Thursday, April 08, 2010

Book Review: "A Distant Melody" by Sarah Sundin

Allie will do anything to gain her mother's approval---even marry a man she doesn't love. Lieutenant Walter Novak is fearless in the cockpit, but hopeless with women. When Walt and Allie meet, a wartime correspondence begins that binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Let's go ahead and just declare it. I think I've found what is (so far) my favorite historical fiction book of 2010. As a history major, I know a lot of history. And while some of my colleagues turn their nose up at historical fiction, I love it. It's helped me throughout the years understand history better as real life events are carefully blended into a unique storyline. With this book, even though I'm not the biggest WWII buff out there, I was immediately drawn into the story and it held my attention through the 400 plus page tome.

Normally I despise historical romances because the story is just that: a romance in a historical setting with no reference at all to the actual time period. Not this book. It's CRAMMED with historical facts about the 1940s and WWII. I really was glad to read about how the Japanese internment is mentioned in the story. Too many WWII era books totally gloss over that entire situation and act as if it didn't happen. I also enjoyed reading about the battle scenes and even about the planes. Sundin did a lot of research which really comes through in the book. History is actually talked about and not just used as a pretty setting.

The actual plot of the book is really good as well. The characters are all interesting and it was fun to read about a relationship that grew through writing letters. Allie starts off the book as, well kind of a pushover but eventually grows up and discovers her true self. I was interested that the sexuality of her fiance is called into question as I myself had been thinking that too. Walt was a character I liked from the start and I enjoyed reading about his adventures. The background characters bring life to the story as well. I especially liked the ladies from the church Allie found herself going to. It was also heartbreaking to read about all the soldiers that lost their lives throughout the war.

Overall this book just really blends everything together very nicely. It is Christian fiction so there is talk about faith but it's not very pushy on the reader. Don't let the size of the book deter you from it. It's wonderful that thick books are still being published and this book is good from page one til the end. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Honestly this book is going to be the front runner for historical read of the year. HIGHLY recommended.

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin is published by Revell (2010)

This review copy was provided for a blog tour with LitFuse Publicity

8 comments:

  1. Your favorite historical fiction of 2010! Well! With that sort of declaration - how on earth could I possibly pass this up!?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, I can totally relate to what you're saying! I have an MA in History, but I love reading historical fiction too. This is a great review & makes me want to read this even more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! I'm overwhelmed! Thank you so much for this outstanding review. However, considering how many wonderful historicals are coming out this year, you may want to reserve judgment :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hoping to get this read & reviewed this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A Distant Melody sounds like a great read. I agree that historical fiction is more interesting when the author includes facts about the time period. Another great book that does this is "Bedlam South," written by Mark Grisham, which is a story about the Civil War. The book is very moving and keeps you involved with the characters. There's also a surprise ending to it, which makes it a very engaging read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love historical fiction books, especially if World War II is involved at all! I actually just finished reading another great historical fiction ("Her Mother’s Hope" by Francine Rivers) that I found to be intriguing. It is a story of mothers/daughters, beginning at the World War II era and carries on to four generations. SO GREAT! I am craving more books of this genre and know that I will love "A Distant Melody." I am so glad I stumbled across your site!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Girl, I was a history major too and I LOVED this book so very much! And I was one of the ones to snub my nose to historical fiction of any kind, but I've just come to start reading it and enjoying it. The historical part that really touched me was the rationing--I didn't realize how much it affected people--even the wealthy.

    I enjoyed your review!

    Rebecca

    ReplyDelete
  8. I didn't love this one like you did....maybe I'm getting too picky!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your thoughts. Comments on posts that are older than 14 days are moderated so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up automatically.