Friday, June 7, 2019

Review: "Whose Waves These Are" by Amanda Dykes

You know how some books aren't meant to be read quickly; they're meant to be savored? That's Whose Waves These Are. It took me more than a week to read, in bits and pieces, thinking about it during the in between times. And it was beautiful.

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 "GrandBob," 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.

Whose Waves These Are is a beautiful, lyrical novel. It's the story of Annie Bliss, a young professional who rushes to Ansel-by-the-Sea when "GrandBob," the great-uncle who served as her grandfather, falls ill. It's also the story of Robert, "GrandBob" as a young man, who longed to serve in World War II but found his brother Roy's number called instead of his. As the story weaves through the decades, it gives voice to the immense sacrifice required by war and shows the hope that can be found through a listening ear.

My bookstagram friends warned me that this was an emotional read, and they weren't joking! I cried at least three times while reading, the last time coming in the book's final pages, as I closed the book with a tear and a sigh.

This is one of those books that will change you if you'll let it. It's a beautiful tribute to the men and women who lost so much—sometimes their very lives—due to war. 5 stars.

Buy the book.
Get the free prequel novella, Up from the Sea.

Amanda Dykes is the author of Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, the critically-acclaimed bicycle story that invited readers together to fund bicycles for missionaries in Asia. A former English teacher, she has a soft spot for classic literature and happy endings. She is a drinker of tea, a dweller of Truth, and a spinner of hope-filled tales, grateful for the grace of a God who loves extravagantly.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through its book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I just finished this book on Saturday. The last third of this book was just so powerful.

    1. It was, wasn't it? I ended up just loving it so much :-) Thanks for stopping by, Joy!


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