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Synopsis of the book:

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose…and rocks. Its message? Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the harbor village on the coast of Main, and he sets his callused hands to work.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when GrandBob, the man who gave her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is the one in need of help. But what greets her is a mystery: a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Memories of stone ruins on a nearby island ignite a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

Together with the handsome and enigmatic town postman, Annie uncovers the story layer by layer, yearning to resurrect the hope GrandBob once held so dear and to know the truth behind the chasm in her family’s past. But mending what has been broken for so long may require more of her and those she loves than they are prepared to give.

My review:

This book surprised me. I hoped for a good story but was drawn into a wonderfully deep and complex tale of the human condition plus a stark reminder of where our true hope comes from.

First of all, this is the author’s debut novel. Debut? I find that difficult to believe. The story was so compelling and the writing so poetic. It was so much better than most debut novels.

This novel is a time slip story where the reader is taken through two timelines – WWII and present day. I loved how expertly woven the two story lines were. The characters were deep and real. While I don’t like to get emotional when I’m reading, I do love it when a story can pull that out of me. This one did that several times.

There aren’t enough words for me to accurately portray how wonderful the story is. I’m just going to recommend that you read it.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

So much. The story. The characters. The depth of the inspirational message threaded throughout.

What I didn’t like about this book:

Most of the book is written in third person present tense. Since most fiction I read is third person past tense, this threw me off. I will admit that it took me about ¼ of the way into the story to get past it, but the story was worth it.

Would I recommend this book to others? Absolutely. I only knocked a ½ star off because the point of view style was unusual for me and it took me longer to get into the story. This is the author’s debut novel.

Note: I received this book as a member of the author’s launch team. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Where can I learn more about this author and their books?

Amanda Dykes, author website

-Loraine Nunley


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