Sarah Sundin. The Sea Before Us. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2018.
I always enjoy the opportunity to award great books with a five-star review, especially when they are written by one of my favorite authors. This week’s review is even more special, as it marks one of the most impressive novels ever written by this author, who also happens to be one of my all-time favorites. :)
In The Sea Before Us, Ms. Sundin opens her Sunrise at Normandy series, which tells the story of three brothers serving in very different roles on D-Day. Lt. Wyatt Paxton joins the U.S. Navy to escape from an unfortunate family situation, but the events of 1944 land this Texan in London, where his country roots turn him around in the big city. Fortunately, Dorothy Fairfax of the Women’s Royal Naval Service and her fellow Wrens are assigned to assist him, as the Americans and British plan for the Allied invasion of Europe. Using Dorothy’s childhood experiences visiting Normandy, she helps Wyatt to develop the Navy’s plan for D-Day. In the midst of their high-pressure work, Dorothy hopes to use Wyatt’s business skills to help her family, even as she plans to capture the attention of another male colleague. With their futures as stake, Dorothy and Wyatt cultivate a deep friendship, even as they realize that the threat of enemies near and far may endanger everything they hold dear.
Ms. Sundin exceeds even the highest expectations and sets the bar for historical fiction with this gripping tale of D-Day and the people who lived it. With an outstanding level of historical detail and a fascinating story, The Sea Before Us is sure to be a fan favorite!
Overall, I cannot say enough good things about The Sea Before Us! This novel captures the essence of historical fiction at its best, exceeding even Ms. Sundin’s previous accomplishments in this genre. Ms. Sundin’s abilities as a writer and researcher are brought to the forefront in this tale of history in the making, with characters that seem both dynamic and incredibly realistic, even when placed in one of the twentieth century’s most noteworthy days. The novel’s plotline encapsulates the events of D-Day, while showing the incredible planning and effort of countless people who worked to make the invasion successful. Ms. Sundin’s eye for detail of the period sets the standard for excellence in historical research, even as she seamlessly builds these details into her story. Although I am very much looking forward to reading the future books in this series, I am perhaps most excited to see Ms. Sundin receive the inevitable acclaim that she most assuredly deserves for this particular novel.
Fans of Ms. Sundin’s previous works will definitely want to read The Sea Before Us. Likewise, those with an interest in historical fiction, especially works focused on World War II, should also give this book a read.
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