A Letter from Iona

When I was in the brink of growing up, and since, I thought ‘well, that’s that’. I had read all the staples of a girl’s childhood, classic and contemporary. Juvenile favourites had been fondly slid back onto a shelf, grown out of but not forgotten, beloved, but with that bittersweet smile that this was an end. I had exhausted all the books I could love like that, books by contemporary authors no longer having that power to speak right to me and touch that part of my heart for the first time again—just the gilded path of classics now. 

Or so I thought. 

You have no idea what Sandpiper has meant to me. 

By the end of Chapter Five, I was smiling so wide it hurt, absolutely delighted in  the purest and strongest sense of the word. And throughout the rest of the book, when I wasn’t laughing, I was tearing  up or crying in several scenes. You know why? Because your story is alive, real in a way I have not come across in so long. 

Piper, Edie, Peter, Horatio… the crew, Piper’s parents, Fredrick… Harry, Katrin, Lorelei, and Grace…even smaller but no less important characters like Rolf and Gertie. They were real people to me–characters you made me care about intently. There was no need to spoon-feed emotions like in so many recent writings, sighing softly in happiness or holding one’s breath just came naturally. As I listened, I was among the world you spun with your pen as it came to life with the narration. 

Your book inspired me to hope more, trust more, and live life even brighter than before. Genuine, real, and insightful, you touched my heart again and again. 

Voyage of the Sandpiper is a voyage of a book. It was a lovingly-crafted, sails-to-the-wind journey over uncharted waters.Watching Piper grow from an unsure, out-of-depth young girl with one foot in the water, to a bold young woman learning to sail the storms of life was an adventure I cherished. Edie’s own ‘growing-up’and setting sail, well, all of the characters paths, decisions and dynamics. (I was memorising quotes from our first session!)

I feel proud to have been a part of this eccentric, loving family…at least for a little while. I can’t wait to peak into more of their lives. 

Sometimes I felt certain lines in the book were spoken straight to me: words I didn’t know I needed to hear, and those C.S. Lewis moments of, “What, you too? I thought no one but myself…

We need more kindred-spirit books in this world. Books you want to quote to yourself and friends. Books that highlight family (and sister!) relationships. Books that inspire and nourish, both creatively and spiritually. I cannot thank you enough for this story.  As a writer I know what it can be like to uncover special words for the eyes of the rest of the world, and so please know, that this story you gave wings has flown right into my heart, and will nestle in many others to come. (And also, from a writer’s point of view, you inspire me in the brave, genuine, real love in your writing.)

When I finished I was speechless, not in lack of words but because I had so many. I cannot pack all your story meant to me in a single email  all my favourite scenes and lines, but I can wrap it up in that classic, ever-used but  ever-genuine 

I love it.

I will rein myself back now and tell of the audio. Can I say, the narrator’s voice and style just grew on me more with every listening! Without ‘too much salt’, the narrator brings Voyage to life, in an exciting audio that’s both engaging and colourful. Malana and I both thought Ellie did an amazing job, with such a wide grasp of accents and ages and a perfect Piper. Also, as a side note, she read theYiddish dialogue so well it sounded natural to my inexperienced ears! 

It was a real blessing from God to be able to dive into the world my mother and sister had known and loved first, before my vision even allowed me to yet read it myself.

Thank you so much.

Excited to take wing with reading Seahawks

Iona B, UK

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