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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: Blue Skies Tomorrow, by Sarah Sundin

I finished the final book in Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory series. Blue Skies Tomorrow has all the history, tension, and romance the heart could desire.

The Wings of Glory series involves the lives of three Novak brothers: Walter (A Distant Melody), Jack (A Memory between Us), and Ray (Blue Skies Tomorrow). I have to say, Sarah, you held my attention throughout. I loved the history of World War II that wove its way through the series; the distinct personalities of the brothers, their co-stars, and their antagonists; and the way you built tension from page one to nail-biting conclusions before you wrote “The End.” Wow, what a writer!

A little about this book: Ray Novak is the only son of Pastor Novak who wants to follow his father into the ministry. He is in the Army Air Force training B-17 bomber pilots to go to war, but has no desire to go with them. He doesn’t want to kill anyone, even enemy soldiers, but he’s an expert and excellent trainer. However, now there are heroes returning from the front after having served their tour of duty overseas. The Army wants to give them this cushy job, and Ray is reassigned to a supply depot close to his home town.

Which isn’t all that bad, because his buddy Jim’s widow and two-year-old boy, Jay-Jay, live in his home town. For a year, Helen has playing the part of grieving widow for her in-laws, Jay-Jay, and the war effort, spurring folks to give just a little more time or funds to the red cross, make a few more socks for the GIs, buy a few more war bonds. Ray really likes her, maybe even loves her. She feels the same way and acts like she loves him when they are alone. The trouble is, if she acknowledges her feelings for him in public, it could ruin her fa├žade of grieving war widow—and her in-laws don’t like the Novaks. They would allow her to date another man, but not a Novak.

She must get past her own deceptions, a manipulative and violent father-in-law, and the persistent suit of the son of the town’s gossip. And Ray—well he’s afraid he’s using his desire to become a pastor to get out of facing his worst fear: flying on the front lines. Faced with Helen's public denial of their affection for each other, he volunteers to face combat action.

When Helen’s house burns down, she’s forced to live with the Carlisles. Her father-in-law seems determined to show young Jay-Jay how to treat women. Ray is shot down over Germany, and his parents and Helen are given the news he is dead.

Will Helen marry the gossip’s son, Lawyer Victor Llewellyn, in order to escape the Carlisles’ house before her son becomes an abuser like his grandfather? Ray steals a German fighter jet wearing a German officer’s uniform and lands it in England, but he can’t convince his own countrymen—or even his own brothers!—that he’s not a German.

Ah, the path of love never runs smoothly, does it?
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