book, Book Review

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

Book - Through Waters Deeep2

About the Book:
Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell Books
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Series: Waves of Freedom, 1
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Inspirational
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review: Journeying through Sarah Sundin’s books is like a quaint, never-want-to-leave trip back to yesteryear. Saying this may sound silly considering the novel’s settings are primarily based around World War II, but there’s a special kind of nostalgia that puts the reader in the exact same situation as the characters may be in. Whether that is safety or peril, we “feel” close to being there. This novel introduces us to Mary Stirling, a kind-hearted girl who enjoys living in the shadows where no spotlight can shine on her. As a secretary at a Boston naval base, Mary’s work is never done, because she pitches in behind-the-scenes on multiple projects. It’s this that re-introduces her to Jim Avery. Jim knew Mary back in high school, but hasn’t seen her in years, which is why running into her turns out to be one of the best surprises. Mary and Jim have both changed, and working together to capture a saboteur means they see each other frequently. With men fighting a war that shadows their horizon, Jim and Mary’s blossoming friendship might is soon tested…  

Despite a slow beginning (I wasn’t pulled into this as quickly as anticipated, strange since it wastes no time in putting the characters together and the like), this novel was absolutely charming. It takes quite a step away from Sarah’s earlier works, which are excellent, just surprising considering the time frame is the same. This one works more of the “cozy mystery” angle than her Nightingale trilogy. This book hangs onto being “quieter,” which is perhaps the best descriptor.

Talking about the characters, Mary is quite the detective. The contrast of her character is sweet; she lives one way (meek, doing good) without attracting attention, but she does live vicariously through her Nancy Drew fixation. A story thread that is too cute! I really liked her fascination with solving puzzles, and in fact from all I hear about her, Mary’s character even reminded me of my grandmother. Not in her mystery hunting, but in all she does behind the scenes. All she wants is to honor Christ, and if that shines a spotlight on Him, that’s all the reward she wishes. Not to disregard Jim, he too is a noble, wonderful man. The shift in his reaction to Mary was wonderfully explored and it was nice to get his perspective in the alternating POV’s the prose sets up.

Much as I liked the mystery angle, I think the concept tripped over the multitude of characters that popped into the prose as suspects. While reading, I found myself trying to keep track of who’s-who and who was or wasn’t considered a legit suspect as the names continued to pile up. But that’s beside the point and certainly shouldn’t hinder what is a delightful read. Comparisons by readers describe this as a Nancy Drew mystery quite a lot, only this time, it’s set on the eve of WWII, and this is certainly true. From its brilliant historical facts that weave into the story to the charming romantic potential between two characters we come to adore, this isn’t a novel to be missed by historical fiction aficionados.

Bold and equal turns soft this is an emotional, good time kind of read, plus there are lots of period cues avid historians are sure to appreciate, not to mention I loved everything about the characters. Pick up Through Waters Deep and prepare to get swept into the unstable, but somehow still charming world of history when every single moment counted. If this book reminds us of anything, it’s that message; one we should still carry with us today. Be prepared to swoon over dashing naval officers (plus some romantic gestures that make you go, aww) and enjoy the subtle bits of sass its heroine learns to embrace, all this adds up to one thing. Through Waters Deep should be your next “must read.”

Synopsis: It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them. – Goodreads

Coming Next from Sarah Sundin, Anchor in the Storm: For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg, even if Arch is her brother’s best friend. During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the US East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the prescriptions Lillian has received for unusually large quantities of sedatives? As Lillian and Arch work together to uncover a black market drug ring, Arch tries to earn Lillian’s trust and her affection. But can they overcome the dangers that face them from torpedoes, drug lords—and opened hearts? – Goodreads, 2016

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reading it in exchange for an honest review.

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