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The Sky Above Us
Sunrise At Normandy # 2

BY Sarah Sundin

Feb. 6, 2018/ ISBN 9780800734879
Fiction / Historical

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin is a historical romance novel focusing more on history than the romance. Throughout this series, she intertwines World War II military history with a developing relationship.

The series follows three brothers who are all fighting in Normandy. The first book highlighted Wyatt Paxton, the oldest, who joined the navy. This one is about Adler Paxton, the middle brother, who enlisted in the Air Force, and the next book will emphasize the youngest Paxton brother, Clay, who is an Army Ranger.

This story highlights how Lt. Adler Paxton has been numbed by grief and is harboring shameful secrets while shipping off to England on the Queen Elizabeth to fight with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. After arriving he battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion. These scenes are authentic, intense, and capture the struggles of the allied forces as they have dog-fights over the skies of Normandy to protect the bombers.

“I wrote Adler as having joined the 357thfighter group. I enjoyed writing the fighter pilot mentality. I read many stories by those and was able to understand what it was like when fighting on a mission. Chuck Yeager, the pilot who broke the sound barrier, was in this group. He along with his peers had a very lively and colorful memoir. He is rough around the edges, very driven, ambitious, and competitive. Chivalrous when he rescued Violet from this predatory type, Riggs who had no boundaries at all. Adler's attitude is that no one should have a right to just grab a strange woman and force a kiss on her. I think Adler is two different personalities, one gregarious and outgoing, and the other where he just shuts down. Because of the tragedy, he experienced he tries to keep a side of himself secret, which is a protective mechanism."

On the Queen Elizabeth, he meets Violet Lindstrom who serves in the American Red Cross. Adler and Violet will reunite at the Air Base where she is assigned the duties of entertaining the troops at the Aeroclub and setting up programs for local children As war rages and D-Day approaches, life has a way of drawing two people together.

Sundin noted, "Receiving and giving forgiveness. What does forgiveness mean? Adler wants a reconciliation but is afraid it is not possible. He grieves for how he lost the love of his family. Many times, people forgive to avoid the bitterness in our own souls."

This story is about friendship, love, and life choices. It delves into how a feeling of betrayal can lead to forgiveness and the need for people to look within to find peace and happiness.

Reviewed 2019