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Number of Pages: 432
Publication Date: 2011
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Wings of Glory
The novel centers on the developing love between Helen Carlisle, a war widow left to rear a child alone, and Raymond Novak, a lieutenant in the Air Force, who would prefer the title of pastor over pilot. Helen faces the dilemma of breaking free from living in the shadow of her husbands death. Raymond struggles with proving his self-worth not only to others, but to himself as well. A wrench is thrown into their romance when Raymond volunteers to go to the war front, setting aside his pacifistic ideals in order to prove that he is not a coward. Meanwhile, Helen is faced with accepting that her husband's abuse and death were not her fault. Ironically, the story's focus is not on the two falling in love. Rather, it shows both perspectives of the characters' struggles to find the courage within themselves to stand as individuals before standing as a couple.
Physical abuse and its resulting emotional damage are dealt with throughout this novel. The intense scenes and descriptions of the abuse are necessary to understand Helen's reluctance to seek love again, yet these scenes are perhaps too mature for a younger readership.
The story has one flaw, and this problem is two-fold. First, by having the central protagonists of the book as indecisive characters, Sundin runs the risk of confusing the reader. Without a solid path of a focused protagonist, readers are in danger of getting lost in a forest of words. Second, in presenting two characters with extensive flaws, Sundin hits the problem of producing two heroes unlikable to a reading audience.
Nevertheless, Sarah Sundin creates an emotional telling of love in an imperfect settinga story to which many readers will be able to relate. Her novel finishes with a hopeful note that is similar to God's command in Isaiah, "Do not fear, for I am with you." I would recommend this novel to readers looking for a tale of overcoming fear, embracing adventure, and finding and fighting for love. Lucinda Sweazey, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com