11 December 2022

Book Review: All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes

Today I'm excited to introduce a wonderful new historical novel by acclaimed author Amanda Dykes. All the Lost Places explores the magical city of Venice along two timelines, connected by a mysterious book. Here is more about this book, and read on for my review.

Book Description

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.

My thoughts

This book has a very different feel to my usual historical fiction and historical romance. I must say it was a refreshing change to read a story in which the themes and setting are at the forefront. I adore Venice, mystery and romance, so I lapped this up.

It's a beautifully written story. Immediately we are drawn into an intriguing premise and a multi-layered character. The voice in each part is quite distinct and unique. The storylines are also more complex than I'm used to - this isn't really a story to dip in and out of. It demands your involvement and in return you reap the rewards of its richness.

The setting is so evocative, you feel you are right in Venice with the characters. Themes of identity and redemption are explored throughout, and all the threads are brought together in an amazing, satisfying ending. Definitely one to add to your TBR list.

About the author

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.

Thanks to Austenprose for the opportunity to read and review this novel.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Charlotte. Amanda is an amazing writer. Wishing you a lovely holiday season.