cover image When Tides Turn

When Tides Turn

Sarah Sundin. Revell, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-8007-2344-6

Sundin (Through Waters Deep) wraps up the Waves of Freedom WWII-era trilogy with an intriguing variant on the men-at-war story: in this novel, women play significant military roles. Beautiful Quintessa “Tess” Beaumont joins the Women’s Naval Reserve, known as WAVES, with the intention of being known as more than a pretty face. She also wants to navigate her turbulent feelings for Navy Lt. Dan Avery, whose siblings have featured in the other two novels in the trilogy. Although he’s married to the navy, Dan keeps running into Tess thanks to their shared network of friends and relatives. Romantic tension between Dan and Tess mainly drives the action, but threads of espionage involving a circle of Tess’s French friends braid the plot. Sundin has done her usual historical homework, with plenty of references to real people and events of the time, but not everything holds together narratively. A historical fire from 1942 does nothing to fill out the story; a crucial overheard conversation is a weak device. Sundin is an experienced novelist, but this offering uses a few too many tired WWII tropes to succeed. Agent: Rachel Kent, Books & Such Literary Management. (Mar.)