Friday, July 17, 2020

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

About the Book
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.

My Thoughts
To say I was blown away by Amanda Dykes’ first novel would have been an understatement. So it was with eager anticipation that I awaited the release of this book, knowing that I was in for another captivating read. Dykes writes with such beautifully crafted words, drawing the reader in and keeping them entranced till they lose all track of time or life around them. She makes you want to read every word as quick as possible but also want to slow down and savor the way each sentence is composed. She honestly steals my breath at times because I am so intrinsically lost in the story that I forget to even do basic things like breathing. And the way she weaves the past and present together with both the historical and modern day stories is truly a work of art. Each story was so beautifully engaging that anytime I had to switch to the other I felt brief disappointment, only to then become lost in that timeline.
Dash was my favorite kind of hero. Yes there’s something to be said for the strong, take charge, macho types, but if I have my pick I’m always more drawn to the quiet, gentle, slightly nerdy ones. And Dash certainly fit that bill. I was simply in love with his humble unassuming self and the way he quietly loved Lucy. The sharing of stories, the message he sent on that oh so important day, finding her when she needed him but didn’t even know it, and just supporting and encouraging her in his gentle way.
Lucy was easy to love as well, my heart broke for her as she faced the losses in her life but I loved seeing her find hope again and again.
Watching Dash and Lucy’s story unfold was so sweet, two souls that were meant for each other-which was evident from their very first meeting as children.
I loved Frederick too. His journey was anything but easy and I ached for the boy who felt alone. But I admired him so much and the way he found beauty in the ashes. And especially the way he truly lived out John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I also adored the way Dykes made parallels between Frederick’s story and the gospel story. It was so beautifully woven into his life in a way that was both subtle and glaringly obvious and I don’t know how both of those things are possible simultaneously I just know that they were, like you couldn’t miss it but it also wasn’t beating you over the head. Everything about this story quietly pointed to Christ and his love for us and it was, for lack of a better word, beautiful.
I know this review is long but honestly it barely scratches the surface of my thoughts and love for this stunning story! Amanda Dykes has done it again and I can’t encourage you enough to do yourself a favor and get your hands on this one as soon as possible!

Meet the Author
Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas. Find her online at

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 


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