Set the Stars Alight
by Amanda Dykes
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date June 30, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: England Contemporary, Regency Era – UK – 1795 – 1837
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 18-24
Written for: Adults
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.
I would like to thank Amanda Dykes, Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
I seldom wish I had more stars to rate a book, however, Set the Stars Alight is one of the best stories I’ve read. Ever. I almost feel like I should put off reading anything else for a week or a month or two so as not to be overly biased! So prepare yourself for some gushing here!
The first thing I noticed was the wonderful way in which the writer wielded words. (Sorry, it just came out that way!) The phases wrapped my soul with a sense of nostalgia, peace, hope, warmth, and contentment. It was truly magical, heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once!
Lucy’s parents were storytellers. The tales and riddles they shared with Lucy and Dash were delightfully related to the mystery. The kids quoted Shakespeare to one another, despite Lucy’s loathing of the bard. And they all played with puns prolifically. One of the characters was a poet and thus provided more fun with words.
Lucy attempted to solve the mystery of the Jubilee, a prison ship that had been stolen and then disappeared with a traitor on board. Frederick, the traitor, lived his story before my eyes during the Napoleonic Wars. Starting from the time he lost his mother to an illness when he was yet a boy. The parallels between his loss and ensuing loneliness and Lucy and Dash’s own were so touching! I loved the way Dash and Frederick, separated by centuries, both found their home by seeking the stars.
A strong faith message pervades the story. The characters never questioned God’s existence. While they struggled trusting God through hard times, the knowledge of His love and the trust that He was carrying them and in control was always stronger than their troubles.
My heart probably experienced the full gamut of emotions as I read, moving from empathy to smiles to giggles to heartache to fear and back again to hope. This is a story of overcoming grief. Of hope. Of sacrificial love. Of finding the way home. Of having the Light in your heart.
I won’t even quantify who should read Set the Stars Alight. YOU should read it. If you are considered a you, grab a copy today and prepare to be delighted!