Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

Memory Between Us, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory)

Publisher: Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge--until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?

A Memory Between Us is the second book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

My Take:  I was not aware this was the second book in a series until right now.  This tickles me because it means that this book can stand alone.  It also makes sense since Ray, the last of the three brothers is now in the European theater of WWII and something didn't go well with the woman back home. But that is merely a sentence or two in the four hundred plus page book.

This is the story of Ruth and Jack.  Both are mired in the sins of pride but not in the way one might define pride.  Do I dare share a spoiler?  It would certainly make a more interesting and comprehensive review.  Okay, spoiler alert!

Anybody tune out?  Fine.  Ruth is trying to support her orphaned siblings.  One aunt seems to be taking advantage of her and threatening to send one of her sisters to an orphanage.  Ruth needs the money she is earning as an army nurse although it never seems to be enough. She also carries shame from her past.  Truth is, she sold her kisses for a dime, the tramp.  Of course, we are talking about the Depression era and she was a young teenager.  And then there were the three boys from the meat packing plant who decided to make her a proper prostitute against her will.  Damaged and broken, she carries her sin and shame.

Jack is a handsome officer who gets his butt shot out of the sky.  Literally.  He comes under the care of lovely Ruth and decides to win her heart, not understanding her traumatic past.

Let's dissect this pride, shall we?  Ruth feels guilty that she sold her lips which lead to her rape incident.  She has prayed for forgiveness but in her own pride, she feels she deserves nothing better than to be miserable for the rest of her life.  Interesting twist on pride.

Jack holds his pride close to his heart throughout most of the book.  He has learned to rely on himself to manipulate circumstances to further his desires (all virtuous, mind you) and fails to trust in God. Sometimes his moments of pride are much less pronounced than others.

Ultimately, the protagonists must learn to trust God to help them through before they can move forward in their lives and their relationships.  The conflicts within the story are nail biting and include internal conflicts that ring familiar within myself.  I've felt helpless and tried to control things I have no control over and felt disappointed.  If I'd had more faith in God and His plan, I'm pretty sure I'd not become so bitter.

It's a timely message written in story form that grabbed me immediately.  Sarah Sundin is a very crafty writer.  I enjoyed it so much that I forgot to skim.  In fact, sometimes I even paused and reflected how I could apply aspects to my own life. I didn't mean to seek personal growth.  All I wanted was an interesting book with a solid storyline (which I got, mind you).

Also, hats off to Sarah for not only providing an engaging story, but providing enough detail on the time period, state of England, the states, and Europe, and even providing a commentary on the bombing missions and the way they were carried out.

4 and a half Stars


Sarah Sundin said...

Nancy - Thanks for your fabulous review! I'm so glad you enjoyed Jack & Ruth's story - and that it made you reflect on your own life. Writing the story made me reflect a lot too :)

CountessLaurie said...

oooOOOOooooo, 4 and a half stars... it must be good. and I like the cover (I am shallow like that :-)

And I like that the author followed up with you. Unless that is your sister... then I am no longer impressed :-)

And I way overuse the smiley face... :-P