Reading Sundin's historical novels has always been a pleasure and this one is no exception. She deftly takes us to the mid-1940s and the war effort abroad and at home. Our hero is Clay, a Ranger sure of his coming death in battle because of a recurring dream. Our heroine is Leah, an orphan in youth, given the opportunity to work in a library at Camp Forrest. Clay happens upon Leah as she is being sexually assaulted. He saves her life and when she later finds out she is pregnant, he protects her fragile honor by marrying her. After all, he'll die soon after he is shipped out to Europe. I like how Sundin creates the characters in such a way that I wanted to know their future.
This is a great story. Besides learning much about the war effort, the plot contains the challenges of forgiveness and trusting God. We also see the attitude at the time toward orphans and orphanages. As with the earlier books in this series, the theme of a prodigal son is strong, although with Clay it is more his attitude than physical locations that makes him one.
Sundin adds a note at the end of the book with historical references. Much of the novel is based on historical fact, from the 5th Ranger Battalion climbing the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc to the way babies were cared for in the 1940s. Sundin also provides photos of locations in the novel on Pinterest. (www.pinterest.com/sarahsundin.) There are Discussion Questions given so this would make a good choice for a reading group.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Sarah Sundin is the author of several historical novel series. Her books have received starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. She lives in northern Callifornia. You can find out more as www.sarahsundin.com. Author photo: (c) Marci Seither.
Revell, 384 pages.