Monday, 9 April 2018

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

Nothing but love could heal the wounds of war
In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a "Wren" in the Women's Royal Naval Service, who pieces together reconnaissance photographs with holiday snapshots of France--including those of her family's summer home--in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn into something more. But both of them have too much to lose to give in to love . . . 

Review:  I know I have a good book in my hands when my clock reads 2:00am and I'm still up reading. I fell in love with the characters of "The Sea Before Us" almost immediately and the dynamic between  Lt. Wyatt Paxton and Second Officer Fairfax kept me turning the pages well past my bedtime. Needless to say, I am already impatiently waiting for the next installment of this series (Sunrise at Normandy).

"The Sea Before Us" is the first book of what looks like a new trilogy based around three estranged brothers who find themselves battling on the same front of World War Two. Lt. Wyatt Paxton is originally from Texas but fled his hometown after a devastating accident ends with his own brother attempting to kill him. Wrought with guilt and desperate to make amends for the part he had to play in tearing apart his once-close-family, Wyatt enlists in the army to get far away from home and to save up money to pay back his debt to his other brother. For the last several years, he has not sent a single letter back to his family. With no one else left to turn to, Wyatt's relationship with Jesus grows and matures - his is the ultimate story of the prodigal son. 

Dorothy is British through and through. The war has stolen her two brothers and most recently her mother was killed in the Blitz. In her mind, God has forsaken her and so has her father who has turned into a complete recluse since the deaths. With a stiff upper lip, Dorothy resolutely plows forward and focuses on her military intelligence job. When Lawrence, a soldier she has been in love with since childhood is based at her station, she splits her time between the war effort and trying to win his favour. Lawrence is more than happy to take Dorothy out - and every other girl in town. Almost by accident, Dorothy strikes up an unlikely and rather reluctant friendship with Wyatt - but she has no romantic interest in him at all. He is too dull. 

What follows is a rather remarkable drama as Dorothy and Wyatt find themselves hurled about by the changing winds of the war and devastating consequences of their fractured families. I would certainly recommend this book - it was a great read.

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and to Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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