Exquisite WW2 novel of action, emotion and romance
August 28, 2013
On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin continues the action, heartbreak, and romance of World War II in this second book in the Wings of the Nightingale series. Set in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and spanning the months between July 1943 and April 1944, this exciting novel captured my interest and emotions from the very first page.
Sarah Sundin is a consummate author, whose passion and knowledge of the World War II era shine through on every page. Her attention to historical detail, combined with the ability to create interesting characters and an inspiring narrative, are amazing. Sarah's books are automatic reads for me.
The Wings of the Nightingales series skillfully tells the stories of six flight nurses, "mercy on wings" - their efforts to be allowed to serve in this way, the danger they faced, the strong bond of friendship they shared, and their personal struggles as well. On Distant Shores picks up where the first story, With Every Letter, left off and I enjoyed being reunited with beloved characters.
Sarah has the ability to create characters who are real and that readers can identify with. Georgie is one of six nurses in the 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. She's an extrovert who adores people, loves to plan parties, and cares for the outcast. As the pampered baby of her wealthy Virginia family, she has always let other people guide her, and fears that she may be in over her head with the squadron. But Georgie gradually comes to realize that rather than aiming for safety, her goal should be "for strength to stand in an unsafe world."
Technical Sergeant John Hutchinson (Hutch), with the 93rd Evacuation Hospital, is frustrated at having to enter the Army without a commission in order to practice pharmacy, and seeks to be accepted into the Pharmacy Corp recently approved by Congress. The situation of pharmacists in mobile hospitals during the war is a very interesting theme and Sarah has done her research well.
Spiritual insights are beautifully woven into these characters' lives. Knowing that some people don't want her to change, while others don't believe she can change, Georgie tells Hutch: "You're the only one who sees me as I really am and believes I can become the woman I should be." And Hutch needs to find contentment outside the recognition that he so bitterly craves.
Character strengths of Georgie and Hutch are shown in two situations that I especially loved. When patients don't want to be evacuated on the same flight with a wounded soldier because of his skin color, Georgie rises above southern prejudice and says, "I don't care what color they are, as long as they fight for freedom." The other is Hutch's love and care for the adorable Lucia, an injured war orphan.
On Distant Shores combines the beauty of the Italian countryside with the realism of war, catching the reader emotionally with the lives of these courageous men and women who fight for freedom. I highly recommend this novel to all readers.
"Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men."
The final book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, In Perfect Time, will be released in August 2014.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity and Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
The first thing you all have to know is this. I personally don't normally read WWII era books. For some reason I have never liked them and could never get into them. But there is one exception to the rule. And that is this author right here. Sarah Sundin writes WWII novels that don't make me yawn, sigh or doze off. She makes it exciting and interesting to learn more about that time period and I still get in some romance as well:)
This series is all about the nurses. Mainly flight nurses. If you have read the first book in the series you will already have met Georgiana, or Georgie if you are her friend. She is a nurse but doesn't really feel called to be a nurse. She just signed up since Rosie did. And you might remember Hutchinson, or Hutch as many call him. He wants to get the respect and honor that he feels he deserves, but it won't happen unless he gets commissioned. You see, as a pharmacist in the war, he wasn't actually much more than a serviceman. No bars or authority. So we have two people who also happen to be engaged to others, and they meet up one day delivering drugs. No, not the wrong type but the aspirin and other such drugs to help the wounded soldiers. And from there they become friends and then much more. But what about their fiancees back home? Will they even survive the war to make it back to each other?
You will learn so many different aspects of history in these novels but it is definitely way more interesting than school history was. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and have already recommended it to several friends, along with my family. If you don't care for war novels because they are normally boring, try out Sarah Sundin's books. You can't go wrong! Waiting anxiously for the next one in the series:)
I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts are 100% mine.
In this second story of the series, the landscape changes from Northern Africa to Italy, taking the non-combatants closer to the war front and danger. Readers experience vicariously the enemy bombings of Red Cross tents, the irony of enjoying a party on the beach and visiting historic sites sandwiched between frantic efforts to save lives. Throughout the book, the deepening faith and spiritual growth of Georgie and Hutch remains an important focus. War II aficionados and those who just like a good story will enjoy this apparently accurate portrayal of day to day life for the medical personnel in Italy's war zones.
Sarah Sundin is an extremely good storyteller who has obviously researched well. On Distant Shores is a gripping novel that held my attention too long past my bedtime! I couldn't put the book down with only a few chapters to go. Although I'd definitely recommend that you read With Every Letter, this book would still be good as a stand-alone story.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Georgie was a highlight in With Every Letter and I couldn't wait to learn more about her. I love her kind heart. Without it, she and Rose would have missed out on a great friendship with Mellie, who we met in the first book. Though she'd let other people make decisions for her all her life, Georgie found herself ready for a change.
There was a little overlap between the first and this one, but a very minor one at that, and it didn't affect Georgie's story at all. As always, Sundin's writing is excellent and smooth. The journeys she put these characters on were not easy. However, on the flip side, our journey isn't either. Watching Georgie and Hutch grow through the course of the story felt like the most natural thing. Nothing happened too fast or too slow.
It was effortless to get lost in the era and world Georgie and Hutch found themselves in. I love the WWII era. The relationships, the faith, the common hope for a better future. One of my favorite scenes is set on Christmas day with Georgie on a flight. She led the men in carols and Christmas cheer, despite the war going on around them. You don't see or hear things like that any more. The scene is a highlight for me. Speaking of highlights I'll note real quick that Lucia is a big one. I hope we see her again! She was absolutely adorable!
Previous fans of Sundin's work will not be disappointed by her latest release. I loved following Georgie and Hutch through their struggles and I loved diving into their worlds for a time. I look forward to getting to know Kay better in the next book. Perhaps I'll finally have my questions answered.
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
ON DISTANT SHORES by Sarah Sundin is another exciting Inspirational Historical Romance (World War II) set in 1943. #2 in the "Wings of the Nightingale" series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, "With Every Letter". This story does have alternating points of view between the characters,but this only adds character and realization to the story. Join Lt. Georgiana Taylor, a flight nurse and Sgt. John Hutchinson, a Pharmacist on a journey of hurt,betrayal,faith,healing,forgiveness,struggles, the effects of war and love. What a whirlwind tender love story among the turmoil of Germans, tradegy and war. You will be carried away to Army hospitals,airfields,battles,and other places all over the Mediterranean along with the characters. Ms. Sundin has an act with her storytelling of making the reader feel her characters hurt and pain as well as their joys and triumphs. If you enjoy stories of World War II than you will enjoy "On Distant Shores". For a great love story with Ms. Sundin's feel of World War II, her well-researched World War II story,an absorbing tale of love and a romantic read,pick up "On Distant Shores",you will not be disappointed. Through turmoil and war can love really survive? A must read for any historical romance readers, those who enjoy World War II era stories and anyone who enjoys a great read. I would highly recommend this title! I can hardly wait to read the last book in this series, which I understand will be Lt. Kay Jobson and Lit. Roger Cooper's story. Received for an honest review from the publisher.
"Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More