cover image The Sea Before Us

The Sea Before Us

Sarah Sundin. Revell, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-8007-2797-0

Sundin (A Distant Melody) displays her usual knack for weaving historical detail into a rousing war drama in this enjoyable launch of the Sunrise at Normandy series. Dorothy Fairfax is an officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (aka the Wrens), analyzing reconnaissance photos of the Normandy coast in order to create accurate maps for the upcoming invasion. The area is well known to her because she used to vacation in Normandy while growing up. She is teamed with American naval lieutenant Wyatt Paxton, a gentleman of faith who left home after being blamed for a tragic accident that killed his brother’s fiancée. As the operation takes shape, Dorothy’s childhood vacation home at Omaha Beach, set on a fortified bluff, becomes a potential rallying point for the Allies’ invasion. At first Dorothy and Wyatt’s relationship is strictly professional, but as D-Day approaches, their reliance on one another deepens. Their romance might have to wait, though; Dorothy feels she can’t leave her ailing father, whose business is failing, and Wyatt is still guilt-ridden over betraying his brothers before the war, a tortured past that makes him skeptical of forging a new relationship. When the invasion begins, both officers must make crucial decisions—in war and in love. Faith elements are strong, portrayed as more than mere emotional support; both Dorothy and Wyatt wrestle with and ultimately rely on God during the life-threatening trials they face. Sundin’s lively book combines heart-pounding war action with inspirational romance to great effect. (Feb.)