Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.
Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.
As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers—and the healing—they so desperately seek.
*NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR ALERT*
After reading Bespoke for Christmas last year (you can find my review HERE) I was so excited to read another Amanda Dykes novel! Even in that lil' novella, I knew her stories had the potential to draw me in and never let go.
And I was right.
*happy sigh* The prose was . . . phenomenal. Seriously. Even during characters' banter and dialogue, the writing was flawless and beautiful. And that, of course, is a cinch to keep me reading. *grins*
Aaaaand then we've got the CHARACTERS. *clasps hands and nearly hyperventilates* Y'ALL THE CHARACTERS. I'm so, so, so in love with the characters. Lucy was actually a female protagonist that I loved. I couldn't relate to her circumstances, but I definitely could relate to her personality and insecurities. And DASHEL, MY GOOD MAN! #everyoneneedsadash
And there's Frederick . . . at first I wasn't thrilled with the way the book switched back and forth between the present and the past, but then I fell in love with Frederick's story. The traitor. Oh. my goodness. gracious. If anyone should be inspired by anyone's story, it should be Frederick's.
(really, the only complaint I have about this book is that the book is so whimsical, I kept forgetting that Lucy & Dash are in the present . . . I kept getting caught off-guard when they're checking their smartphones, haha!)
I loved reading about the historical mystery in the book—reading about Frederick and Juliette and Elias, and then about Lucy and Dash and Stone's Throw Farm, reading both the unfolding of the mystery and the individual lives of each. I looooved how every aspect of the book, whether it be about the mystery or simply something resolved in the characters' lives, unfolded and peeled back, each layer revealing something more heart-achingly beautiful than the one before it.
Was there romance in this book? Yes. Yes, there was. But I was so for it. For once, it made me grin so hard when I saw the couple(s) come together after all they'd been through. There were a couple of kisses, but they were barely described and ended quickly.
The world needs more stories about this—wholesome friendships, romances built on friendships rather than whirlwind attractions, characters that worked through their heartbreaks.
I. loved. this. book.
That is all.
(And I can't wait to read more by this author)
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
Any fellow Dykes fans out there??