Welcome to First Line Friday!
Today I’m featuring

All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes.

Discovered floating in a basket along the canals of Venice, Sebastien Trovato wrestles with questions of his origins. Decades later, on an assignment to translate a rare book, Daniel Goodman finds himself embroiled in a web of secrets carefully kept within the ancient city and in the mystery of the man whose story the book does not finish: Sebastien.

From Goodreads

Author Information

Discover more information about Amanda Dykes at: amandadykes.com.

First Line

[Graphic Text]: Once upon the dawn of time, there was water.

My Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.


All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes, is a poetic tale redemption set in Venezia.

I’ve been to Venice. It’s been years now, but it was one of my favorite cities in what is now known as Italy. I loved it more than Florence, if we’re ranking popular Italian cities. The canals and narrow avenues. The lack of cars and modern city noise. The tall buildings, multitude of bridges, and laundry hanging from the sky. Piazza San Marco and its history of flooding. The Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. The Rialto Bridge. Riding in a water taxi (like Daniel from the book, I couldn’t afford a gondola ride). Visiting Murano and a glass factory there. I could almost picture Pietro crafting his hand-blown glass creations in the book because I could still feel the heat from the furnaces from when I was there. All these real places have been indelibly stamped on my heart, and so they came to life while reading this story.

The author’s lyrical turn of phrase was fitting for a city such as Venice. I loved diving into a historical time period that was so … in between. The history of Italy as a country is complex and relatively recent, so I appreciated seeing this in action. And the characters–they also leapt off the page in 3-D. I could hear the Italian, see the wind, hear the laughter. Truly, reading All the Lost Places was an experience of the five-senses. Whether this is because I have been to Venice or not, it was definitely inspired by the writing.

If you’re looking for a book that will whisk you away to another time and place, pick up a copy of All the Lost Places. Be prepared to settle in for a while. This is not a quick read, nor should it be. In true Italian fashion, plan to stay and chat, enjoying the community of bookish characters. Time takes on a different feel when in Venice, as the author said in the book. And the story will tug you into its rios and alleys, and won’t let you leave unchanged for the experience.

Retail Links

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Pull out the book beside you and leave a comment with the first line.

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