Monday, May 30, 2016

My Review: Anchor in the Storm

This seemed a rather fitting book to share today, it being Memorial Day and all.  My undying gratitude to everyone who has fought to protect this country - I can't even express . . . especially after reading a book like this and learning more about WWII and the many men who didn't come home.  I can never say "thank you" enough.  But I am so incredibly grateful to every man and woman who has risked their life to protect the freedoms I so often take for granted.  Thank you!

For plucky Lillian Avery, America's entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg's attentions only annoy--even if he 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 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 large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?


About the Author:
Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force. Sarah lives in California. Visit for more information.

My Review: 4.5 stars
Anchor in the Storm is the second book in Sarah Sundin’s, Waves of Freedom series. It picks up shortly after the first book left off and follows Archer Vandenberg, Jim Avery’s best friend. I was very excited for this book, since I really loved Arch and can happily say that it did not disappoint in the least.

Ms. Sundin has made a name for herself in the historical genre, with the focus on WWII and the upheaval of the times. She always does a fantastic job of capturing this era and the sense of the time. This particular series is set at the beginning of the War, when America was just joining in and it was a very uncertain time for the nation. I’ve long had a fascination with history, specifically WWII, so Sarah’s books always captivate me and this one is certainly no different. She’s also begun including mysteries in her books with this series, something I immensely enjoy! This one kept me guessing for a while, though I did figure a bit of it out before the characters did, it was still fun to contemplate “whodunit” while appreciating the rest of the story.

Lillian Avery is a very unique character. She’s strong, bold, very blunt, and isn’t that sweet or soft. She has a thick barrier between herself and the world’s opinion of her and it keeps her from connecting with others. She’s also an amputee, something that isn’t mentioned much in fiction. It starts out as a touchy topic for her, but after a while she’s able to joke about it and it no longer holds her back from her dreams. I loved her resilience and determination to the right thing, no matter the cost. She has her struggles and her doubts and fears, but they don’t keep her from fighting for others.

I really enjoyed getting to know Archer Vandenberg much better in this book. I vaguely recall him being something of a rogue in the first book and he’s still a flirt here. Much of his story is heavier. He struggles with PTSD, before they were able to put a label on it. They called it nerves and told soldiers to “buck up,” or else they were discharged. I loved how real Arch is, as he worked to do his job and care for his crew, all the while struggling with something he couldn’t control. He never comes across as weak or less than because of his issues, but rather they seem to make him a better man. Both he and Lillian learn to trust God and that He truly is their only anchor in the storms of life. I loved the message that is illustrated through Arch’s character.

My only negative comment is that I thought the tension between Lillian and Arch, the issue that causes them to split for a time, seemed a bit ridiculous. I really enjoyed their relationship: how Arch teaches Lillian to see herself in a different light, how Lillian allows Arch to be “weak” and never faults him for his “nerves.” But that part of it seemed a bit overblown. I know the author was trying to stretch it out a bit further to allow time for the final climax of the mystery and the suspense, but I wish she’d handled it a bit differently. This is mostly just a nitpick of mine, though truth be told, it really didn’t detract from the story much at all.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next one! I can’t wait to find out whose story is next!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my review!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Now, get off the Internet and go hug a friend or relative! ;)  And thank a veteran!

Have a delightful day!


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1 comment:

  1. I have heard great things about this book and I really do want to read it soon. Thanks for the review!