The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin {book review}

Last week, I finished reading Sarah Sundin’s The Sea Before Us, which leapfrogged In Perfect Time as my favorite Sundin book. Here’s my review, as posted on Goodreads.


Just… wow.

The whole story was brilliant. From a love triangle done right to deep faith journeys to familial estrangements and deaths to the fight for healing and reunion… all in the package of a WWII-era story… This novel really had it all.

And that finale! Goodness, I could gush… if I were willing to spoil the story.

But I’m not.

Just trust me: You will not regret reading this book when you experience the final few chapters, and particularly the final few paragraphs.

*happy sigh*

The only two things I took issue with were not enough to dock any stars at all. First, there was some betting among friends. This encourages gambling, which is a huge and problematic vice in society right now. Second, the hat on the cover is not the “tricorn hat” described within the story. I’m a stickler for covers matching the details of the story. However, the hat on the cover is cute… just not accurate.

Speaking of the cover, I must say that I absolutely adore the fact that Dorothy’s freckles were featured on the cover! You may have to look close to see them (check near her hairline), but the cover designer and/or makeup artist really nailed that detail perfectly. Somebody gets brownie points for that.

The gut-wrenching opening scene created immediate empathy for Wyatt, and it also secured a swift investment of my emotions into the story. The stakes were kept high and even raised throughout, which kept me on pins and needles and sometimes pacing my living room because I was too anxious for the characters to sit still.

This line touched my Texan heart: “Most of us Texans don’t take kindly to being called Yankees. We prefer to be called rebels.” Yes. Yes, we do, Wyatt Paxton. *wink*

This book kept me riveted from beginning to end, and the surprises came often and when I least expected them. I admired how Mrs. Sundin created a love triangle that, though obvious in how the reader should root, felt organic, realistic, and done well. This is a difficult “trope” for me to enjoy, yet this book was so well written that it soared to the top of my list of favorites by Sarah Sundin, nudging In Perfect Time down a spot.

Readers who have enjoyed WWII fiction by Cara Putman, Cathy Gohlke, and Tricia Goyer will love this first story in the Sunrise at Normandy trilogy.

Now to read book two!



What’s your least favorite trope in fiction today?
(A trope is a common literary device. Examples include love triangles, return to the hometown, marriage of convenience, and bookish themes.)
What is your favorite book that broke through that trope to somehow still hit your favorites list?
What made that book stand out among its peers?
**I don’t normally post pics that huge, but in order to see the model’s freckles, I had to blow it up. They’re much clearer on the paperback than in an online picture.

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