Book Review: The Sky Above Us

25 Apr

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler 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.

Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.


Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of ten novels, including the The Sea Before Us (February 2018) and the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the INSPY Award, and her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at, on Facebookat SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.


My Impressions:

The Sky Above Us, book 2 in Sarah Sundin’s Sunrise at Normandy series, is another winner from this talented author. Filled with great historical detail, gritty life issues relevant to today’s world, and easily relatable characters, this novel set in the months leading up to D Day kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. I couldn’t wait to see just how the author was going to bring all the threads together — she did it perfectly! Recommended for fans of historical fiction and WWII fiction.

Sundin’s specialty is bringing the WWII-era to life, including the men and women who served at home and overseas. But I have to admit that I thought my eyes would glaze over when the author included descriptions of the planes and maneuvers the Army Air Corps pilots used in their attacks on Nazi Germany. 😉 I was pleasantly surprised at how much I got into that aspect of the story. I held my breath as they executed loops and evasions and then swooped in for the victory. But that’s not all the author incorporates in her story — there is a wonderful balance of the historical and the fictional giving this novel a very authentic feel. Real life heroes and those created by the author rub shoulders on the airbase in England. While I learned a lot about the role of the Air Corps, the inclusion of Red Cross staff charged with bringing a little bit of home to troops overseas was a wonderful bonus. The men and women of that era really were committed! The story of the Paxton brothers introduced in book 1 is continued with Adler Paxton. Sundin’s exploration of Adler’s faith transformation rings true and is never preachy. His story is certainly messy, but the forgiveness of man and God and the restoration of relationships brought beauty out of the sordid and the ugly. While I really liked his love interest, Violet, it was Adler that touched my heart. And sweet romance is a big part of the story, so fans of historical romance will not be disappointed.

While The Sky Above Us focuses on Adler and Violet, it is not a standalone novel; you really need to read the series in order to understand all of the dynamics at work. Both the brothers’ personal histories and the integrated work of the military for the D Day invasion build with each successive book. I cannot wait for the final installment!


Audience: adults

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Sky Above Us”

  1. Sarah Sundin April 25, 2019 at 4:55 pm #

    Thank you so much, Beckie! I’m glad you enjoyed Adler & Violet’s story – even the flying scenes 😉

    • rbclibrary April 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

      We met for book club tonight and everyone loved it! Impatiently waiting for book 3. We have an Air Force veteran whose husband is retired Air Force and a wife of a retired Air Force pilot. They appreciated your treatment of the corps.

  2. carhicks April 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm #

    This book sounds like it has so much incorporated into the story. I would also think the descriptions of planes etc. would be boring, but it sounds like in a good writer’s hands, it was very interesting. Great review!

    • rbclibrary April 27, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

      My book club loved it!

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