Monday, December 5, 2022

Book Review: All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes


Title: All the Lost Places
Author: Amanda Dykes
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: ‎Bethany House Publishers (December 13, 2022)
Length: (400) pages
Format: Hardcover, Trade paperback, & eBook
ISBN: 978-0764239502
Tour Dates: December 5 – December 19, 2022


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.


All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes exceeded my expectations and rates as one of the best novels I’ve read in 2022. My favorite books feature characters that I connect to in some way, and I immediately identified with Daniel. This fallen son’s emotions felt real and raw as he grappled with shame and a need to atone for his past. The story dove deep into the darkness of condemnation and searched for life-giving truth while avoiding platitudes. Daniel's redemption journey takes time but has a wonderful ending.

All the Lost Places is a book for those who ask hard, but worthy questions: Who am I? How can I atone for past wrongs? Where can I find peace? The themes of the novel call out truth to any Christian believer, but especially for the broken and the searching. I marked more than thirty quotes as I read, and I appreciated that the story held themes less commonly explored in Christian fiction.

In addition to the above, Amanda Dykes’ poetic prose and clever writing style made All the Lost Places a delight to read. This character-driven novel had a smartly paced plot that held my attention from beginning to end. The author freshened the popular dual timeline format by using the translation of a book to create the earlier timeline.

I recommend All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes to readers who enjoy historical Christian fiction with great depth and poignant themes. This novel lingers with me, and I know I’ll return to it in the future.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


“This lyrical dual-narrative historical from Dykes (Set the Stars Alight) dives into the histories of Venice, Italy, and Venice Beach, California.”— Publisher’s Weekly

"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



Amanda Dykes's debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, is the winner of the prestigious 2020 Christy Award Book of the Year, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, and the winner of an INSPY Award. She's also the author of Yours Is the Night and Set the Stars Alight, a 2021 Christy Award finalist.


  1. I loved this too! I just loved the setting, but the story really won me over.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jolene. Amanda is such a talented writer. Wishing you a lovely holiday season.

  3. I am just getting into this book, maybe four or five chapters in, and really enjoying it!