Book Review: All The Lost Places

Book Review: All The Lost Places

About the Book:

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:

I sat down at my keyboard telling myself not to gush, but I just can’t help it. This book is so beautiful. I love how it captures the heart of Venice and the heart of the author of life. The writing is exquisite, each turn of phrase practically poetry. The writing would be enough to make me recommend it, but it’s not just the skillfully captured phrase that makes this book sing, it’s the depth and intricacy of the story. The way Daniel’s story weaves and overlaps with the tale of Sebastien, and of Venice itself, is a masterful work of art.

To all who have felt lost,
or faced the question that echoes within these pages:
“Who am I?”
This tale is for you.

Amanda Dykes

Daniel has a book. It’s one of only seven copies in the world. And the book is unfinished.

Commissioned to translate the Book of Waters, the story of Sebastien, and sent to Venice to procure the original and discover the ending, Daniel’s journey becomes a vessel through which the theme of living our own unfinished story weaves in and out of this stunning tale.

Courage keep and hope beget;
The story is not finished yet…

Dante cavellini (as recorded by S.T. in the novel)

Hope, restoration and being found are all themes intricately woven throughout this powerful story.

Let me share with you a piece of the prologue, because I couldn’t read these words without falling head over heel into the tale and I think your life would be richer for allowing this novel to find it’s way into your heart.

Once upon the dawn of time, there was water.
Before there were stars, before the Maker set life into earth, breath into lungs, beast or man to roam…there was water. Dark and reaching, stirred not by wind but by the spirit of the Almighty himself.
Once upon the dawn of time, water discovered its eternal dance partners: shadow and light. The trio would waltz and wend together over time to web diamonds into depths, scatter stardust over peaked waves, spin gold over ripples.
These ancient waters, from then until now, have never left. They travel a familiar path, around and around, over and over, time without end. From sea to sky, raining back down into the hands of man.
In the centuries since, these eternity-touched waters bore up tempest-tossed ships. Retreated in shivering obedience to the command Be Still. Furled and stacked themselves into shimmering walls of parted sea to make way for an impossible escape. Have been struck from rock, sprung up from geysers, coursed through rivers, tumbled with abandon over falls…carried the fleet of the great explorer Marco Polo to the great beyond and back again to Venezia.
And then, in a time of quiet obscurity, whispered a lullaby in those Venetian canals one night as a babe slumbered, tucked safe inside a tight-woven basket. A tiny boat for a tiny boy, currents delivering him toward an orphanage beneath the midnight lament of the bells of San Marco.
But just as the basket breached the building’s reflection, a north wind tumbled through, pushing him into the lantern-glow…where a strong pair of hands pulled him, basket and all, into another life.
The waters flowed on as the babe grew into a man who would look out over the lagoon that had delivered him, once upon his dawn of time, into a life that would change the shape of the world. A story covered over until it was all but lost.

I received a free digital copy of this book for review. My honest opinion is that you should buy and read All The Lost Places. I’m rating it as my favorite book of 2022.