Not Waving, Drowning

*** Sometimes, an empty boat sinks, a fire burns on the inside and a girl on dry land drowns.***

Not Waving, Drowning, is the story of three women bound in a poetic tapestry:

Modern day architectural photographer Maggie Morris is called to Savannah when her husband is presumed drowned. While looking into his mysterious disappearance, she’s forced to open herself up to new possibilities when she falls in love with a lighthouse restorer.

Bobbie Denton, an 1889 NY reporter running from her past ends up in Savannah where she finds both love and a legend, when she uncovers the story of The Waving Girl- a woman thought to be crazy- greeting ships from her island home by waving a cloth by day and a lantern by night.

Flora Martus, The 72 year old Waving Girl of Savannah, tells all her secrets to the mortician’s daughter on one day in 1940 when she lays her beloved brother, the lighthouse keeper to rest.

Using the poetry of Stevie Smith as the through line, this tapestry of stories weaves a common thread of humanity in that love can’t be judged, the past can’t be rewritten, and not everyone can be saved.

Chapter 1

Maggie Morris

A phone that rings after midnight never brings good news. Maggie Morris rolled over and reached for the receiver, glad they hadn’t yet cancelled the house landline. She never would have heard the polite chirp of her cell phone or even found the tiny thing she’d tossed in her bag the night before.

She put the phone to her ear. “Hello?”

“Mrs. Morris? Mrs. David Morris?

It never was a good sign when they called you Missus.


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Reviews, and reader comments can be found  on Amazon, also on Good Reads and Barnes and Noble.

Here’s what the reviewers at Book Wenches had to say:



Title: Not Waving, Drowning
Author:  Linda Sands
Author’s website:
Publisher: BookBaby
Release Date:  September 26, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61842-1715
Length:  Novel
Format:  Electronic
Genre: Fiction
Language/Violence Level:  2
Sensuality Level: 3
Rating:  5+ Keeper
Reviewed by:  CleaThe stories of three women, spanning a century, interlink with one another in beautifully haunting ways. Flora, a feisty elderly woman, chooses to reveal a lifetime full of secrets to a complete stranger on the day of her beloved brother’s death.  Bobbie, a turn of the century reporter, travels for her job but is actually running from the trauma of her past, sacrificing her soul for scraps of love. Maggie, a woman who finds it increasingly difficult to express her emotions, goes to Savannah to look into her husband’s mysterious disappearance.


Savannah, Georgia, with all its quirks and traditions serves as a back drop to a multigenerational story of three unconventional women who struggle to survive the paths their lives have taken. Their stories are linked by beautiful poetry filled with love, hurt, death, grief, and life. The poetry serves not only as a tool to link the women and their experiences, but it also enhances the feelings behind each scene and draws the reader into the lives of these characters even more.

Flora, Bobbie and Maggie are three unique characters that will haunt you long after you’ve finished reading their stories. They are strong, independent women full of heartache who struggle to survive and move forward with their lives the best ways they know how. Often that means making unwise choices in life which can lead to little bits of insanity, but sometimes that’s the key to survival.

This book is overflowing with emotion and a lot of it is often sadness and loneliness, but the author manages to interject mild touches of humor even in the darkest moments of sadness. This may move you from tears to giggles in the blink of an eye, but the author does it in a way that is tasteful and serves to remind you that life goes on.

One thing about this book that kept me turning the pages is how the story leaps from different points in time and takes us on a timetable throughout the history of the world from the late 1800’s, to the 1940’s then jumps to modern times.  I loved how the author uses this technique to show how the things we do, think and feel will affect people of generations to come.

Not Waving, Drowning isn’t a happy-go-lucky story that will perk you up and make you feel good about life; instead it is a beautifully written, sad story that will leave a lasting imprint on your soul.