The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

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“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, who pieces together reconnaissance photographs with holiday snapshots of France – including those of her family’s summer home – in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day.”   As their friendship deepens, so do their feelings for one another. But Dorothy is determined that she needs a more exciting man and is convinced that her childhood friend Lawrence has the right qualities for her.

The author did a nice job of integrating history with a personal story about Dorothy and Wyatt. The details of the time and the military were well represented and the author seemed knowledgeable about her subject. I liked the storyline and plot, which included romance, suspense, mystery and the maturation of the characters. I found Dorothy admirable in her loyalty and devotion to her father. However, I found her behavior inconsistent with the descriptions of her being fun loving, exciting and chatty. And it took her a bit too long to realize what Lawrence was all about. Wyatt was probably my favorite character as he was honest, hard working and all around a nice guy, even though he had skeletons in his past. The general focus of the plot was centered on preparations for D-day but there was also a subplot, which centered on Dorothy and her family and Wyatt and his family (but slightly less so than Dorothy). I thought this more personal element enriched the narrative and the reader’s perspective of the characters. The story also included spiritual aspects of forgiveness and God’s involvement with his people, sprinkled appropriately throughout the book. While both Dorothy and her father struggled with their faith and view of God, their concepts of God are resolved, near the end.

I would recommend reading this historical fiction, the first book in the Sunrise at Normandy series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

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