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Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin
Lillian Avery is a pharmacist in Boston during the World War II era. Ensign Archer Vandenberg is best friends with Lilian's brother? She is annoyed with him when he starts paying attention to her. After he returns from his battles at sea to find his men struggling, the two begin to work together to see if there is a link between the Navy men who struggle with nerves and drowsiness and the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? Will this new connection show Lillian she cares more for Ensign than she thinks?
Number of Pages: 368
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
Series: Waves of Freedom
For plucky Lillian Avery, America's entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges 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 for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?
Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won't soon forget.
Yvette K.4 Stars Out Of 5Fantastic WWII FictionNovember 15, 2017Yvette K.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was everything I didn't know I wanted in a World War II story, including main characters who have been hurt in the past and fear that they will never find someone to love them for who they are.
Lillian Avery also fears that she is hard-hearted, but knows that she is strong and will continue to overcome obstacles, including her employer's reticence to hire a "girl pharmacist" even before he was aware that she is crippled. Archer (Arch) Vandenberg harbors regrets and longs for someone to see the man and not the family money. As an ensign in the Navy, he is also fighting to hide the affects of surviving the sinking of his ship.
Halfway through, I suddenly thought "this story just makes me happy." Not only was the romantic story arc pleasing, combining a charming man and a wholesome girl from a large Ohio family, but following Arch onto his ship and Lillian into the drugstore and joining them on their attempts to uncover a drug ring that linked their workplaces was both interesting and entertaining.
Strong themes of faith, perseverance, and acceptance shone through this story as Arch and Lillian each separately long for a stronger faith, but fear that they are not capable.
Secondary characters were well drawn and all added to the story by their presence, particularly the character of a seaman, Warren Polansky, who (along with Arch's society girl ex, the shallow and scheming Bitsy) could have been pulled straight from a 1940's movie, where he would have provided comic relief and contributed to the dramatic storyline. And it is the secondary characters that now have me wanting to read the other books in the author's Waves of Freedom trilogy, as they each feature one of Lillian's brothers and one of her roommates in the lead roles.
A recommended read. I loved this combination of history, conflicts, faith, romance, and overcoming obstacles. I also loved how this struck just the right note in evoking both the period as it was and as it has been popularly portrayed.
This review refers to a print copy borrowed from my local library. I also voluntarily received an e-galley for review purposes through NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Inkwell Reviews4 Stars Out Of 5WWII Fiction at it's bestJanuary 1, 2017Inkwell ReviewsQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Review from inkwellreviews.com
After reading Through Waters Deep, I couldnt wait until the next one came out. When I found out that it was going to be about Lilian, Jims little sister, who was in an accident years ago and now has a wooden leg, I was really anticipating it. Ive never read a book with the main character with a disability. I was super excited. I know this sounds wired, but Im so tired of the main female character being labeled perfect in societies eyes. Because Lillian doesnt have a leg and the problems and mean comments that go with it, she was insecure and had trouble trusting other people. This made her character very relatable. The relationship between her and Arch was also realistic. It wasnt all rainbows and sunshine between them and that is rarely the case. I love how Sarah Sundin puts history and mystery together. Notice I didnt say suspense. This wasnt a heart-pounding, action-packed book, rather a somethings-fishy, lets go investigate kind of book. Not that it doesnt have its moments, but it has more elements than just those.
This book takes you into a time machine and drops you right into the 1940s. It has everything; history, sweet romance, mystery and so much more. Anchor in the Storm will have you laughing, crying and hoping that the story will never end.
ReginaF5 Stars Out Of 5A great story!September 26, 2016ReginaFQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A great story set during WW2! Follow Lillian and Arch as they unravel a mystery. And as they slowly fall in lovely. This book has so much excitement, you'll be turning the pages well into the night!!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion of this book is my own and doesn't reflect on my review.
Claudia5 Stars Out Of 5Another great Sarah Sundin novelSeptember 7, 2016ClaudiaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Sarah Sundin has done it again! Anchor In the Storm is a wonderful read! This historical fiction novel is set in World War II. Lillian Avery is an intelligent, beautiful young woman who happens to be a licensed pharmacist that wears a prosthetic leg. She lands a job as a pharmacist in Boston. Lillian faces the challenges of life with full force. Ensign Archer Vandenberg seems to be one of the challenges she must face, since he is so often around. He is handsome, but Lillian knows better.
Arch enjoys Lillians company, but has no desire to get serious, after all, girls are just after his money. Arch does notice that his men on board ship struggle with their nerves and with drowsiness. Lillian has been filling some unusually large prescriptions. Could their be a connection? Should they join forces and investigate?
Sundin creates genuine characters that get into interesting situations. I have enjoyed every one of her novels. Each time I think I have found a favorite, she comes out with a new one. Anchor In the Storm is Sarah Sundins best story yet.
I am a great fan of the library, but Sarah Sundin is an author whose books I purchase as soon as they are released because I know they will be good.
Fitzysmom4 Stars Out Of 5Review from Rambles of a SAHMAugust 29, 2016FitzysmomQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I was so excited to get my hands on Anchor in the Storm. I enjoyed Through Waters Deep which is book one in the Waves of Freedom series. In that first book we met the Avery family and the story focused on Jim Avery and Mary Stirling. This second book continues with a bit more of their story but the main characters are Jim's younger sister Lillian and his friend and fellow Navy man Archer Vandenberg.
Lillian was involved in an accident several years ago that caused the loss of one of her legs. She's a bit defensive about her impairment but she seldom lets it stop her. She has gone on to college and become a pharmacist. She's determined to make it in her chosen field even though the odds are stacked against her. Providence provides her with just the right opportunity and she steps out on faith and takes the job.
Archer is from a very privileged background but is determined to make it as a Navy officer. He wants it to be a career but his family wishes otherwise. Through the eyes of Archer and his fellow seamen we get to see just how grueling life can be aboard a ship during combat. Archer struggles with combat fatigue as does his shipmates. Unfortunately several of the men have turned to narcotics to feel better. Once Archer realizes what is going on he's under even more pressure to find the source of the drugs and put a stop to it.
Archer and Lillian are attracted to each other but as things heat up at their respective jobs they find themselves at odds. I enjoyed their story even more than that of Jim and Mary. Sarah Sundin's stories always seem to have an added element of suspense but this one was especially intense. I'm once again thrilled with the story of a strong female that doesn't diminish the role of the man in order to advance the woman.
My book club has enjoyed several of Sarah's books in the past and I am quite sure that we will add this novel to our reading list. If you are part of a book club and are interested in having some discussion questions to start the conversation I'm happy to say that she has included a set of thought provoking questions in the back.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.