The Sea Before Us

The Sea Before Us

by Sarah Sundin

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800727970
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Series: Sunrise at Normandy Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 96,755
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn in the Waves of Freedom series, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Her popular Through Waters Deep was a Carol Award finalist and named to Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years." A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. Sarah lives in California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Kensington, London, England Friday, January 14, 1944

Second Officer Dorothy Fairfax slathered a thick layer of orange marmalade on the buttered toast and slid the plate in front of her father. "I had enough ration coupons for sausage and your favorite Fortnum & Mason's marmalade. If you don't eat your breakfast, I shall feed it to Charlie with no regret or shame."

Papa glanced from the Daily Telegraph to the Scottish terrier dancing by his chair. After an interminable minute, he took a bite.

Dorothy released her breath and sent a smile to Mrs. Bromley. The elderly housekeeper slipped back into the kitchen.

She spread a thin layer of marmalade on her unbuttered toast, her stomach hopping as gleefully as little Bonnie Prince Charlie. "I have the most splendid news. Quite a bit of change at headquarters. New commanders and staff are reporting — British and Americans, army and navy and air." If only she could tell him more about her duties with the Women's Royal Naval Service. Knowing the Allies would invade France in May might bring color back to those gaunt cheeks. But as a Royal Navy veteran, Papa understood the need for secrecy.

However, her news wasn't classified. "You'll never guess who's reporting to my unit."

Dorothy waited, but Papa kept reading the Telegraph as she knew he would. "Why, it's Lawrence Eaton."

The sound of his name was the sweetest music.

Papa looked her full in the eye.

The shock of it. When had he last looked at her?

His blue eyes clouded over, and Dorothy's heart shriveled. The wrong Fairfax child sat before him, and he couldn't abide the sight of her.

Then his brow wrinkled. "Lawrence ...?"

"Eaton." She brightened for her father's sake and at the name of the man she'd loved since she was fourteen years old. "You remember. He stayed with us on holidays. He was a Cambridge chum of —"

"I remember." The newspaper rose between them.

Dorothy bit into her toast, the marmalade sour on her tongue. She mustn't be hasty in speaking, not when she'd waited ten years for Lawrence to come back into her life. "It would be lovely to have him over for —"

"No." A page flipped.

Every muscle in her face wanted to assume an unladylike expression, but she restrained herself. If they could entertain Lawrence, he'd see she'd grown up, and his clever conversation would cheer Papa.

Or would Lawrence's presence only remind Papa of her brothers?

The newspaper rustled. "I do wish you wouldn't wear so much face powder. I thought I made my opinion clear on that matter."

She winced. "Yes, but the Royal Navy likes the Wrens to look smart." And Lawrence Eaton would never look at her if she were covered in freckles.

The sausage on her plate bent in an accusatory frown. He also wouldn't look at her if she were fat again.

However, it was against the law to waste food, so she finished her breakfast. "Will you be going to the office to —"

"No."

Papa only went to the office once or twice a week now. How did Fairfax & Sons stay afloat without Reginald Fairfax at the helm? James Montague was an excellent manager, but he shouldn't have to perform Papa's duties as well as his own.

Dorothy stood and straightened her double-breasted navy blue uniform jacket. "Have a good day, Papa." She kissed his forehead, his hair tickling her cheek. Once as brilliant red as her own, now graying and dulled.

He had been such a robust man.

Before the war.

* * *

London Saturday, January 15, 1944

Only $437.24 until Lt. Wyatt Paxton could go home.

He subtracted the cost of the Underground fare from his savings and tucked his notepad in the breast pocket of his dress blues. He hated to add to his debt, but how could he spoil his buddies' fun their first full day in London?

Besides, he'd always wanted to see these landmarks — Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey — all within his line of sight. Ancient spires disappeared in thick fog straight out of Dickens or Sherlock Holmes. Wyatt sank his gloved hands in the pockets of his overcoat and shivered from the privilege of being in this historic city. He didn't deserve it.

"Too cold for your blood?" Lt. Jack Vale nudged him as they walked down a sidewalk edged by carved stone pillars.

Wyatt would never admit it to his best friend, but the cold stung like yellow jackets. Nevertheless, he sent a grin over his shoulder to their fellow officers, Jerry Hobson and Ted Kelvin. "Dakota here's jealous that the sun prefers my home state to his."

Ted turned up the collar of his navy blue overcoat. "At least you two served in the Aleutians. You're used to the cold."

"You'll get used to it," Jack said. "If only we could get used to walking on the left side of the sidewalk."

Yep, Wyatt kept drifting to the right. The men turned the corner and strolled beside the Houses of Parliament. The area teemed with civilians and servicemen in every sort of uniform.

"Wonder what we'll do here." Hobson adjusted his officer's cover over his black hair.

"They'll brief us on Monday," Ted said.

"Think about it." Hobson gestured at Wyatt. "You were a gunnery officer. Jack, you were a communications officer. Ted, you fought U-boats in the Atlantic. And I manned a landing ship at Sicily and Salerno."

"That's enough speculating." Wyatt softened the warning with a smile. "Whatever we do, I have a notion it'll be big."

The other officers nodded.

Spring would arrive soon, the perfect time for the Allies to invade Nazi-occupied Europe. Now was the time to plan and prepare.

"A newsstand." Ted pointed ahead. "I need to get postcards for my wife and kids."

Wyatt hung back and checked his watch. Only one minute until the clock on Big Ben would toll twelve. He couldn't wait.

"Say, Wyatt, aren't you buying postcards for your family?" Ted held up a selection.

Wyatt's chest seized, and Jack shot him a look.

He couldn't explain. Not today. Today was meant to be fun.

"Say, Ted. How about this for your little boy?" Jack held up a card.

The distraction worked, and Wyatt thanked Jack with a smile. Soon he'd tell his new friends what Jack already knew. That he hadn't been home for two and a half years. That he hadn't written. That his family had no idea where he was or what he was doing.

He'd also tell them why. Daddy always said keeping secrets was as stupid as keeping gophers. All they'd do is pop up and poke holes in your life.

The familiar ache filled his chest. Boy, how he missed his family. By the time the war was over, he could pay off his debt. Maybe by then his brothers' grief and fury would dim enough to allow forgiveness.

At least God had forgiven him. Thank you, Lord. Your forgiveness is all I need, but you know it isn't all I want.

The Westminster chimes played, and Wyatt ambled over to the row of stone pillars, each pierced in the side with rusty holes. London's wrought-iron fences had been melted down for the war effort, and bomb craters and boarded-up windows added further testimony to the reality of the war.

For over four years, Hitler's Germany had bullied Europe, conquering and bombing and killing. But now thousands of Americans were flooding into Britain with tons of ships, planes, and weapons. The Allies were fixing to make things right, and Wyatt was supposed to play a part.

Long and low, Big Ben announced the hour, each strike resounding in Wyatt's soul with the enormity of the moment.

For the sake of freedom, Wyatt Paxton couldn't afford to be a failure again.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Sea Before Us"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Sarah Sundin.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Sea Before Us 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Mandy Elliott 10 months ago
I'm a huge fan of author Sarah Sundin! I adore her WWII stories and was excited to begin reading this latest book. I will admit, at first, I was a tiny bit disappointed. The story was really hard to get into for me, but only in the beginning. I felt like Wyatt's background story was somewhat immature and unrealistic. I find it hard to believe a young man would want to kill his own brother over an accident. Maybe the author didn't make it quite real enough for me. However, I understand why the author used this event as the premise for the rest of the story and did like to see how Wyatt corrected the mistakes he made as a young man and grew in his personal relationship with the Lord because of it. About 1/3 of the way through the story, I began really enjoying the book. I loved Dorothy and her story, seeing her find her faith and grow in it was rewarding. I also highly enjoyed the historical events and battles that took place toward the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys WWII fiction. it was a light read, sometimes lacking in depth, but good just the same. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in this series when it is available. *I received an advance copy of this ebook from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Melissa Andres More than 1 year ago
Sarah Sundin is a WWII expert! Her research into this era shines through in her writing and attention to details in the story she writes. The Sea Before Us is a fantastic beginning to her Sunrise at Normandy Series! Dorothy's character is strong and capable yet naive and vulnerable all at the same time. When it comes to her work she knows exactly what she doing. She does her job well and knows it. On the other hand, her relationships struggle. She's been through a lot and is insecure. She grows leaps and bounds throughout the story and it's beautiful to watch. Wyatt is incredibly charming. He has a strong faith, but struggles to forgive himself of his past. As his story unfolds it's easy to see why he's so wonderfully likeable. Wyatt trusts God and continues to lean into Him as he works through his struggles. Dorothy and Wyatt have a beautiful friendship as they help each other process the trials their each working through. That relationship deepens as they confide in one another and discover things they never expected. This story is extremely well written, well researched, and well thought out! I cannot wait to read Book #2!
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
This is a great historical look into the lives of people that helped others, that we might not even know about. That is the great thing about historical fiction. The author writes great war stories that bring specific time period into focus, D-Day and Air-raids are a few things in this book. The author also has a way with weaving in family dynamics and a Christian viewpoint. These families are not perfect, forgiveness and love is key, I enjoyed the main characters, and I too am curious about squirrels. I can not wait for the sequels. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy via Baker/ Revell, however all opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Sea Before us by Sarah Sundin is the first of the new Sunrise at Normandy series. It is 1944, Operation Overlord is in the planning stages. The Allies are getting ready to storm the beaches at Normandy, France in June. One tragedy ripped the three Paxton brothers apart. Can one life-altering event in World History bring them back together? Sarah Sundin spins an awfully good yarn, stemming from her exceptional research into everything WWII. I have long been an admirer of Sarah’s writing. This era is a favorite reading topic of mine. This first installment recounts the actions of Wyatt Paxton, originally from Texas but now attatched as a laison to the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force in London. There he meets Dorothy Fairfax, a WREN, stationed at the same facility. Wyatt fled his Texas home in the wake of an impossible situation. He enlisted in the Navy and has purposely lost touch with his family. Dorothy lives in London with her father. His business manager is finding some discrepancies within his company. Dorothy’s father seems to be distancing himself from the problems. As their friendship grows, they encourage eachother to seek the Lord in their difficult circumstances. Though they are confronted with many obstacles, Wyatt and Dorothy manage to trust and rely on God for the outcome. Sarah is one of my very favorite authors. She translates history to the pages of her novels in a way that lets you live parts of the war as if you were right there in the action. She conveys the emotions of the characters in a convincing way. This is an interesting and well written story. I recommend it for WWII history buffs or anyone who likes a great novel. *I received this book from the author in a contest. I was not required to post a review. All opinions are my own.* Paula Shreckhise
GrandmaKaye More than 1 year ago
I loved reading The Sea Before Us, as part of remembering my childhood during World War II. My earliest memories include hearing radio announcements of the Allies’ progress against the Axis after D-Day. I would think about my many relative serving in the USA Military forces. A favorite aunt had volunteered in the Women’s Army Corps, (WAC). I therefore was fascinated by reading about Dorothy Fairfax in the British Women’s Royal Navy Service, (Wrens). I appreciated the changing attitudes and family dynamics of Lt. Wyatt Paxton and Second Officer Dorothy Fairfax as both struggled with family history while working toward their goal of serving their own countries against a common enemy. As realistic characters, they didn’t always make the wisest decisions, and had to suffer the consequences, in spite of their good intentions. And coping with their difficulties made a great story. I heartily recommend Sarah Sundin’s The Sea Before Us, and I look forward to buying the next two novels in this series.
Becky6 More than 1 year ago
The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin won’t leave readers disappointed. It’s yet another World War II novel that will be impossible to put down. One of the things that I love about this fabulous author is that her knowledge and love for World War II history always shines above and beyond and flows beautifully with her story. If anything, it always adds depth and I always find myself learning something new. This time Sundin takes us to London where the American Navy is working with our British Allies to prepare and plan for D-Day in Normandy. I found it fascinating to learn how the Navy battleships played a major role during D-Day as well as all of the risks and obstacles they had to overcome. Since we are in London, we also get to learn about the WRNS (Women’s Royal Navy). I love learning how women in history take on roles in the military in order to help defend our countries. Speaking of which, I absolutely loved our characters. Wyatt Paxton is probably one of my favorite male leads. He is a gentleman, loves the Lord, but has a difficulty forgiving himself for something that was beyond his control. Dorothy Fairfax is a beautiful young woman who struggles with seeing herself as beautiful and loved. Something I think all of us women struggle with at some point in our lives. There were also themes of fully trusting the Lord and truly understanding the forgiveness and love of the Lord as Father and the redemption of the Cross. I truly loved every moment of this book and cannot wait for the next because I must know what happens next. Highly recommended for everyone and anyone. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
THE SEA BEFORE US is the first book in Ms. Sundin's newest series and it is a winner. Both Wyatt and Dorothy won my hearts, my sympathy, and my complete attention. Wyatt is a good, honorable man, a true hero. Wounded to be sure, but beyond sweet. I absolutely adored him. Dorothy is struggling to win the love she most needs, settling for crumbs of attention, and willing to risk herself for a tiny drop of attention, bless her heart. I wanted to give her a good talking to, tell her what she was doing to herself. I wanted her to see the truth. Her father. Ah, there's another good man. A secondary character, but so much character. He was awesome. There are so many other things I could say, characters to comment on. From Wyatt's friends and Dorothy's friends, to a scottish terrier with personality. And of course, Ms. Sundin did a stellar job with the scenery description, making me feel like I was there. Oh, and a mention of the Coast Guard! I love those heroes making an appearance in a book about a Naval officer. There was an unexpected plot twist, some war action, blackmail, and of course, romance. All in all, this was a book to be savored, and one of Sundin's best and I've read every single one of her books to date. If you love WWII history, then you will want to read THE SEA BEFORE US. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. A truly good read. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
iStudyScripture More than 1 year ago
After reading The Sea Before Us, Sarah Sundin has become an author I’ll be on the lookout for. Prior to reading this story, I had only read a novella by Sundin. How imprudent of me to wait so long to enjoy her writing over the span of an entire novel! A mistake I plan to rectify quickly by downloading her backlist to my iPhone. What I relished most was the effortlessness of her storytelling. Sundin’s portrayal of the build up to Normandy was delivered with the gravity and respect it deserved. It allowed her readers to feel the pall hanging over England and the hopeful expectation the war would soon turn. So much rich history is woven into the story, yet the plot is never weighed down by it. Being a veteran myself, I felt a special connection with Dorothy in regards to her sense of duty. She saw herself and her role as vital to the war effort and she maintained the highest level of professionalism, even while swooning over Lieutenant Commander Eaton.To me, her character spoke of how women can display strength without sacrificing their femininity. While Dorothy is blinded by Mr. Wrong, Mr. Oh-So-Right enters the scene in the form of Wyatt Paxton. I had compassion for this character following the events depicted in the prologue. Despite his poor choices starting in 1941 until he met Dorothy in 1944, he never lost my affections. Among his most noteworthy qualities were his humility and his confidence in Christ’s atoning work. In fact, repentance and reconciliation are strong themes in this work. Whether you are on the lookout for a great historical romance or a novel with a solid Christian message, The Sea Before Us is an excellent choice. I will undoubtedly recommend it to book clubs over the course of the year. Purchase a copy for yourself and one for a friend! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
"Why had she longed for Peter Pan and Neverland?" (351) How shall I start? How about, who knew a loaf of bread can be so romantic? Yep. A loaf of bread. The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin had surprised me in many ways. First off, I find it quite cute, especially given the seriousness of the subject and setting of this WWII novel. Sarah Sundin's known for her ease of bringing readers into the scenes of this tumultuous times, no doubt due to her impeccable research of the era. The Sea Before Us gave readers a story rich in historical details, not only in terms of the culture or the forms of dress or speech, but in the activities and what had traumatize many around the world. The historical events, and the actions leading towards was superb in its depiction and brought us to the forefront of what it was like in our characters' minds. Then there's the emotional development of our main characters that paved way towards a well-rounded historical novel, one that gave us a bit of everything. We had characters we can love, hate, learn from, and respect, and a redemptive story line mixed in with a bit of suspense and romance. "No matter what - when life feels as light as the morning or as dark as the depths of the sea, he's there. His hand leads us and holds us." (126) Yes, I love the fact that there's a bit of light and a bit of dark and a lot in between that allow readers to speculate, and explore alongside. Yes, it's a story - a work a fiction, but doesn't mean it can't take us on an adventure weaving through the past to help us learn to get to the future? And I think that's what The Sea Before Us reminds me of. In all, a great story, one of my favorites from Sarah Sundin. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
JeanneDJD More than 1 year ago
Sundin’s lively love story set in WWII England delivers a fast paced, informational and emotional read. Readers of the era will enjoy this one for the richness of historical details. Beautifully crafted, the story takes us through the paces of an English Wren with a misplaced heart for an English Lt. scoundrel, and the boy who is patient and wins her heart, a US Navy officer.
Freddikb More than 1 year ago
1944 London, England. A place filled with soldiers, native and foreign, air raids, and preparations for an invasion into France. Naval Officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton, from Texas, works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a WREN, in the Women’s Royal Naval Services. They work together to piece snapshots together to make the maps used as accurate as possible. Their friendship begins to turn into more, but the demands of the war, and of their own personal lives, threaten to ruin any possibilities of a love. Can they be stronger than the demands of the world? The prologue was definitely a puncher. It started off grabbing hold of me and by the end of that chapter I was hooked! Unfortunately…. the story lost its grip on me after the prologue. I continued reading for a while but finally stopped. I did not finish the book. As quickly as it grabbed my attention, it quickly lost my attention. I found the story difficult for me to get into, it became dull for me. I was bummed. The book unfortunately goes on my list of Did Not Finish. *I received this book free from Revell in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts. I was not compensated in any monetary way.*
Mylittlebirdie More than 1 year ago
This newest series by Sarah Sundin is probably the heaviest one she's written so far, and I mean that in an entirely good way! The Sea Before Us has a prologue that explains the reason for the Paxton brothers' estrangement. While Sarah's not afraid to tackle serious subjects, it's such a serious way to start the story, but it's important. Because of this, we get to see Wyatt Paxton's growth over the years as he joins the U.S. Navy and tries to do his part to mend the rift in his family. When introduced in the story, Dorothy Fairfax has also come a long way in her young life. Having survived the London Blitz but not without tragedy, Dorothy and her father are trying to survive, each in their own ways. As Dorothy and Wyatt come to know one another and grow closer together, it's both sweet and frustrating to see how they learn to let go, forgive, heal, and accept God's plan for their lives. Set against the backdrop of England in the days leading up to D-Day, the story is set up beautifully in its themes of forgiveness and timing. There are some interesting plot twists that kept me on my toes, and I'm anxious to see how the Paxton family grows throughout the Sunrise at Normandy series! ***I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Fiction_Faith_and_Fun More than 1 year ago
By sea. By air. By land. Operation Neptune. World War II is in full swing, and the US troops are finally joining the British. Peel back the cover to watch Operation Neptune unfold — except I suspect you’ll be drawn right into the middle of it like I was! Not only are nations at war, but Wyatt and Dorothy are fighting battles of their own. Forgiveness, grief, love, and trust are all issues they struggle to define and accept. I loved the very real, often raw emotions the characters wrestled with. The Sea Before Us is a wonderfully well-written story honoring the men and women who bravely fought in World War II. As that generation passes from among us, books like The Sea Before Us give us a taste and an understanding of perhaps what their experiences would have been like. Whether you are looking for a good World War II story, a well-written romance, or a book with a bit more food for thought, The Sea Before Us is an excellent choice! (I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)
sesquius More than 1 year ago
This book has a beautiful cover and immediately drew me in to selecting it to read. The story is set during the World War II time period, between Wyatt Paxton and Dorothy Fairfax. Wyatt enlisted into the Navy after a string of troubles, hoping that the pay from enlistment who help achieve his goal of paying off his debt. In England, he meets Dorothy and her dad.  Dorothy's job within the Royal Naval Service sounds truly intriguing. One that I would love to read more about, doing research on my own. The story reads well and there is plenty of dialogue. After my grandma read the book, her comment was that she couldn't read the D-day section based on the realistic descriptions of the event. All in all it was a good book, although for me, it didn't have a smooth flow, symphony of words. My love for the characters weren't quite there, not really liking Dorothy for the most part. But for others, this book will capture their hearts and their interest of this time period in time. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, and was under no obligation to post a review.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
This debut novel of the Sunrise at Normandy series by Sarah Sundin continues her excellent historical fiction writing. Focusing on World War II and the events that led up to the D-Day invasion, it features Dorothy who is a "Wren" or member of the Women's Royal Naval Service in England and Wyatt who is an officer in the US Navy. This novel is a wonderful mix of history, mystery, romance, and twists and turns. It captures the feeling of England at war and places the reader right there in the midst of the fray with all the sounds, smells, and sights. The plot is thrilling as the events build towards the combined D-Day Invasion. Sundin's obvious incredibly detailed research into the events and the battles is amazing. The characters were very well written. Dorothy was involved in helping map the area and terrain in which the invasion would take place. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about mapmaking for war and how the English sent in their photos to help Dorothy's group understand every little detail about the area of Normandy. Dorothy learned a lot about herself through her relationship with Wyatt and with Lawrence. With Wyatt she could truly be herself and with Lawrence she played a role to make him happy. As she grew in her faith, thanks to Wyatt's help, she realized that God made her just like she was supposed to be not like she thought she should be. Wyatt's faith was strong, but Dorothy helped him realized that when he accepted God's grace and forgiveness he was also supposed to forgive himself. Lawrence was very self-absorbed and was the model "bad boy." All of them seemed to realized the importance of believing in yourself. I hated to see this story end and am hoping that the rest of the series will feature Wyatt's two brothers and the roles they played in WWII as well as seeing the 3 brothers reunited. FAVORITE QUOTES: "..we try to atone for our own sins, but Christ made the ultimate atonement and we can do nothing." "When times are dark, it's hard to see the light, but it doesn't mean the light is less real." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review
bnwdance More than 1 year ago
With each book by Sarah Sundin I feel I am more well educated on the time periods she writes about. This is the first book in her new series and what an amazing start! I love the details of the Wrens and their jobs as the Allies prepared for D-Day. I had never known all the work that went behind D-Day. It is fascinating to learn those details. And what makes the details interesting is the way they are woven into a story. The story of Dorothy and Wyatt is interesting not just because of the time they are in, but because of their relationship as friends grows into more and as they both need to trust and realize what is important. I love the added family dynamics from both Dorothy and Wyatt. I can't wait to read more about Wyatt's brothers. I received this book from the publishers. All opinions are my own.
EA_Hendryx More than 1 year ago
Yet another stunning novel by Sarah Sundin! The Sea Before Us was everything I hoped for and more. Sarah managed to weave a sweet romance between the bitterness of war and the disillusionment of misplaced expectations. With a prologue that will reel you in and many unanswered questions about the Fairfax family, this story of forgiveness, both human and Devine, as well as characters riddled with flaws and brimming with honesty and potential, will hold you captive until the end. As we follow the stories of American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton and "Wren" (Women's Royal Naval Service) officer Dorothy Fairfax, the picture of London before D-day becomes clear and vivid. Wyatt, a Texas boy at heart, finds himself working in London preparing for the "big day" alongside Dorothy who has eyes only for a handsome officer she's known since childhood. Tensions rise, both on the war field and off, but the thing I loved the most about this story was the realness of Sarah's characters. It's not easy to create believable issues (both past and present) without things becoming too heavy to bear or too fake to trust. Sarah uses her characters to point out fundamental truths of the heart as much as she shows the raw and honest struggle with forgiveness. I flew through this book not only due to the easy style of Sarah's writing (something I've always admired about her books) but because the plot was well paced and the character struggles easy to believe. The setting only enhanced the experience and left me feeling like I'd walked out of my own personal experience of WWII. Highly recommended to those who love Christian historical fiction, sweet romance, and fans of all things WWII. You will find this book chocked full of realistic detail and a sense of the time period that will transport you back in time to a lesser known aspect of D-day. I'm already looking forward to book 2! _______________ I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.
SouthernGalLovestoRead More than 1 year ago
There are lots of facets of WWII that spark my interest. Not so long ago, I would not have placed reading details of the actual military aspects of war too high on that list. In the past few years, though, that has changed -- and Sarah Sundin is one of the main reasons for that change. Like the others I have read, her The Sea Before Us is a book that I had trouble putting down, no matter where the story was going at the moment. Sarah does an excellent job of weaving together a story with real people, with real feelings, into the real battles of war. (I use the term "real" a little loosely, because many of her characters and even specifics of battle are fictional, but they are all very real on the page.) She is a master at research and uses the fruits of that research to share exact events from the war or piece them together into something that could have very well happened at that time. Wyatt and Dorothy both have stories that invite you in to learn more. Hurt, guilt, remorse, fear, love, and faith all play into the directions their lives take. They each help the other grow, even at the times they seem to be working in opposite directions and when the war threatens to tear everything apart. I highly recommend The Sea Before Us (and for that matter, any of Sarah Sundin's WWII stories) to fans of great inspirational fiction. And you just might learn a little military history along the way. Sarah has two more books planned in the Sunrise at Normandy series, stories that make me anxious to pick up where this one left off. Thanks to Revell Publishing for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
The Sea Before Us is such a wonderful book of love, twists, relationships and the trust in GOD. You have Dorothy who is interested in a not so nice guy. Meanwhile on the sidelines you have Wyatt who is supportive and patient with her. He puts his trust in the LORD through all this book and boy howdy does he need it. It is a beautifully fun book and you will enjoy each and every page. This author is wonderful and I hope I have the chance to read the next one. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
steelergirl83 More than 1 year ago
Frustrating is the first thing that came to my mind when I was thinking of descriptors for Dorothy Fairfax, the heroine of this book. I was frustrated with how she acted towards her new "beau" and most of all I was annoyed with her shallow treatment of Wyatt. That poor guy deserved so much better in my opinion. Urggghhh. There's nothing that pains me more than when the sweetest, nicest characters get ground under the boots of silly characters. By that paragraph, you probably think I hate the book. But au contraire, friends. I actually really enjoyed The Sea Before Us and I'll tell you why. Wyatt was fantastic and the story takes place in the tension filled months prior to Normandy and focuses on the D-Day invasion. It is a nail biter! I honestly can't think of anyone who writes in the Christian fiction genre who can make one feel the danger and force of battle more than Sarah Sundin. In each of her books, this one included, the battle scenes are breathtaking. The Paxton brothers are an intriguing bunch and I'm looking forward to reading their stories as this series continues. If you like family drama, this book certainly pulls no punches. Fans of WWII fiction--you'll love this book. As for the love story, I actually didn't love the romance. I couldn't forgive Dorothy for being a complete ninny when it came to her crush and for her ill treatment of Wyatt, but still...a wonderful story! ~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~ *I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
What happens when a Texan with a slow drawl and a Londoner meet during a time when the whole world was at war? The Sea Before Us takes us to the time before the Allies invasion of Normandy. Both Dorothy Fairfax (Royal Naval Service) and Wyatt Paxton (American Naval officer) meet together with others and begin an interesting investigation. This novel is packed with interesting historical tidbits that surround D-day and many were new to me. We also have front row seats to a strong friendship that begins between Dorothy and Wyatt that becomes something more. However, I really did wonder at some of the decisions Dorothy came to make where it concerned Wyatt and Lawrence the man she thought she loved. Especially since she saw what a playboy Lawrence was even though I know she had self-esteem issues. I liked how Wyatt was biding his time with her and showed her worth as a person. Both Wyatt and Dorothy have tragic family stories. Wyatt’s deals with his two brothers who I believe we will get their stories later in the series. I am looking forward to theirs as the book ended with things still unresolved. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I love Sundin’s stories, and The Sea Before Us is a wonderful addition to her repertoire! An intriguing and romantic tale, this story sweeps readers away to the months leading up to D-Day. From the military reconnaissance to the family drama, I relished the twists and turns of Dorothy’s and Wyatt’s emotional journeys. The Sea Before Us beautifully blends fact and fiction and leaves me eager to continue the Sunrise at Normandy series. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
We have Dorothy and Wyatt working in the war effort. Wyatt is an American Naval officer and Dorothy is in the Women’s Royal Naval Service studying photographs to see what might be in a location. They meet and become friends. This is a romance with a bit of suspense and history. This is the first book in a new series and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I received this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
“When times are dark, it’s hard to see the light, but it doesn’t mean the light is less real.” What an amazing journey. This is the first book by Sarah Sundin I have read and I am speechless. I love historical romance and the author has been on my radar for awhile; I can’t believe I waited this long to enjoy her book. Now I need to read her previous releases one by one to immerse myself in the beautiful stories she weaves. Anyone who enjoys a well-researched historical romance during WWII will absolutely love this book. This novel has it all - writing that is captivating and unexpectedly humorous at times; plot and storyline that flow smoothly; dialogue that is engaging, tender, sweet; characters who are so real, down-to-earth, full of flaws yet so incredibly lovable and relatable; steady faith during one of the toughest eras in world history. The story brings Wyatt, a US navy lieutenant with a shadowed past, and Dorothy, a British Wren also with a mournful past, together as they work to created strategies for D-Day. Wyatt is so loyal, faithful, steady, and kind though he’s shy and quiet. Dorothy is energetic, creative, spontaneous and also loving and loyal. Wyatt remains faithful to God though he’s lost everything he holds dear. Dorothy has turned her back on God because she has lost almost everything she holds dear. Wyatt’s steadfastness is admirable and Dorothy’s faith journey is heartwarming. Their heartaches and pains hurt my own heart and I found myself shedding tears for both of them throughout the book. The plot has quite a few surprises thrown into it which added rich, multi-dimensional layers to the characters, their struggles, and their growth. I am waiting anxiously for the second installment of the series, The Sky Above Us, which will continue the story of Wyatt’s family with his younger brother Adler. I was given a copy of the book by the publisher via Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
JLYoung More than 1 year ago
“Adultery. Betrayal. Theft. Fraud. Lies.” (P260) love. War. Family. England. What a story! This was my first book by Sarah Sundin and it definitely won’t be my last. She is an excellent storyteller. The pages flow together into a seamless work. I looked down and I had read 50 pages. She is a superb researcher. So many details go into the work and it is amazing. I’ve read a lot of World War II stories and it sometimes feel like stories all blend together. They’re so similar. But this story is different. I had never read a story about Normandy and the Navy side of it. It was intriguing and stimulating in a way I didn’t expect. The ways her characters deal with their issues in a realistic way was exceptional. There were plot twists and turns that were totally unexpected. It is definitely not a predictable book! The love story pulls it all together and really makes it one of the best books on WWII I’ve read in a long time. Can’t wait for book 2! I received a copy of this book from Revell publishing in exchange for my honest review. I was in no way required to write a positive review.