I really liked this novel set in the months before the U.S. entered WW II. The setting is Boston and the year is 1941. The shipyards are busy as U.S. destroyers are escorting British convoys across the Atlantic. Our main characters are Ensign Jim Avery who will be going out on the new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Mary Stirling is a Navy Yard secretary who has read too many Nancy Drew mysteries. When there is evidence of sabotage, Mary takes on the challenge of finding the instigator, much to the dismay of the FBI. There is danger ahead for both of them, Jim at sea and Mary on shore.
Sundin has done a great job of portraying the tension in the U. S. the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. There were isolationists who were determined to keep the U.S. out of the war. On the other side were interventionists who were determined to get into the war as quickly as possible. There was anger on both sides.
I was surprised to learn of the situation in the Atlantic in 1941. While Sundin has created fictitious destroyers, they are based on history. One destroyer was sunk (the USS Reuben James), others attacked, and five American merchant ships sunk before Pearl Harbor. I was also surprised to find out that the U.S. occupied Iceland in July of 1941 and began escorting British convoys in September.
Jim Avery's experience on a destroyer in the Atlantic makes for exciting reading. But so does Mary's experience at the Navy Yard. She is a determined investigator, even if the FBI thinks the little lady should keep her place. She is a great heroine.
The romance in the novel was an added feature. Mary is an insecure woman and fears attention, even if she does love a mystery. Just when the feelings between her and Jim begin to flame, an old girlfriend of his shows up. She throws herself at Jim and Mary quietly recedes into the background.
I liked everything about this novel. The historical information is great. The characters are well portrayed and the romance is superb. There is a second novel already planned in this Waves of Freedom series and I'll be eagerly looking for it.
You can find pictures of Boston, destroyers, and Mary's dresses on Sundin's Pinterest board, Through Waters Deep.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can find other reviews here.
Sarah Sundin is an award winning author of historical romance set in the period of WW II. She is a graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy and works on call as a hospital pharmacist. She and her family live in California. You can find out more at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.
Revell, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.