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.
Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star
Having grown up on the east coast, I am well aware that there are people who live on secluded islands and it has long been something that fascinates me. I cannot imagine being so secluded yet it also seems like it would be a magical place to grow up.
Reading the story of Izabella Rae Haywood, I was brought back to the magical aspect of such a place and truly found myself falling in love with the small town on the island. Each person was a great character and the story developed seamlessly into one I very much cherished.
The story was very emotional and devastating and hopeful, all at once. Having lost her voice after losing her father, Iz's return to Tillings is exactly what she needs in order to get her voice back, in every sense. I was reminded of the resilience of the human spirit while reading this book and that no matter what troubles we face, how the human spirit can endure.
An ultimately uplifting and heartening story, I feel truly blessed to have read about this wonderful island and having met the people who live there.
Thank you to William Morrow for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
Connect with Tamara Valentine: