Anchor in the Storm
About This Book
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?
I love books that I can read over and over again and never tire of. Stories that pull me in from the very first page and refuse to let go. Characters who are so well crafted, I feel like I’ve just met new best friends. And danger so spine-tingling, I’m on the edge of my seat every single time, even when I know how it ends. Sarah Sundin’s latest release, Anchor in the Storm, is all this and then some.
Funny story: when I read the first book in this series, Through Waters Deep, and discovered that the sequel would be about Lillian Avery and Arch Vandenberg, two of that book’s minor characters, I was heartbroken. Why? Because the premise of Anchor in the Storm was shockingly similar to an idea I was working on myself. Sarah Sundin stole my idea! Okay, not really, but it was a blow, and I even wrote her and told her so. She was incredibly gracious, and we had an amusing and informative e-mail exchange about the whole thing, and…
Okay, I digress. But the reason I mention that is because, having now read Anchor in the Storm (three times, no less), I can’t imagine anyone writing this story better than Sundin does. Her historical research into World War Two is second to none, and she has a brilliant way of combining those facts with her fictional characters and events to make a very compelling story that I am always convinced must have really happened… until I read her notes at the end that assure me, no, this was imagination based on history.
But more than that, Sundin breathes life into her characters, giving them hopes, dreams, fears and flaws that make them truly lifelike. Lillian and Arch are beautifully broken people whom I could relate to on so many levels. Every time I read this book, I find myself longing to be as brave and honest and terrified as they are. Sundin also weaves strong spiritual themes into her stories, but in a way that is never preachy. Faith is part of her characters’ lives, and she lets them live it, both the good and the bad.
Having read all of Sundin’s books multiple times, one thing I particularly appreciate about her writing is how she gives her characters their independence. So many historical romances are little more than a menagerie of dewey-eyed, sap-hearted dalliances between a man and a woman who are forced together in every scene, and so the romance feels forced (some publishers even demand this). In a Sarah Sundin novel, yes, the hero and heroine will meet and fall in love, but it’s never the end-all, be-all of the story. They each have their individual goals and stories, and often have to face their dragons alone, apart from one another. It’s a realistic romance that I absolutely love, and Lillian and Arch’s story is no exception.
So am I gushing a bit here? Undoubtedly. But this book is worth it. All of Sarah Sundin’s books are worth it. And for the record, you should all be grateful she stole my idea. I know I am. 🙂
Available May 3, 2016 from Revell