Author: Sarah Sundin
Genre: Historical Romance
Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.
Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.
Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can't stay buried forever.
Bestselling author Sarah Sundin returns readers to the shores of Normandy, this time in the air, as the second Paxton brother prepares to face the past--and the most fearsome battle of his life.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Once again, God was winning the wrestling match, and Adler silently thanked him. For most of his life, he thought he'd deserved all of it. God had waited to give it to him until Adler knew he deserved none of it."
What an incredibly gripping story about true forgiveness and reconciliation, set against the backdrop of air fights during WWII! Sarah Sundin delivers another winning combination of well-written prose and dialogue, meticulous research, beautifully crafted plot, unforgettable characters, and real and applicable spiritual truths and lessons. If you enjoy engaging historical romance, you will love this book. It's a must-read. Though it's the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone, and the ugly backstory behind the Paxton brothers' falling-out is detailed from Adler's eyes in this book.
Adler is a hot-headed second brother in the Paxton family who has racked up a lot of mistakes in his sordid past. He runs from home and joins up with the Air Force as a fighter pilot but can't seem to outrun his past. Though torn and bruised, Adler is still honorable, thoughtful, tender, and an administrator of mercy and justice. His encounter with Nick, another officer in his squadron, changes his life (absolutely LOVED Nick!) and has Adler seeking a different way of life and perspective. Violet is a part of the Red Cross stationed at the air base but really wants to be a missionary. She has a big heart, is tender and loving and hopeful. Even though her faith is strong, Violet struggles where God has planted her and doesn't see God's plan for her until much later in the story. Both Adler and Violet's maturation is profound and inspiring.
I can't wait to read the last book in the series The Land Beneath Us!
I received a copy of the book from Revell (Baker Publishing Group) via Interviews and Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Reviewer: Caroline Star
First off, can I say how pretty this cover is? It immediately drew me in when I saw it for the first time (and I inwardly swooned), and it made me want to devour the book immediately. So pretty. I have to say, that's not how I imagine the main character at all though. Anyway, I really enjoyed the story itself, though I honestly didn't really love that the romance was so focused upon in the story. It definitely bothered me that the romance was the main focus and that the plot itself kind of wasn't really a plot. I absolutely love how Christ was really a focus in the story though- I adore how Violet and Nick were constantly bringing out tidbits of Scripture that really encouraged those around them. I love seeing that in books and certainly appreciated seeing it in The Sky Above Us.
The characters were very well-written. I loved seeing all the backstory of Adler's family, and it absolutely tore at my heart to see them reconnect, heal, and forgive, all while being very realistically done. However, I really would've liked to see some more information and backstory about Violet's and Nick's families. I felt like they kind of sprang up out of nowhere (which didn't bother me while reading the story, but it would've been helpful to see where they came from and such).
Overall, I didn't exactly feel as if this book goes right up my alley. I will mention that I haven't read The Sea Before Us and I'm not really a historical fiction fan, so if you are a historical fiction fan I would recommend it, but if you aren't... probably not. I do love Sarah Sundin's writing style, though- it's so beautiful and fluid and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of her books.
Book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing.
Reviewer: Olivia R.
If you've read a Sarah Sundin book before you probably know what to expect, but yet she still surprises and brings out amazing truths and fascinating tid-bits of wartime and serving the Lord through difficult choices.
I knew I would be hooked with the storyline as I'm serving the Lord in another country, so it was interesting to see how Violet grasped what the Lord's plan for her was throughout the book. I loved that she and Alder truly sought the Lord's will. It didn't mean there weren't hiccups along the way, but even after a wrong choice or action, they were able to look back and realize they hadn't made the right choice.
The scenes in England and the air force raids and the bond of pilots and Red Cross workers really warmed my heart. I could picture everything and I loved learning a few details I hadn't known about the Air Force or the Red Cross.
I noticed that for a short time in the middle of this book the storyline fell a bit short for me. I know some of it was the romance and kisses. If there was one kiss in a scene, it was followed by many all over the woman's face, which at times was a bit too much for me. Saying all that, I did like the progress of the relationship and there was meaningfulness to the relationship which is getting harder to find in Christian fiction these days.
But I truly enjoyed this book and although I would rate it with the all-time-favorites, I still highly recommend it and know I will be continuing to pick up her books because she sure knows how to write amazing war stories with relatable characters!
Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
If you are a lover of Historical Fiction that reads like a movie, you will love Sarah Sundin's latest book The Sky Above Us, the second book in the Sunrise at Normandy series.
I love the detail Sarah puts into her books. The research she has given to this series shines through. And her excellent eye for detail does make it seem like you are watching a movie.
It was great to catch up on Adler Paxton and to see where his actions (see book one The Sea Before Us) took him. For those who haven't started this series yet, it is about three brothers, Wyatt, Adler and Clay and how their lives changed in an instant because of one horrific action. I won't give away details, but if you have ever done something so horrible that you think God would never forgive you, this book (this series) might help you to see how detrimental that type of thinking can be.
There are quite a few teaching moments in this book (but not in a preachy way). For the character of Violet Lindstrom, the author addresses the issue of why and how we serve God. For Violet that meant becoming a missionary. But as the story progresses, she begins to question why she chose the missionary field and her motives for serving shock her. For those trying to decide their future, this book may give you the shove you need.
I love authors like Sarah, who do not shrink from sharing what it means to believe in God and to serve Him. Yes, you can be convicted from Christian fiction!
With one brother to go (Clay), I look forward to reading the next book in this series which I highly recommend.
Book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing.