Review: The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin, Book 1 of Sunrise at Normandy

“Why had she longed for Peter Pan and Neverland?” (351)

Title:  The Sea Before Use
Series: Sunrise at Normandy, Book 1
Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher:  Revell
Release Date:  February 6, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction /WWII
Links*: Amazon l Goodreads l Book Depository l CBD l Itunes
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 . . . 


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.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



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.

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  1. I always love Sarah’s books. So rich in historical detail. Can’t wait to read this one. I have it sitting on my blanket chest!

    1. Nice! And I'm liking the blanket chest! Always wanted one! Heehee

  2. Fantastic review, Annie! I love Sarah's books!


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