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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sarah Sundin: Through Waters Deep

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

My Review: 

Being a huge fan of Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory and Wings of the Nightingale series, I couldn’t wait to jump right into the first book of her new series, Waves of Freedom. Sundin does not disappoint. I enjoy the historical research and setting with characters that I fell in love with. Through Waters Deep is another hit out of the park for Sundin.

Writing a historical novel is a lot of work. But Sundin does a great job at inviting me into 1941 that I feel like I’m on a Navy ship, manning the guns with the salty air teasing my nostrils even though I have never been on a ship in my entire life. I like how Sundin really gets down and dirty with the tension surrounding the United States before we entered World War II. Even though the story does develop during the tension before the Second World War, it really does not have any questionable content. Personally, I really never learned about all the conflict before. It was nice to learn something while taking this journey with Mary and Jim.

Speaking of Mary and Jim, I really liked getting to know Mary Stirling, the shy Boston Navy Yard Secretary who enjoys being invisible. Mary and Jim Avery, the Naval Officer, grew up together in Vermilion, Ohio, but Jim was fascinated with Quintessa, Mary’s friend instead of her. The tension between Mary and Jim stems from them not communicating with each other about their true feelings. Overall, I really enjoyed how Sundin allow the characters to have a second chance at a relationship and dilemma’s from their pasts, which affected their present situation. Sundin uses the book of Nehemiah to strengthen Jim and the other Navy soldiers. None of the spiritual content was overwhelming; it reinforced the characters’ decisions.

Through Waters Deep was Sundin’s first attempt at including a mystery in her historical romance. As an avid fan of mysteries, I believe Sundin did a good job. I followed the clues just like Mary did with her shorthand notes and tried to figure out who the saboteur was before Mary figured it out. I enjoy the mystery element and hope Sundin does another one.

I love how each of Sundin’s story begins during peace time where the couple gets to know each other and start falling in love. This allows me to get to know and understand each individual character at the same time. After they fully are enraptured with each other, Sundin sends him/her or both off to fight in the war where the battle for their love is mirrored by the fighting surrounding them. Sundin also draws me into the struggles, thoughts, and emotions of each character that by the time the book is finished, I feel like I’m losing contact with a couple of close friends. Makes me want to read the book again, which I will definitely do.

Through Waters Deep is an original and unpredictable story that will please fans of Kate Breslin, Liz Tolsma, Cara Putnam, Cathy Gohlke, and Melanie Dobson. I truly lost track of time as I embraced the romantic issues between Mary and Jim that mirrored the conflict in the Atlantic Ocean months before the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

Always thrilling, Sarah Sundin’s Through Waters Deep is a deeply moving story filled with a heart pounding mystery, memorable characters, and research so real it invited me to experience life in 1941.

I received an ARC copy of Sarah Sundin's Through Waters Deep from Revell Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

Sarah Sundin
From Amazon
Sarah Sundin's Writing Bio:  

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of the upcoming Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, August 2015), the Wings of the Nightingale series (With Every Letter, 2012, On Distant Shores, August 2013, and In Perfect Time, 2014), and the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow). 

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Where to connect with Sarah Sundin:

Where to purchase Through Waters Deep:
Your Local Favorite Bookstore

What is your favorite aspect of Sarah Sundin's writing? Is it the romance? Characters? World War II history? 


  1. Thank you for the lovely review, Kelly! I'm glad you enjoyed Jim & Mary's story!

    1. Of course, Sarah! It is my pleasure to read your books. They are comforting and delightful. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my review!