Yours is the Night – Amanda Dykes

Yours Is the Night by Amanda Dykes
Also by this author: Set the Stars Alight
Published by Bethany House on August 3, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Historical
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five-stars

Platoon Sergeant Matthew Petticrew arrives in France as part of the American Expeditionary Forces, an arrival which a war-weary France desperately hopes will help to end the turmoil. Having faced unthinkable things on the front, he is captivated by the sound of a lullaby, sung by a voice so pure he knows he must have imagined it. But rumors sweep through the trenches like wildfire, dubbing the voice "The Angel of Argonne," a mysterious presence who leaves behind wreaths on unmarked graves and footprints in the war-pocked soil.
Raised wild in the depths of the Forest of Argonne, France, Mireilles finds her world rocked when war comes crashing into the idyllic home she has always known, taking much from her. When Matthew discovers Mireilles, three things are clear: She is alone in the world, she cannot stay, and he and his two unlikely companions might be the only ones who can get her to safety.

I will be perfectly honest and say historical fiction isn’t typically my genre. Suspense novels draw my attention immediately because they have certain qualities that make them in a word, exhilarating. But every so often, I need a break from the excitement. It is similar to taking a vacation to a national park when needing an escape from a big city. Yours is the Night by Amanda Dykes was the perfect getaway. It took me a while to read the novel, but not because it bored me. Rather, I just had too much going on in my life to commit time to the book.

Looking back, I am glad I couldn’t consume it in one sitting. Yours is the Night is the type of novel a reader should savor. While I don’t usually like first-person accounts, Dykes’ novel wouldn’t have been half the story if it had been in third person. In the height of World War One, five different characters face five different challenges. Together, yet, apart, they face their individual challenges with strength, while simultaneously helping each other. Mireilles goes from distrustful to trusting. Henry Mueller from hiding behind a penname, presenting WWI in some glorious manner…to an honest man who didn’t mince words. George Piccadilly, Matthew Petticrew, and Jasper Truett—every character changed.

The characters’ growths, combined with a gratifying plot, made Yours is the Night a portrait of historical fiction. While exciting in its own way, it didn’t drown its readers in battles or other forms of violence. Yes, battles occurred in the novel, but they were not what propelled the story forward. The characters themselves did that, and that is what made me love Yours is the Night so much. Dykes is truly a gifted author, unlike any I have recently read. Her words are eloquent and thought-out, and to be honest, I cannot find the right words to do the novel justice.

Everything about Yours is the Night by Amanda Dykes just…flows. Dykes is a master with words; she paints sentences like Van Gogh or Picasso with their famous works. A couple examples:

“Because there was plenty to be afraid of. Plenty of real, awful things. But maybe, after all, it wasn’t about the presence of danger, but the presence of a God who would plunge right into it beside you.”

“Sometimes there’s a dark so thick you just know that the God who made light with his own to hands—with just His words—is going to plunge right into that dark to find you.”

This is such a powerful read. I loved every minute I spent in its pages, and you will, too.

five-stars