As a historical fiction buff, I love most eras of history and have favorite authors for each. Sarah Sundin is at the top of my list for novels with World War 2 settings because she truly makes history come alive through the eyes and experiences of her characters. Not only does she write about the major historical events that took place but she gives her readers an intimate look at behind the scenes operations that helped to make it happen according to plan. Through her characters we can experience the emotions that arise from living in such perilous times.

In “The Sea Before Us” Dorothy Fairfax is one of the women of England’s Royal Naval Service whose work with photos helps create the crucial maps needed for the upcoming D-Day battle. Wyatt Paxton is a U.S. Naval Officer who works closely with the WRENS to prepare the reports based on the maps created by Dorothy and her team. I found these details added greater depth to my understanding of how the war was fought. I never thought about the amount of planning and yes even practice runs needed to prepare for such an offensive.

Of course there was also a personal side to the story that included  quite sad backgrounds for both Wyatt and Dorothy and how what they had experienced affected their faith. I won’t give away too much but let me say that several times I wanted to sit Miss Dorothy down and convince her that she needed to open her eyes to see the truth about a certain man. It was touch and go there for awhile but she finally saw the light in more ways than one.

This was a wonderful book with plenty of action and danger, a bit of a mystery, and some surprises along the way. As the first book in a new series, it did end with some unresolved issues but I am looking forward to learning more in the next installment. Anyone who enjoys World War 2 fiction should enjoy “The Sea Before Us” as well as any of Sundin’s previous novels.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Nothing but love could heal the wounds of war

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 the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn into something more. But both of them have too much to lose to give in to love . . .


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 for more information.