Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

All I have to say about Sarah Sundin's A Distant Melody is I.could.not.put.it.down. You know a book is great when you have to set deadlines for yourself to stop reading. I told myself I'd go to bed at 10:30...then 11... then 11:30. Finally at midnight, with a 6:30 a.m. wake up call looming, I reluctantly set it on the nightstand. It is that good! To me the greatest strength of Sundin's writing lies in her development of the two main characters, Walt and Allie. One of my pet peeves (and the reason why I've never really caught on to conventional romance novels) is characters that are one-dimensional. Escapism is great, but a perfect ivory-skinned heroine and ruggedly handsome hero with a six-pack just don't have the same impact that a well-drawn character does. Walt and Allie hurt, bleed, love, lie and forgive just like we all do, and though neither think they are conventionally attractive they find and bring out the beauty in each other.

I also though Sundin's description was excellent. In a scene where Walt's plane and the other B-17s taxi to the runway for their first mission, you can literally hear the rumble of whirling propellers and feel the nervous excitement of the pilots. Her depiction of faith and the struggles Christians often go through was right on target, and she didn't trivialize the faith aspect or become overly preachy. Walt and Allie grow in their faith as they encourage each other, and as a single Christian woman I definitely found myself hoping for a man as sweet and strong as Walt!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This is the first book in a while that has made me turn off the TV, put away the computer and read for hours. With likable and relatable characters, a sweet and poignant love story, and even some action, I cannot recommend this highly enough! I am eagerly waiting to finish my current book so I can get to the 2nd book in the series, A Memory Between Us, which tells the story of Walter's older brother Jack. I loved the secondary characters (George, Betty, Helen, Dorothy, Art) and hope to see more of them, so I was really excited to read on Sarah Sundin's website that the 3rd book will focus on the relationship between the oldest Novak brother Ray and Helen Carlisle.

source: personal copy

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