The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin – Review

Posted February 23, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin – Review

The Sea Before Us

by Sarah Sundin

Series: Sunrise at Normandy #1
Series Rating:
Published by Revell
Publication Date February 6, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance, Historical Fiction
Setting: England World War II Era - 1939 - 1945
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-35
Written for: Adults
Pages: 384


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. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France--including those of her own family's summer home--in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin's practiced pen with this powerful new series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: The Sky Above Us, The Land Beneath Us

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The Sea Before Us is a deeply moving story of broken people who need forgiveness and grace. (Don’t we all!)  Author Sarah Sundin writes with such tenderness and insight into the human heart and the result is a book that is hard to put down.

Wyatt had fled from Texas 3 years earlier after a terrible accident (which wasn’t his fault) that had his brother blaming him, enraged and ready to do him harm.  Intense guilt at hurting both his brothers caused him to consider himself a Prodigal and he felt like he had to punish himself, despite his strengthened relationship with the Lord. He still had such a hero’s heart, always ready to protect.

Dorothy’s mother and brothers died in the war, and she was left with a grieving father who made her feel unloved and uncared for. And the man she crushed on wanted a different kind of woman than her, so she tried to be someone else for him to notice her.  She struggled with feeling that she was not enough in herself, that no one could love the real her.

In addition to the incredible journey of self-awareness and learning about the abiding love of the Lord, the story also had some amazing details about what went on both in the preparations for D-Day and also the events of the day from the perspective of a navy gunner.  I am not a fan of violence and gore, but the account was not at all about either of these things and I had no problem reading it.

Cold salty air filled Wyatt’s lungs. For three years he’d refused to forgive himself, as if doing so would dishonor his brothers. Instead his refusal only dishonored Jesus’s sacrifice.
“Lord, no more,” he whispered. “I won’t do it anymore. What I did that night was wrong, but living in shame is wrong too. You never excused my actions, but you forgave me. And I – I forgive me too.”

About Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the adventure and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of ten historical novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award.

A mother of three grown children, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.

Phyllis’ note – be sure to visit Sarah’s website. She has a great interactive  WWII map there that you can use to view locations and quotes from her books.

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2 responses to “The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin – Review

  1. Sarah Sundin

    Thank you for the lovely review, Phyllis! I’m so glad you enjoyed Dorothy & Wyatt’s story!