Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Distant Melody - Book Review

Title: A Distant Melody
Author: Sarah Sundin
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3421-3
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Distant Melody is Sarah Sundin’s debut novel. A historical romance novel set in World War II. Get ready all you readers – it is only going to get better. Sarah Sundin is truly gifted. I can hardly wait to read books two and three in her Wings of Glory series..

Sarah’s main characters, Allie Miller, ball bearing heiress and Lt. Walter Novak, ace B-17 pilot meet by chance at a friend’s wedding in northern California. Right away the romance angle is set. What is more romantic than a wedding? However, no good romance ever blossoms flawlessly and Allie and Walt’s relationship is no exception to the rule.

Walt Novak comes from a middle class background and Allie Miller from high society. Also to add to romantic tension and suspense, Allie neglects to mention her fiancé Baxter who is waiting back in southern California. She rationalizes she will never see Walt again because he is shipping out to Europe to fly B-17 bombers in England. In wartime, emotions are unpredictable and no one knows when they will see their friends and loved ones again so sometimes minor details like who has a fiancé get left out. Sarah’s attention to detail is remarkable. Her description of B-17 bomber’s and pilots flow effortlessly so that even a novice history buff like me, can easily picture World War II action and danger on every page of Lt. Novak’s flying missions.

Each chapter of Distant Melody holds several page-turning tension moments. On one page Allie and Walt would be dancing cheek to cheek and you knew the kiss was coming but when the page turned, Allie’s conscience would pop up and another aspect of their relationship would open. When Walt’s plane almost crashes because his crewmen loaded about a ton of booze in the back thinking they could make money by selling it to the Brits, was a humorous moment but also seriously dangerous for the success of the mission.

Sarah gives an accurate and eye opening account of what life was like in America during the 1940’s. So many things we take for granted today were not available to people. American’s bonded together to help make the war effort successful and to help give all military the supplies and tools they needed to win the war.

A Distant Melody has it all: intrigue, lying, tension, love, romance, humor and sorrow. In other words; life. Life in 1940’s wartime era was precious and tentative and Sarah’s characters capture the essence of that time reminding us of the sacrifices that were made. Airmen were not allowed to carry personal effects when flying so if shot down, the enemy would not have any information about them. Walt carried his dog tags and a Scripture verse from Psalm 18 on a slip of paper.

When you read A Distant Melody, you will discover one of the first emotions between Allie and Walt is respect and friendship and from there romance is born. An important example we can all learn from. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to enjoy a love story laced with honesty, trust, faith and uprightness. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Wings of Glory series, A Memory Between Us, and meet Walt’s brother Jack Novak.


Prayer is life's greatest time saver.
(Dr. Charles F. Stanley)