen sinews unfurl in the dark, reaching over the black shimmer of water and gripping him.” “That boat was carved by time. It’s not like the rest of these.” She sweeps her arm out over the harbor, encompassing the fleet of warships. “They were churned out in a hurry, all for utility and speed and power. Sure, we need them right now. But that? . . . That one tells a story that’s taken time. And it’s one that’ll be around long after this war is over. No less needed, either. Just as important and courageous as the others.” “When first light began to ease the dark, he’d heard his mother’s voice. She had
Julie12 18 days ago
This is a super book full of complex characters and a story-line that pulled me in from page one. Winner! I always love when I don't have to read through a few chapters to be fully engaged. This book encompasses several generations and the love and loss that they encounter along the way. I love how the author describes things in such a beautiful way that you feel you are right there with the characters. You feel each emotion that they feel. I have never been to Maine, but feel like I have since reading this book. Despite the different eras represented - WWII to present day - it was not hard to follow along and she wrapped it all together to bring the story full circle. I loved that the faith of these characters comes through showing that they could navigate the difficult times because of it. The heartache they survived was at times difficult to read but the beauty brought forth was lovely. I absolutely loved this debut novel by Amanda Dykes and am hoping that she writes many more books! The depth of the story and the characters was just wonderful. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars. *This book was provided to me by Bethany House. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
LGHudson 19 days ago
CAPTIVATING! You read a novel for several reasons — to be educated, entertained or escape. Once in a while, you’re blessed to be completely enveloped in a story and discover it gives you a guideline for the future. WHOSE WAVES THESE ARE is one such novel. Amanda Dykes is a brilliant storyteller. Her descriptions use beautiful imagery and character depth to make you feel as though you are bystander in the novel. This appeals to me because I’m an observer by nature. I just came that way! I like to observe others as they face many differing circumstances to see how they handle life. Dykes story is beautiful, deep, challenging, and resonates with imperfect people trying to find a way to correct the wrongs of their pasts and find a clear path for their future. The next time you’re at the beach or see a gorgeous photo or scene of a beach, consider these words from one of my favorite quotes from this book: “And if God can keep the tides comin’ and goin’, if he can use the sky itself”—he leans forward, elbows to knees, truncating the last three syllables into exclamation marks—“to pull back an entire ocean, just roll it clean away twice a day, easy as pie . . .” He whistles down like a waterfall. “Why, then he can walk us through this life. Did it at the Red Sea. Does it for us now. One step at a time.” Dykes concludes her inspiring novel with this beautiful quote in the Afterword. To me, it’s the perfect summary of this fantastic novel! “Lift your head, brave one. This life is a storm, no doubt about it. But oh, the One who holds those waves, who holds our hearts. What it is, to think of facing this storm in His hands, wrapped in a love that is fathoms—infinite fathoms—deep!” I was provided an ARC of this book by Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
LoraineN 19 days ago
This book surprised me. I hoped for a good story but was drawn into a wonderfully deep and complex tale of the human condition plus a stark reminder of where our true hope comes from. 4 1/2 Stars - Full review is at my website. I received this book as a member of the author’s launch team. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed are my own.
SarahSundin 19 days ago
This is the book everyone will talk about all year—lyrical, lovely, full of heart and heartache, secrets kept and revealed. These characters, this town, and their stories will seep into your soul and leave you wanting more. A novel of hope and reconciliation you won’t forget for a long time, probably not forever.
BrittanyMc 19 days ago
Whose Waves These Are is an epic story that spans decades. The author pulled my heart all over the place as I turned the pages. This novel has a dual timeline. The connections and stories that are woven together throughout the years are only slowly revealed in tiny bits to the reader. I was amazed by the way the author intertwined so many different tales from both the past and the present together. There was a lot of pain that various characters went through in the novel, yet it was balanced well with hope and lessons learned. The setting was beautiful and I truly felt as if I was experiencing living life in Ansel-by-the-Sea. The author’s writing style is very poetic and beautiful. She doesn’t simply tell a story, she paints it for the readers with her words. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
BrendaLee 20 days ago
When I read the prequel Up From The Sea I knew I had to read Whose Waves These Are. A heart touching emotional read. The twin brothers touched me immensely. I know that twins are close but reading their story was emotional. There were so many wonderful quotes from this book that I loved but this was one of my favorites, “A thing redeemed from a place of brokenness is an humbling honor.” This author wrote stories in this book that I won’t forget. Each character’s personalities and the sceneries were so vivid. The characters she wrote about you didn’t just see the outside but the inside, the heart and mind. Oh! How can we ever look at waves in the ocean and not think of this book and the people? Part of the prologue, “Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story.” And it was folks, it was! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher/author. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Melissa Andres 20 days ago
This story is mesmerizing! Amanda Dykes' lyrical writing is achingly beautiful and makes each and every word mean something. Nothing is wasted! This book will stick with you long after you finish the last page...and just may beg to be picked up and read again. Never have I ever wished more that a setting was a real place! I want to visit Ansel-By-The-Sea. I want to visit the shops, breathe in the salty air, hear the waves crashing, meet these intriguing characters, and have myself an order of Gretel cakes! In this dual-time novel, Annie Bliss is called to visit her dearly beloved Great-Uncle Bob who's in the hospital in a coma. While staying in Ansel-By-The-Sea, she will need to dig up a long-buried story in order to heal old wounds. It will not be an easy journey. For me, the theme of this novel is love. Familial love between brothers, parents and children, an uncle and his niece. Friendship love between lifelong neighbors, newcomers, mentors. Romantic love between a man and a woman. Each character had a beautiful story to tell and each one was woven together perfectly. This story gripped my heart strong! I teared up and down-right cried more than once. I felt their pain, their loss, their joys, their achievements. I laughed, and smiled, along with the tears. Whose Waves These Are is a story that will stay with me for a very, very long time. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Dykes has for us next!! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.
Christianfictionandmore 20 days ago
I started this book puzzling over the structure of the title. After finishing it, I believe I would have entitled it Whose Stones Are These or A Whole Lot of Light. Whatever you call it, this book is a rose, a white rose that symbolizes new beginnings and remembrance. While roses don't linger, Robert Bliss's stone monument would live long, holding the memories of generations of soldiers and their families. Whose Waves These Are is built on the themes of grieving and truly living. There are times when one cannot do the latter without succeeding at the prior, whether grieving the loss of a person or the loss of an opportunity. This story will resonate in the reader's heart as Robert, William and Annie's story unfolds. I am grateful to have receive a copy of Whose Waves These Are from Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
CarolJo 20 days ago
From World War II to contemporary times, you’ll enjoy this story set in coastal Maine involving three generations of people! Whose Waves These Are takes you from twin brothers in love with the same woman to a simple poem written by a fisherman. Robert Bliss is a kind, forgiving fisherman who put others first and has great wisdom. His great niece, Annie Bliss, finds a mystery in boxes in Bob’s home! Life isn’t always how it appears and we have to forgive ourselves for mistakes and grab hold of life. It’s hard to believe this is Amanda Dykes debut novel! I recommend the book to others. I received an advance copy of Whose Waves These Are. This is my honest opinion.
PrincessGlor 20 days ago
Let me start this review by saying there is no way I can do this book justice. It is THAT good. Amanda wove an amazing tale and her writing voice is one of the best I have ever read. This tale of love, loss, hope and redemption will stay with me forever. I honestly can't remember being this moved by a book in a long time. I was brought to tears more than once and one chapter in particular (I am looking at you chapter 31!) was lovely the way Amanda brought certain elements together. This is going straight to my keeper shelf and to the top of my favorite reads list. This book is not to be missed! I received this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
MJK108 20 days ago
“A thing redeemed from a place of brokenness is a humbling honor. And priceless.” --Annie What a story Amanda Dykes has chosen to tell for her debut novel! Love, loss, fear, forgiveness, redemption and healing are woven together in a beautiful, emotionally charged story that is actually many stories woven together into one multi-layered tale. Set in the small town of Ansel-By-The-Sea, Maine in 1944, this time shifting story begins here with the Bliss brothers, Robert and Roy and their best friend, Jenny. The shift from past to present is seamless as Annie Bliss tries to uncover the mysteries that lay buried in her family relationships and those of the small town. Community and family play a significant role in Annie’s unraveling of the story of the Bliss brothers and the mysterious rocks. What started out as a simple story set by the sea draws us deep into its pages and becomes an intriguing book you will not want to miss! Readers of contemporary and historical fiction will enjoy this book. Read the book to uncover the story of the Bliss brothers, Annie, and the mysterious rocks. This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
TrishRobertson 20 days ago
Some stories you read linger with you long after you have finished the story. Whose Waves These Are is one of those stories. This epic story is one loving told with such achingly beautiful words that it envelopes you in its warm embrace. Spanning generations with the seamless ebb and flow of the tide, and piercing the depths is the matchless love of our creator and savior.  The dynamic characters and the charming town wove its way into my heart. I have long wanted to visit Maine and now even more so! You will want to grab a copy of this story! I eagerly anticipate more stories from Amanda Dykes! (I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)
3C 20 days ago
"Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story." Amanda Dykes has a wonderful gift for putting words on a page. She piques our interest in the community of Ansel-by-the-Sea, its townspeople, and their history related to World War II. Her portrayal of small town charm, closeness, and camaraderie resonated throughout the story. The reader will experience the gamut of emotions, including joy and sadness, as the author weaves her tale of Annie Bliss, her Uncle Robert Bliss, and Jeremiah Fletcher. There are many great secondary characters as well. The lessons of this book are subtle and inspiring. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
SusanKC 20 days ago
It is hard to believe that this book is Amanda Dyke's debut novel. This novel is breathtaking! From the opening line I was hooked. The eloquent prose of this stirring tale will haunt readers long after the final page has been read. When Annie is summoned back to Ansel-by-the Sea to help GrandBob, she finds that she will need to uncover secrets from her family's past in order to mend the chasm that is felt through three generations. This is a wonderful story of the ties that bind us: that of a parent, a child, a sibling and a spouse. It is a story of grief and brokenness, but also one of courage, love and hope. It is also a story of faith in God, that He is the Rock we rely on when the waves of life bring times of brokenness and grief. On a lighter note, in my humble opinion, it also has one of the most romantic 'first kisses' I have read in awhile. This is a story filled with stories, ones that tugged at my heart. Amanda Dykes skillfully pens the separate stories of Robert, Roy, Willliam, Annie, Arthur, Ed and Jeremiah and weaves them into a unforgettable masterpiece. As I read this book, I kept thinking this would make an excellent movie. But immediately, I realized the screen could never capture Ms. Dykes beautiful and fresh voice she brings to fiction. This is a book for the keeper shelf! It is definitely one of my top reads of the year! A few of my favorite quotes: "Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story." "Sometimes the past has a whole lot of treasure to mine." "...he can't deny that something beyond himself was leading, guiding. He was nothing more than an instrument." " A thing redeemed from a place of brokenness is a humbling honor." I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
KaileyBechtel 20 days ago
Wow! If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I totally would! This book touched my heart! I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t want it to end! I loved the message that came through this book. This story brought me to tears a few times. I felt all of their pain and loss deeply. I shared in their joy. I absolutely cannot wait to read more from Amanda Dykes! This is going on my list of best books of 2019! I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.