For the past fourteen years, Tamara has held the position of Professor of English at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island where she teaches an array of advanced writing, literature, and communication courses. During her years of writing, she has contributed to Parent’s Paper Magazine, Stillwater, The Maze, Teacher as Writer, and publications for the New England Association of Teacher’s of English, as well as select biographies and articles for the former Goosewing Press. Presently, Tamara lives in Kingston, Rhode Island with her husband and three children where they spend their free time as accomplished beach bums — not far from where she began as a child — still seeking hidden worlds.
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.