In her latest novel ANCHOR IN THE STORM, Sarah Sundin continues
her fascination with WWII, and the hardships, sacrifices, and bravery of the greatest generation.
The second book in her Waves of Freedom series, ANCHOR IN THE STORM is again set in Boston, but features another member of the Avery family from Ohio. This time the story revolves around Lillian Avery, one of the few female pharmacists in the country. Smart and feisty, Lillian is ready to tackle her new job and hopes to impress Mr. Dixon, the owner of the pharmacy where she will be working. But Lillian's confidence and bravado is much stronger at work than in her private life. Self conscious of her leg prosthesis and still wounded from an abusive relationship, Lillian intends to stay far away from all men. But her brother's best friend, Ensign Archer Vandenberg is set on breaking down the beautiful Avery's defenses. Soon a common interest -- a fear that there is a drug ring selling phenobarbital to young navy crew members--- brings the two together in a secret plan to find who is writing the forged prescriptions and how the drugs get on Archie's battleship.
Sundin's writing shines in many ways in this novel. First, she captures the feel of America at war --- rations, separations, women moving into jobs typically filled by men, the battle to keep our coasts free from attack. She especially excels at showing that life went on during that time; people sacrificed and made do, but they also continued to live. She also manages to blend criminal drama and romance with the right amount of suspense and tension. All that said, I was looking for a note at the end that she based the novel on real evidence of illegal drug use was apparent within the Navy protecting the Eastern seaboard. But it appears that part of the novel is purely fiction, and for me, that takes away from the book's success. I guess I prefer historical fiction heavily steeped in fact with just the slightest stroke of fiction. However, if you approach this series, not so much as historical, but instead as fiction with the backdrop of American 40's life, you will be swept away in a good story.
Plus, you'll get to see that gorgeous cover every time you pick up the book!
I received a copy of this title for my honest review.