Friday, May 27, 2016

Anchor in the Storm | Book Review

Lillian's prosthetic leg immediately drew me into this book. I just haven't read about many heroines that had an appalling "disability" and yet, you love the character, don't pity her. I could identify with Lillian in many ways--her "cold-heartedness" (or "wooden heart"), her bluntness, her blunders. She felt very real.

Arch was also to be admired. And yes, what I admired most was that he was real. He had a very real, very strong struggle to grow through in his naval career, and he didn't tackle this struggle on his own--he continually prayed for God's help.

I've read more non-fiction than fictional WWII books, so this was a new type of book for me. I didn't think that the war was glorified in it--being that Arch was in the middle of a ship with men struggling with their nerves and Lillian worked at a store that saw the social war affects first-hand. It was very interesting and brought the era to life.

Being the second book in the Waves of Freedom series, I wasn't sure how Anchor in the Storm would read as a stand-alone. No worries. It read amazingly. I assume that the first book was about Jim and Mary; this second book is about Jim's sister, Lillian. There were some references to Jim and Mary's back-story, but it only embellished this story, it didn't make it feel like a gap was missing somewhere.

The spiritual theme of this book was that Christ is the anchor for our soul. Both Lillian and Arch clung to that. I really, really appreciated that, at times when one would be wishing for physical comfort from their love, they brought it back to, "No, Christ is my sure anchor." In some ways, it could be that this message was the only spiritual message in the book, but it was definitely very present--not rushed over.

The mystery in this book kind of surprised me (this is Sundin's first book that I've read, so she may usually have mysteries, I don't know). It was complex, interesting, and true-to-life. Another plus, in my opinion.

There were a couple things I didn't care for. One, being that when Lillian was taken advantage of by a former boyfriend (back-story), she didn't tell her family or parents. Younger readers probably wouldn't want to read this because of that situation, plus there was considerable romance throughout the book and some violence (murders mentioned, ships bombarded, things like that).

*I received this book in exchange of my honest review, from LitFuse Publicity* 

One Plucky Female Pharmacist + One High-Society Naval Officer = Romance--and Danger
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.

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Anchor in the Storm Sarah Sundin


Sarah Sundin said...

Thank you for the wonderful review, Amanda! I'm glad you enjoyed Arch & Lillian's story. And I agree - my books are intended for older teens and adults.

baroquemk said...

I have read Sarah Sundin's book "With Every Letter" and enjoyed it immensely---except for the excessive romance. Maybe I am sensitive but I just don't think all that mushy stuff is necessary. And I don't believe in physical contact before marriage. Besides that, I learned a lot from the book and loved the characters. Mellie's personality and difficulties are so similar to mine!! I loved how she grew through the book. And how her story and Tom's story wove together. ---Libby

Amanda T. said...

@ Sarah Sundin - thank you so much for stopping by! I'm very honored!

@ Libby - well, I'm kind of there with you there with the romance sensitivity. I'll read books and just skim over those parts because it's just too much! Part of the reason why I don't see myself adding it to my stories. But, I do appreciate books that may have too much romance for me YET they still have a great message and other substance.

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