Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin Review

Blue Skies Tomorrow: A Novel (Wings of Glory)In a time of peril, can they find the courage to confront their fears and embrace a love that lasts?

When her husband becomes a casualty of the war in the Pacific, Helen Carlisle throws herself into volunteering for the war effort to conceal her feelings. But keeping up appearances as the grieving widow of a hometown hero is taking its toll. Soon something is going to give.

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit. His stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life—and a convenient excuse to ignore his deepest fear. When the beautiful Helen catches his eye and captures his heart, he is determined to win her hand.

But when Ray and Helen are called upon to step out in faith and put their reputations and their lives on the line, can they meet the challenges that face them? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

Filled with drama, daring, and all the romance of the WWII era, Blue Skies Tomorrow is the captivating final book in the popular Wings of Glory series.

Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody and A Memory Between Us. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

My take: This is the third installment of Wings of Glory. I read the first, Memory Between Us and found it surprising. Sarah Sundin not only provides a well written Christian fiction story but she also addresses very difficult subjects, including rape. Sundin does not concentrate on the particulars nor does she shock the senses. She simply uses a protagonist who suffers the violence and the reaction from the man she loves (not the perpetrator).

This book finishes the series by giving the reader closure. The first two books were about the younger two Novak boys, Walt and Jack. At last we reach Ray, the most empathetic and lovable of the three. Okay, I can't really judge because I didn't read Walt's story. Ah, well. Ray is dreamy and I am in love with him, myself.

The love interest is Helen Carlisle, war widow of Jim. The expectation I had was that Ray would have to compete with Helen's dead husband's ghost, beatified with his death. As per Sundin's M.O., the expected is not what you get. Helen has secrets about her late husband. She was giddy when he died, leaving her widowed and single parenting his child. Still, times being what they were, women were barely entering the workforce and she found supporting herself and her son to be difficult. She makes difficult choices and sometimes chooses poorly. Burdened with guilt and shame, she feels undeserving of anything good in her life.

Meanwhile, Ray enters Helen's life. Ray helps Helen through friendship but this is not what he really wants. On the other hand, he wants to respect Helen's grieving period, not understanding how over she is her late husband. They fight and Ray joins the Army to fight the Germans. Once again, the story takes twists and turns that are unexpected and add conflict and interest.

Sundin stays constant with her storytelling. The boys do meet back up in England after Jack crashes in the channel. Conversations are recreated and characters introduced with the same traits as the other books. This was a lot of fun for me to remember Ruth and Jack.

Warning: The ending is a little cheesy. I like cheesy. I enjoyed a good, clean read with realistic trials for the characters to overcome - shame, guilt, domestic abuse, racism, corrupt justice system. And I love to read a well written book with hope, faith, and lives changing as they trust God.


Sophie said...

I love a good war romance!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I like cheesy when cheesy is needed :)

This sounds like the right kind of cheesy.