Anchor in the Storm

Anchor in the StormAnchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin
Series: Waves of Freedom
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Revell on May, 3 2016
Pages: 400
Also in this series: Through Waters Deep
Also by this author: On Distant Shores, Through Waters Deep

 

About Anchor in the Storm (from the back cover):
In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love?

Nothing slows Lillian Avery down–not her personal challenges and certainly not America’s entry into World War II. She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The demands 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 Lillian has been filling?

As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin has become one of my favorite Christian authors over the past few years. I like how her series books can be read separately but also tie together, and her attention to the historical details is amazing.

This latest offering in the Waves of Freedom series was another excellent example of what I like about Ms. Sundin’s books.

Getting an up-close look at 1940s pharmacies through Lillian’s profession was fascinating. The historical details are top-notch, especially the descriptions of the town of Boston and the accounts of the sailors on the Navy ships.

After getting to know Arch in the first novel in the series, I was so excited that he was going to be one of the main characters in Anchor in the Storm. I also liked the character of Lillian, and I really liked the two of them together. Getting an up-close look at 1940s pharmacies through Lillian’s profession was fascinating. The historical details are top-notch, especially the descriptions of the town of Boston and the accounts of the sailors on the Navy ships. I had no idea that the German U-boats were able to get that close to the United States during World War II.

The spiritual aspect in Anchor in the Storm was very seamless in its presentation which is something that I really appreciate in a Christian novel.

The spiritual aspect in Anchor in the Storm was very seamless in its presentation which is something that I really appreciate in a Christian novel. I think it could have gone just a bit deeper, but it was still portrayed very well. One of the best parts of the book was the reference to the hymn My Hope Is Built/The Solid Rock. It’s always been one of my favorites, and I enjoyed how it tied in with the themes in this novel.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

 In this novel, Arch and Lillian both have internal struggles to deal with that bring them together but then also keep them apart. A romantic plot device that was used in this book was the closest Ms Sundin has ever come to the Big Misunderstanding which was fairly disappointing. I would have liked something else to be the mechanism for keeping them apart for a time as opposed to what was presented. But at that point in the novel, the suspense portion took over and kept the book interesting.

Anchor in the Storm truly ended up being a page-turner, and one that I stayed up way too late to finish.

Speaking of the suspense plot of the book – it was so good! Once the mystery portion of the novel got going, I was intrigued, and it kept me interested throughout. I had my suspicions of who was behind everything (and I was right), but that didn’t detract from the mystery plot at all. Anchor in the Storm truly ended up being a page-turner, and one that I stayed up way too late to finish.

–Sara


Sarah Sundin has quickly risen to the top of my favorite author’s list, and Anchor in the Storm is her best book yet.  Sundin’s affinity for WWII history, along with her masterful storytelling, make for an outstanding novel.  She weaves the plots and subplots with style and intrigue.

Sarah Sundin has quickly risen to the top of my favorite author’s list, and Anchor in the Storm is her best book yet.

The highlight of the book is the characters.  Lillian’s emotions, stuffed down and hidden for so long, emerge like a butterfly from the cocoon.  Although I am close to the exact opposite of Lillian, I knew what she was thinking and how she would react to situations as they happened due to the author’s fine writing.  Arch, too, matured and grew immensely throughout the book, and watching him unfold was a delight.

Lillian’s emotions, stuffed down and hidden for so long, emerge like a butterfly from the cocoon.

The main storyline involves sailors struggling to deal with their combat-frayed nerves as they continue to serve their country.  While set against the backdrop of WWII, we know that PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a very real thing among those who have witnessed the atrocities of any war.  I appreciated the sensitive manner with which this issue was dealt.  It brings to light a struggle that many have dealt with and overcome in order to secure our nation.  Gratitude should be our only response, never disdain or indifference.  I applaud Ms. Sundin’s handling of this matter.

I appreciate the subject of Lillian’s disability and her hard work to overcome the stigma attached to it.

Lastly, I appreciate the subject of Lillian’s disability and her hard work to overcome the stigma attached to it.  Having a special needs daughter, I am likely more sensitive to this topic than most.  But again, the matter was handled beautifully, with respect and humor.  And truly, aren’t all of life’s difficulties are more easily handled with a healthy dose of humor.

I believe that most people will enjoy this book.  If you’ve never read anything by this author, you will want to give Anchor in the Storm a try.  And if you have read any of her earlier books, you will be happy to return to Sarah Sundin and her fantastic writing.

–Stephanie

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