In Sarah Sundin’s war romance novel, Blue Skies Tomorrow, a widow and a naval pilot struggle with personal insecurity and how their inner doubts affect their love for one another. The thought of being unworthy troubles the heroine, and the hero dreads the label of coward. It is not until they individually conquer their fears that the two will be able to have a chance at love.
The novel centers on the developing love between Helen Carlisle, a war widow left to rear a child alone, and Raymond Novak, a lieutenant in the Air Force, who would prefer the title of pastor over pilot. Helen faces the dilemma of breaking free from living in the shadow of her husband’s death. Raymond struggles with proving his self-worth not only to others, but to himself as well. A wrench is thrown into their romance when Raymond volunteers to go to the war front, setting aside his pacifistic ideals in order to prove that he is not a coward. Meanwhile, Helen is faced with accepting that her husband’s abuse and death were not her fault. Ironically, the story’s focus is not on the two falling in love. Rather, it shows both perspectives of the characters’ struggles to find the courage within themselves to stand as individuals before standing as a couple.
Physical abuse and its resulting emotional damage are dealt with throughout this novel. The intense scenes and descriptions of the abuse are necessary to understand Helen’s reluctance to seek love again, yet these scenes are perhaps too mature for a younger readership.
The story has one flaw, and this problem is two-fold. First, by having the central protagonists of the book as indecisive characters, Sundin runs the risk of confusing the reader. Without a solid path of a focused protagonist, readers are in danger of getting lost in a forest of words. Second, in presenting two characters with extensive flaws, Sundin hits the problem of producing two heroes unlikable to a reading audience.
Nevertheless, Sarah Sundin creates an emotional telling of love in an imperfect setting—a story to which many readers will be able to relate. Her novel finishes with a hopeful note that is similar to God’s command in Isaiah, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” I would recommend this novel to readers looking for a tale of overcoming fear, embracing adventure, and finding and fighting for love. – Lucinda Sweazey, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When her husband becomes a casualty of the war in the Pacific, Helen Carlisle throws herself into volunteering for the war effort to conceal her feelings. But keeping up appearances as the grieving widow of a hometown hero is taking its toll. Soon something is going to give. Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit. His stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life--and a convenient excuse to ignore his deepest fear. When the beautiful Helen catches his eye and captures his heart, he is determined to win her hand. But when Ray and Helen are called upon to step out in faith and put their reputations and their lives on the line, can they meet the challenges that face them? And can their young love survive until blue skies return? Filled with drama, daring, and all the romance of the WWII era, Blue Skies Tomorrow is the captivating final book in the popular Wings of Glory series.