A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

Bookjourney traveled to:  Riverside, California

If in Riverside California, seems like Back To The Grind might be a place to check out!

422 pages

Cover Story:  While it does fit the story line, the people on the cover do not seem to fit the people described in the book.

About A Distant Melody:

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? A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

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I enjoy a good historical fiction read and A Distant Melody painted a picture of a historical California area that I am not familiar with in life, but became familiar within these pages.  Centered around WWII, and I was more interested in the historical value of the book than the romance.  If you follow what I read I really don’t touch on a lot of romance genre reads.

In the beginning of this read Allie is making a trip to her best friends wedding, leaving behind her boyfriend Baxter, who her parents expect her to marry.  Allie is not in love with Baxter, but does not wish to displease her parents and that annoys me to no end.  (I like strong characters!)

Enter Walter, a Lt. on his way home.  They wind up together on the train and discover they are traveling to the same place.  Allie thinks it is harmless to continue writing letters to Walter even after she returns home but the relationship grows…

As Allie learns to listen to God, instead of everyone else who tries to run her life, I start to appreciate her more.  I like strong characters and while Allie didn’t start there, she traveled there.

A Distant Melody is the first in the fictional “Wings of Glory” series.

In Sarah’s words:

Although I come from a home wallpapered in books, I only briefly envisioned myself as a writer, when my sister and I co-wrote Funny Dancing Fruits and Vegetables complete with crayon illustrations.

Then I discovered science. I loved learning about the intricacies of God’s creation, so I studied chemistry in college, and then got my doctorate in pharmacy—not a typical career path for a writer.

In pharmacy school, I met my husband, Dave. We settled in northern California and were blessed by three bright, funny children—Stephen, Anna, and Matthew. Then on January 6, 2000, I woke from a dream so intriguing I had to write it down. I proceeded to write a really bad 750-page contemporary Christian romance. Burn-it-when-I-die bad. But the Lord used it to call me into writing. I joined a critique group, attended writers’ conferences, and joined American Christian Fiction Writers. These all taught me about the craft of writing and the publishing industry, and introduced me to writers, editors, and agents.

I first submitted the manuscript for A Distant Melody in 2003, and over the next five years I accumulated a pile of “good” rejection letters from editors and agents. Finally in 2008, a submission at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference led to my first sale.

Between writing and driving kids to soccer and karate, I work one evening a week as a hospital pharmacist, teach Sunday school to fourth- and fifth-graders, and teach women’s Bible studies. I enjoy speaking to women’s groups and am available to speak on several topics. To learn more visit www.sarahsundin.com and if you are a history buff, don’t miss her great blog!

This book has been added to my Journey Map

I received my review copy of this book from Litfuse

16 thoughts on “A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

  1. Lately I’ve been drawn to WWII stories…I’ve even included one in my current manuscript. I was a VERY young child during that war, but in the Central Valley, where I was born (a little north of where I now live), there was a Japanese Interment camp behind barbed wire next to my grandmother’s house. I used to peer out the windows, watching and wondering.

    The books I’ve read about that period mostly focus on the romances going on. The one I’m writing is about what happens to a young wife AFTER her husband has gone off to war.

    Sounds like an intriguing story, and I liked reading about the author’s journey to her writing destiny.

    1. Laurel, I feel like I have quite a few WWII based books lately and for the most part they are new releases. This is odd because I do not really read about wars.

      Yours has a different twist – that sounds interesting!

  2. Thank you for the review! I appreciate it 🙂 I love your concept of traveling via books. One of the reasons I loved England long before I ever got to go there was because of all the books I read set in England. I’m so thankful Christian fiction is venturing off the American prairie to visit some new and interesting locales.

  3. Julie H.

    Interesting comment about the cover–I was going to say that I really like it and it would definitely make me pick it up.

    1. Julie, I say that because Allie and Walter are described in the book as not extremely attractive – the girl in the picture (as well as the guy) are a good looking couple 🙂

      If Allie’s mom calls her unattractive and she looks like that – her mom has issues…. well, actually… I guess she does…LOL

  4. This sounds really good. I am not to much of a romance reader either. However, it is only because I am very cynical, lol. Every once in awhile I do find one that interests me and this one sounds good:) I have added it to my TBR List. I am going to have to stay away from your blog, My TBR list is getting huge, lol.

  5. Every once in awhile for me too Bobbie – I think the difference for me is I dont mind a love story…. but romance stories become a bit much in most cases (for me). I should probably call this one a love story….

    Oh and you cant leave my blog – I have coffee! 😀 LOL

  6. I’m not really big on romances either, but the WWII setting interests me. Actually, I really enjoyed Fireworks Over Toccoa more than I thought I would, given that it’s more romance than WWII. Maybe I’ll give this one a try.

    I hope it’s okay to link to your review on the Book Reviews: WWII page on War Through the Generations.


  7. librarypat

    That time period (any wartime era) makes for interesting story possibilities. The WWII era especially since we are so close to it and women’s roles were changing so rapidly and completely. Since my husband was in the Eighth Air Force (but not during WW II) it will be especially interesting to read.
    A “weak” heroine isn’t a problem for me as long as there is some growth during the story.

  8. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? « One Persons Journey through a world of Books

  9. Great review! This sounds like something I would really enjoy. I love historical fiction, particularly Christian fiction and this is an interesting time period to read about.

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