World War II, romance, a story about the Allied navies, and D-Day: all the things I knew to be in Sarah Sundin’s latest novel The Sea Before Us, the first in the Sunrise at Normandy series. What I did not know when I started the book was the incredible tale Ms. Sundin would weave within its pages.
Lt. Wyatt Paxton, an American naval officer, has not spoken to his family in over two years. Following a traumatic event, he left them back in Texas and eventually joined the U.S. Navy. Now, almost ready to reach out, he arrives in London to work on plans for an upcoming invasion. Dorothy Fairfax, like many in the war, is no stranger to tragedy—having lost a mother and brothers. But she is determined to do her part as a Wren in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She meets Lt. Paxton while working on constructing a map of Normandy from gathered photographs, which will aid in this invasion of France. As the two work together, they develop a friendship that deepens every day. But with a looming invasion and so many reasons to not fall in love, will their friendship be able to survive?
Sarah Sundin’s works are always my favorite. They are romantic tales saturated in historical backgrounds, wonderfully constructed from hours of methodical research—I’m sure! And never once have I finished one and been disappointed. This novel was no different. Her characters are real and enjoyable. The story moves quickly—proof The Sea Before Us is a book one will not want to put down. The action scenes are great, so intense and descriptive I felt like I was on the boat half the time. And the intricate details she writes help to bring about a fabulous tale. Once I started this book, I could not put it down, and when it ended, I wanted to read more. The Sea Before Us is a great start to the Sunrise at Normandy Series. I look forward to reading the ones very much!
If you like history, romance, and adventure, you’re sure to love The Sea Before Us. If I had to award a rating to this book, I would give it five out of five stars.