Blog Tour Book Review: What the Waves Know by Tamara Valentine

What the Waves Know coverAbout What the Waves Know

• Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 9, 2016)

“A beautifully written story of a daughter’s journey to find her voice, both literally and figuratively. Valentine reminds us that to be fully human is to be both a storyteller and a story dweller.”—Christina Meldrum, author of Madapple and Amaryllis in Blueberry

On the sharp crags of tiny Tillings Island lies the secret of Izabella Rae Haywood’s sixth birthday. That night, her father vanished, taking her voice—and the truth of what really happened—along with him. In the autumn of 1974, after eight long years of unsuccessful psychiatrist visits and silence, Iz’s mother packs up the tattered remains of their life, determined to return to Tillings in one last attempt to reclaim Iz’s voice—and piece together the splintered memories of the day her words ran dry. But when the residents of Tillings greet them with a standoffish welcome, it becomes clear that they know something about Iz, and the father she adored, that she does not.

Now, as the island’s annual Yemayá festival prepares to celebrate the ties that bind mothers to children, lovers to each other, and humankind to the sea, Iz must unravel the tangled threads of her own history . . . or risk losing herself—and any chance she may have for a future—to the past.

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Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for What the Waves Know by Tamara Valentine. I would like to say a BIG thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the tour and getting to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is about a girl that loses her father at a very young age. Traumatized by the experience she withdraws inside of herself and stops talking altogether. As the years go by her and her mother struggle with this and as a last effort her mother takes her back to the island where the loss of her father took place.

This story takes place from the perspective of Izabelle. It weaves very lightly in between past and present with the bulk of the narrative taking place in the present. It was a very interesting and at times heartbreaking read.

I ended up giving this book a five star rating, hands down one one of the best books I have read so far this year. I am in love with the writing. It has the beautiful, poetic writing that I am such a big fan of.  This book is full of some of the most beautiful sentences I have read. I knew that I was going to fall in love with the writing from the very first sentence. I was completely drawn into the story from that first sentence and gripped until I turned the very last page.

I loved the characters in the story, I thought they were really well fleshed out. I also loved the setting – it felt very real to me, very romantic and exotic at times but at the same time very warm. To me, this was a very affecting and emotional story. I was very invested in it from the beginning and there was a few times I was on the edge of my seat dreading what was going to happen next. Also, there’s a puppy in this story which for me is like an instant emotional tie in a story. I can’t deal with it when there are puppies in stories, I literally become a mess. I just really thoroughly enjoyed this book and the flow of the story, the process by which Izabelle starts to get her memory back and the really beautiful conclusion and the path towards it.

I highly recommend giving this book a read and I will definitely be following this author. It reads like adult fiction but I also think that young adults would benefit from reading this book and would enjoy it, especially those making the foray into the literary fiction world. This was just such a beautiful, rich story. I could totally see it becoming a movie, possible a focus features film because I think they make the most beautiful and meaningful films.


Tamara Valentine APAbout Tamara Valentine

Tamara Valentine obtained an M.A. with distinction from Middlebury College and has spent the past fourteen years as a professor in the English Department at Johnson & Wales University. Presently, she lives in Kingston, Rhode Island, with her husband and three children.

Find out more about Tamara at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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