Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin (Revell, August 2015)
It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.
Fresh onto a new series set within her favored genre of World War Two historical romance, veteran author Sarah Sundin takes readers on a suspenseful and romantic ride in 1941 Boston. I have read each of Sundin’s novels, and I firmly believe at this point that she keeps writing stories better and better each time. With Through Waters Deep she has taken her trademark historical romance and blended in a thoroughly developed mystery with suspense and deeper themes than in her previous novels. If this novel is indicative of her future works, readers are in for a fantastic lineup of Sundin’s books to come.
I enjoy Sundin’s novels because she writes in my favorite time period—World War Two—with elements that make any story great: history, romance, faith, and friendship. Through Waters Deep contains all of these elements but stands out most highly because of the care Sundin took to research the time period and setting of the novel. I read blog posts on the author’s trips to Boston where she learned about the Navy Yard and various places around the city, but even without those posts I could glean from Through Waters Deep how much work Sundin took to bring the time period alive. From meticulous details about the ship the hero lived on, to the particularities of Boston in 1941, I could easily imagine every scene and setting in this novel.
These details blend into the other aspect of Through Waters Deep that signifies Sundin’s latest release’s superiority over her other novels: the mystery and suspense of the Boston Navy Yard saboteur. Never in my life would I wander into a bookstore specifically looking for a mystery novel; however, I just may have to reconsider that statement in the future when it applies to historical Christian fiction. Sundin researched the particularities of writing mysteries before taking on Through Waters Deep, and both the prose and story demonstrate how much studying the craft of writing can assist a writer in penning an excellent book. Each page of Through Waters Deep brims with suspense, and the red herrings continually keep readers guessing at whom the real saboteur could be. In addition, Sundin betters her story by giving each potential villain a side story that turns him into a person with whom the reader could sympathize. I sat on the edge of my seat throughout this entire book—and I loved Through Waters Deep for that.
Main characters Jim Avery and Mary Stirling became two of my favorite characters as I read Through Waters Deep. Jim is a dashing hero who charms his way into Mary’s and reader’s hearts; he carries just enough bravado to make him a man’s man, while simultaneously becoming a man of God’s own heart. Mary is a sweet and hardworking lady of faith, curious about the world around her and with a good and loyal heart. Between the two of them they prove that friendship always makes for a strong romance, and they grow in faith in love. Through Waters Deep could very well be Sundin’s strongest novel regarding faith. She makes the faith element of this story accessible, believable, and applicable for her readers.
I loved Through Waters Deep and plan to re-read this novel because I’m sure there are elements of the story—especially the mystery—that I missed the first time around for reading it too fast. I just simply couldn’t put the novel down! The next book in the series, Anchor in the Storm, releases in 2016 and is already on my pre-order list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah Sundin is the author of the upcoming Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep releases August 2015), the Wings of the Nightingale series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time), and the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow), all from Revell. In addition she has a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, September 2014).
Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.