Sunday, February 9, 2020

THE LAND BENEATH US by Sarah Sundin, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise and Winnie Thomas

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin is the third book of the series Sunrise at Normandy.

Ms. Sundin has given us another gripping glimpse into a pivotal time in WWII history.

A horrific personal incident and war have torn three brothers from their home in Kerville, Texas. Can forgiveness and God’s love bring them back together? This story is primarily about Clay, the youngest of three Paxton brothers and his journey to D-Day in Normandy but also about reconciliation from an event that ripped their family apart. Clay has been brought up in a wonderful Christian family so he likens his situation to that of the patriarch Joseph in the pit before his brothers sold him.
My favorite character is Leah Jones who works in the library at Camp Forrest, Tennessee where Clay is stationed. She is an orphan with a very tender heart for the downtrodden because of her background. She loves books because they were her only friends growing up. “Words make delightful playthings. They cost nothing, they never wear out, and no one can take them away from you.” Her goal is to find information about her younger twin sisters who were adopted separately from her and discover her true identity which was hidden from her.

Clay meets Leah at the library at Camp Forrest where he is in Ranger school preparing to join the war in Europe. After an attack, he saves Leah’s life and offers a marriage of convenience. Though separated, they get to know each other through letters.

Can war possibly bring healing to the brothers? Has Clay truly forgiven his brothers?

Ms. Sundin has a firm grasp on how to convey faith and human nature and pours this knowledge into her characters, making them come alive. Her extensive research shines in the scenes about training and the invasion of Normandy, as well as the everyday hardships of the folks left behind at home. Faith in God is portrayed as the backbone of the Paxton family and forgiveness is seen as a struggle but so worth the outcome.

The underlying theme of the series is The Prodigal Son. An excellent wrap up to a remarkable series. It is no wonder that it is one of my very favorites.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

As soon as I saw the striking cover of this book with Sarah Sundin’s name on it, I knew I needed to read it. The Land Beneath Us is the last book in her Sunrise at Normandy series, and it’s a compelling and beautifully crafted story that is full of rich historical detail. The settings are vividly painted and easily visualized, and it was fascinating to learn more about the invasion of Normandy during WWII. Sundin’s impeccable research and knowledge about this era are readily apparent.

The characters are realistic, colorful, and flawed but engaging, and I enjoyed seeing them come to life on the page. Leah Jones and Clay Paxton are fantastic main characters with poignant backgrounds. I loved seeing their relationship develop and grow through unthinkable trials.

Uplifting messages of forgiveness, courage, faith, and joy despite trials are seamlessly woven into the story, along with the importance of family relationships. Although this book is part of a series, it can also be read as a standalone story. I recommend this book to those who enjoy inspirational historical fiction. I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading more from this excellent author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers' betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for--fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family--the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah's life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay's recurring dream comes true?
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  1. Nice reviews, Ladies. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. The rest of the series was fantastic. From reading your reviews, this final novel in the series sounds like it's will be just as good.

  2. This book sounds intriguing and like a very good page turner! I love the cove, it is Beautiful! I would love to read this book so I will be adding it to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing your Awesome reviews. Have a Great week. God Bless you.

  3. Thanks Cindi and Alicia! I agree. I'm so happy for Sarah's successes. She's such an awesome writer and her dedication to this era and those amazing people who lived through it is incredible.


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