Review: All the Lost Places


When all of Venice is unmasked, one man’s identity remains a mystery . . .

When a baby is discovered floating in a basket along the quiet canals of Venice, a guild of artisans takes him in and raises him as a son, skilled in each of their trades. Although the boy, Sebastien Trovato, has wrestled with questions of his origins, it isn’t until a woman washes ashore on his lagoon island that answers begin to emerge. In hunting down his story, Sebastien must make a choice that could alter not just his own future, but also that of the beloved floating city.

Daniel Goodman is given a fresh start in life as the century turns. Hoping to redeem a past laden with regrets, he is sent on an assignment from California to Venice to procure and translate a rare book. There, he discovers a city of colliding hope and decay, much like his own life, and a mystery wrapped in the pages of that filigree-covered volume. With the help of Vittoria, a bookshop keeper, Daniel finds himself in a web of shadows, secrets, and discoveries carefully kept within the stones and canals of the ancient city . . . and in the mystery of the man whose story the book does not finish: Sebastien Trovato.

Introspective, surprising, and achingly beautiful.”–Booklist starred review.

“Dykes’s pen is fused with magic and poetry. Every word’s a gentle wave building into the splendor that is All the Lost Places, where struggles for identity and a place to belong find hope between the pages of a timeless story.”–J’NELL CIESIELSKI, bestselling author of The Socialite

“Luscious writing, authentic characters, and an ending that satisfies to the core of the spirit, this novel is another winner from Amanda Dykes.”
–HEIDI CHIAVAROLI, Carol Award-winning author of Freedom’s Ring and Hope Beyond the Waves

Rating: 3.5-stars


All the Lost Places by Amanada Dykes is a promising story. It was flawless in writing. Yet, I just could not get into the story itself. The pacing was too slow for me. I loved the intrigue of a baby boy being in the water and other people who picked him up from the water and raised him. Then, that boy growing up wondering about his roots. It is very mysterious. However, beyond that, I was bored. I could not push further into it so; I took break and came back. I felt like I was reading a history book without much action. I was being told more than being shown. When I did get further into the book, I did enjoy the person the main character was. He ended up becoming a very good man. The other man, an artist, proved to be good too. This book has potential in being awesome. I cannot believe how bored I was in reading this. How I had to force myself to dig deeper into the story. If you like slow historical burns, this would be the book for you!

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