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Nov 6, 2013

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

Fantastic war time details fused with light romance

On Distant Shores (Wings of the Nightingale #2) by Sarah Sundin
Revell, August 2013
Inspirational/Historical Romance
426pp paperback
Burton Book Review Rating: five stars for fabulous prose
Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A comfortable boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets decidedly more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin pens another exciting tale in her series featuring WWII flight nurses. Fans new and old will find in On Distant Shores the perfect combination of emotion, action, and romance.
Read my review of the first book in the series, With Every Letter
It is with a quiet dexterity that author Sarah Sundin fuses together touches of inspiration and times of war in this second installment in her WWII series. In a reprising role, we follow Lt. Georgie Taylor during her journey as a nurse close to the front lines during German aggression overseas, confronting both fears and family members during very difficult times. Characters from the previous novel are present and new ones are introduced, as Georgie meets her new love interest in the Army's pharmacist. The story is focused on both of these characters, and much like the first novel (With Every Letter) this is another emotionally charged but realistically told story of love, friendship and hardship.

The author knows her historical subject matter, and while the reader may not fully comprehend many of the details of the foreign places or the Army lingo, we are still completely at ease and immersed in the eloquent storytelling featuring disasters and air strikes and hope. The tender romance of Georgie and Hutch manages to avoid the stereotypical story arc of inspirational romance, and its evolution is well plotted. On Distant Shores is another fantastic WWII novel that I recommend to readers of the genre.

Sarah Sundin is officially in the running for my personal favorite authors list. With all due respect to lovers of the Christian Fiction genre, I'd say this is perfect for those who would like a little "more oomph" to their inspirational novels. There is not a lot of heated romance, but Sundin steps it up a notch with her attention to detail, and is evident with the slightly longer page count in her novels as compared to other Christian novels. Most of them have been around 320 - 350 pages, and the few Sundin novels I've read have been a hundred pages longer. This gives the author more time to fully develop the characters and the storyline, and lets you become a part of the story. I love it.