I love kicking off a new month with a fabulous book and today is no exception.
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.
You know when you read a couple of lines into a book and somehow just know it is going to be brilliant. I had that feeling instantly with Set the Stars Alight, I just knew I could get myself cosy on the couch and lose myself for a couple of hours in a different world and not even notice that the time had passed.
It’s hard to tell you just how wonderful the writing is, it is beautiful imagery that captures your imagination and attention straight away, it feels almost like a song or poem rather than a novel. I liked the fact that it felt so effortless even though I’m sure it must have taken some crafting and the atmosphere of the story really came to life because of that.
Admittedly I am not usually one for a historical fiction book but since this was dual timeline and sounded so interesting I gave it a shot hoping that I would get on well with it. What I didn’t expect was to be so looking forward to the parts of the story that were set in the past, desperate to know how the exciting story that was unfolding was going to relate to Lucy and Dash.
I think what I loved the most about this book was it’s imagination, it has all the wonder and surprise of a fairytale, action and adventure, and a kind of introspection and reflection which I wouldn’t have expected at all. It’s as you can see quite hard to describe, but it is wonderful.
The characters are also brilliant, they all go through so much, so much heartbreak for different reasons, but find themselves drawn together and on a journey. In the best way of course because I really did feel like I was right there alongside them.
This is the first time I have read this author but I know I will be seeking out any books I may have missed and keeping an eye on what is to come in the future.
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 as well as of three novellas.