He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8
I fell in love with Sarah Sundin’s writing in her Sunrise at Normandy series (if you haven’t read those, enjoy a weekend of laughing and sobbing and marveling at God’s redemption story). This story was beautiful, and different, and heart-wrenching. Most WW2 books take place during the war, not before (or after). Sarah took a deep dive into what the world would’ve looked like right before the war began, and it’s an unnerving sight, because we know what happens in the next several years.
BUT. There are little stories throughout the war, real and fiction, that show the light of Jesus and His people. This story highlights the ability for people to change, to do good, to show mercy and grace. Each character in this story has a dark and ugly side, but Sarah shows the power of grace and our ability to grow.
I loved both Evelyn and Peter. Evelyn was a strong, independent woman who reminded me a lot of Margot De Wilde from Roseanna White’s The Number of Love. (Side note: both authors should write a little story of when these two women get to meet. They’d adore each other.) She had a reason to want to be alone, and to rely on herself. I loved how that belief grew and changed over the course of the story. Each step made sense.
Peter … ah, man. I loved his growth. His respect of Evelyn and determination to love her in the best way he saw fit was touching. He saw the world differently than her in the beginning, but I believe Sarah wrote it in a way that made sense (in my mind, anyways). He wasn’t an evil man; he was a hurting one that sought the only answer he could think of. But he changed, and he changed beautifully.
The plot is not at ALL what I expected, and I say that in the best way. There’s plenty of romance and flirting, but there’s shoot-outs and fires and heart-pounding action too. Those are my favorites … sweet moments between characters and then BOOOM!!! FIRE! Or whatever.
This isn’t an easy read. Like I said earlier, it’s hard to read this knowing what happened in the next several years in the world. But this book points to the Answer to all this destruction, and how we are to live our lives. Shining lights, determined, strong, but dependent on our Lord to bring us through.
Favorite Line (we’re going with a mini favorite scene today):
“See? But as soon as men catch me, they want to tame me, change me, put me in a cage. I won’t have it.”
His eyes widened, and his lips parted. “Did someone try to do that to you?”
She squirmed a bit. “Don’t look so shocked, Lang. You’d do the same.”
“No.” He shook his head slightly, his expression dazed. “I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to.”