Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Story Time . . . A DISTANT MELODY by Sarah Sundin
Giveaway - To Darkness Fled, a young adult fantasy by Jill Williamson.
I've been hearing a lot about A Distant Melody from my writing/reviewing friends, and they've all said the same thing: this isn't a book you should read too much about before you crack it open. Just read it--you'll love it. Given that when I picked up the book and read the back I thought, "Well this sounds okay . . ." I decided they must be on to something. And within the first chapter I knew why they were all saying it. This is a story made magical by the writing and tone, something a back cover blurb just can't adequately portray.
Allie Miller has always been a disappointment to her mother, has always been spoiled by her father. But as she was away at college it didn't strike her as it does now. Now, every evening is spent in the same way--her soon-to-be-fiance eats dinner with them, and they all sit on the porch. She can't help but feel that something is missing in this chord, something that would make her life's melody sweet. She can't imagine what note she needs, until a week spent with a college friend who's getting married introduces her to harmony that can fill one's soul when in the company of people who actually understand you--and like you anyway.
Walt Novak is a pilot who can't wait to get his orders and head over to show Hitler who's boss. Flying is one thing he can do without getting tongue tied or feeling the sting of his father's disapproval. Plus, there are no eligible women up in the air to make him trip over himself. His bad luck with unattached females is legendary--until he meets Allie. Allie . . . wow. Allie's everything. Unfortunately, she isn't as unattached as he at first assumes. So why can't he shake the desire to make her his girl?
As war ravages the world, these two less-than-perfect characters have fights on their hands that have nothing to do with the Axis. Allie must figure out where to draw the line between obedience and sacrifice. Walt must learn what damage lies and temper can cause. Together, though an ocean apart, they discover what can be when the Lord is let to work in the hearts that are His.
A Distant Melody is a beautiful story, but more, it's told in such a beautiful way that it will become a song in your mind as you're reading it. Each character is part of the greater movement, each scene a composition that builds toward the crescendo. And like any great composer, Sundin will have you wincing at every dissonance . . . because that makes the resolving chords so much sweeter.
Though this is her debut novel, Sarah Sundin has proven herself a master. It takes skill and vision to make a romance heart-thudding when the characters are so far from each other through most of the story, but she not only pulls it off, she makes it sing. This book gets my highest recommendation. It's perfect for lovers of romance, lovers of history (especially the WWII era), and lovers of good stories in general. I can't wait for the sequel!
Quick note--Sarah will be my feature author this Friday with an interview and giveaway, so don't forget to stop back over!!
(Oh yeah--and I got this book free from the publisher for review purposes.)