In the tradition of Sue Monk Kidd and Beth Hoffman comes a compelling debut novel about a young woman's quest to find herself—and her voice—on the island where she lost both.
The tiny state of Rhode Island is home to even tinier Tillings Island—which witnessed the biggest event of Izabella Rae Haywood's life. For it was there, on Iz's sixth birthday, that her father left...and took her voice with him.
Eight years later in the summer of 1974, Iz’s mother is through with social workers, psychiatrists and her daughter's silence. In one last attempt to return Iz’s voice, the motley pair board the ferry to Tillings in hopes that the journey will help Izabella heal herself by piecing together splintered memories of the day her words fled.
But heartbreak is a difficult puzzle to solve, and everyone in Tillings seems to know something Iz does not. Worse, each has an opinion about Izabella's dreamer of a father, the undercurrents of whose actions have spun so many lives off course.
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, Izabella must unravel the tangled threads of her own history and reclaim a voice gone silent…or risk losing herself—and any chance she may have for a future—to the past.
What the Waves Know is a moving, magical novel that asks us to consider the stories which tell the truth and the stories we tell ourselves
The timing of me reading this book was kind of strange because the book deals with loss and coping with it, mental illness, the effects of a mental illness on the greater family, but especially children. Normally books which are narrated by a child because it could really go either way, but this one was done wonderfully. The bottom story line comes down to a girl having to deal with the realities of her father, the reason for him leaving, Once he leaves, she stops speaking (literally) and her mother, years later, decides that the only way for Iz to go back to normal and hopefully move forward with her life.
I will tell you that the ending was easy to figure out if you're an avid reader, but the journey to the ending was so good. The book highlights how a child's memories can be so different from the actual reality, and having to come to terms with that can be both painful and freeing. How coming to grips with the truths of the past can be what ultimately puts everything into perspective.
I absolutely loved the voice of this book, I loved the narration by the child because it made you feel so much more sympathy for her and her childhood. The mother, while making questionable choices, I kind of liked her. She did the best she knew how and I have to respect as a mother myself. Overall? I think this was a great book. I think if you are in a book club, this would be an ideal book choice because there are so many discussion angles. You can pick up your copy of What the Waves Know on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.