My Review: A Distant Melody (Wings of Glory, Book 1) by Sarah Sundin

A Distant Melody
(Wings of Glory, #1)
by Sarah Sundin

Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Revell Publishing
Copyright 2010
Pages:  422
ISBN:  9780800734213

(from Sarah's website):

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

My thoughts:

First of all, let me explain that I normally do not gravitate towards "war-themed" romances as they have never really interested me.  However, with that being said, something about Sarah Sundin's debut novel, A Distant Melody, grabbed my attention just from the cover art and the very short synopsis I received from Revell when they offered me the chance to review it.  I am sooooo glad I listened to my gut-reaction because I absolutely, positively LOVED this book!  I read it in less than a day, and was so upset to find out that I have to wait 'til September to see what happens next!

Sarah Sundin is exceptional at drawing you into her characters lives.  I felt like I was right there with Allie as she dealt with her parents continuous rejections, her very low self-esteem, and as she made some of the hardest decisions of her life.  I found myself wishing that I had half the courage she did, to make those decisions.  Even though her life is completely turned upside down, Allie follows God's will for her life.  I could even associate with Walt as he dealt with the horrors of flying Flossie's Fort, his B-17 bomber, in the heart of WWII.

Allie feels that the church she has been attending with her parents since childhood, is no longer helping her to grow in her faith.  She finally decides to find another church better suited to her needs.  She also desires to somehow personally contribute to the war effort, but she doesn't know where to start.  Once she starts attending her new church, Groveside Bible Church, she quickly becomes friends with Daisy and Cressie, and they suggest maybe becoming a Red Cross volunteer.  Allie is soon immersed in doing her part to help the injured soldiers being cared for at March Field, as well as, enjoying her new position as the pianist for Groveside.  Needless to say, neither her parents, nor Baxter (Allie's fiance) are thrilled with her life-changing decisions.

Lt. Walter Novak, first met Allie Martin on the train ride home to attend the wedding of their mutual best friends, George Anello and Betty Jamison.  He initially thought she was traveling with her children, and had no problem striking up a conversation with her.  However, he soon found out that he was mistaken, but his usual reaction of freezing up in the presence of "available" women didn't overcome him.  That in itself was a major accomplishment on his part.

Walt and Allie thoroughly enjoyed the time they spent with their friends, the week before the wedding.  They seemed to get paired up continuously during their daily activities and soon discovered that they had quite a bit in common.  When it was time for Allie to return home, and for Walt to head back to Wendover Army Air Field, they decided to exchange addresses so they could keep in touch.  Little do they know how big a part "silence is a truthful solution to a dilemma" and a few "little white lies" will play in their relationship.

This is a very fast-paced book, with lots of heartache, heart-break, loss of loved ones, forgiveness, romance, and searching for the courage to do God's will in one's own life.  I won't go any further into detail for fear of giving away vital information.  In no way do I want to disclose anything to ruin the intensity of this book for anyone!

If you ever have a chance to get your hands on a copy of Sarah Sundin's debut novel, A Distant Melody, I encourage you to do so immediately...you will not be sorry!

To find out more about Sarah and her books, please visit:
Her website
Her blog

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, 
a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

*** I received my copy of A Distant Melody compliments of Donna Hausler at Revell Publishing.  Thank you! ***


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Seriously though there are some AWESOME WWII books out now and this is DEFINITELY a favorite!

Great review! :-)

XOXO~ Renee

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I know you liked Sons of Thunder, which I have on my TBR mountain, but what are some of the others?

Thanks! :)


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I'm reading SOngbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer right now, it's pretty good. There are also some other that aren't out yet that look pretty good, LFYI Victory Heights Washington by Tricia Goyer and Oceanna Fleiss and Stars in the Night by Cara Putnam! These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head! If I think if any more I'll let you know!

XOXO~ Renee

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

Between you and Renee, I'll never put a dent in my TBR Pile (skyscraper is more like it).LOL Thanks for another GREAT review, Lori. Can't wait to read this one, definitely be on the look out for a copy. LOL;)
Love Y'all,

Ruth said...

I absolutely LOVE WW2-themed novels, hopefully I will start this one this week! Glad you enjoyed it. I love the cover - so classy and romantic and retro. And Sons of Thunder is FANTASTIC!!! Just posted my review yesterday.

Olusola said...

Good review. I'm going to have to look for this now. Who knows, this may just be the book to tune me into the war book genre

Lee Smith said...

You know, just like you I have never been a fan of war themed novels ~ especially WWI & WWII. However, your good review about this and the ones I've read about Sons of Thunder make me reconsider. Thanks for such a wonderful review.

CeeCee said...

oooooh!!! Now I have to read this one too! The cover kept calling to me too, but I ignored it. Now I can't any longer!! Great review!

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

@ Renee ~ I'll be adding those to my Wish List...they both sound pretty interesting. Thanks!

@ Ashley ~ LOL Thanks, girl! Yes...you definitely need to put this one at the TIP TOP of your "most wanted" list. ;)

@ Ruth ~ I can't wait to see what you think about this one. Isn't the cover great?!?!

@ Olusola ~ Please grab a copy if you get a chance...it's definitely worth your time to read it. :)

@ Lee ~ I was pleasantly surprised with this one, and can't express enough how much I loved it! Please give it a try when you get the chance, you'll be glad you did.

@ CeeCee ~ Girl! I'm soooo glad I gave in to the "call" of this book! It is soooo worth it! I hope you get your own copy really soon. :D