Back in February, I had the privilege of reading Sarah Sundin’s first book in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody. Book 2 hit my mailbox last week, and I devoured it in about 3 days. (I’d have finished a lot faster if I wasn’t getting ready for ACFW conference.) With A Memory Between Us, Sarah has done it to me all over again. (Oh, and by the way? I’m not sure I have ever seen a more perfectly titled book.) When I started thinking of what I was going to say about this book, my first thought was that she completely made me sink into the story to the point I forgot I was reading a book. Just now, when I went back to look up the address for my A Distant Melody review, I realized I said the exact same thing about that book too. That tells me Sarah’s more than a one-shot deal. She has something I just can’t define when it comes to writing. I’ve gone back over a few chapters to try to pinpoint her technique, to see what makes her books sing, and I just can’t do it. There’s not something there I can pick up and put my finger on, but her voice and her research and her story all combine to explode like fireworks on the page. I don’t know how to describe it except to say it’s like watching a movie made up entirely of words. Very few books make me tense up (and even tear up) with the characters, but she gets me every time. I’m just going to have to get her on here for an interview and let her talk to y’all herself. Maybe she can describe what she does.
Jack Novak is a bomber pilot who never failed to meet his goals. Ruth Doherty is an Army nurse with a past she’d rather not discuss. And when the two of them meet, Jack determines he’ll win her heart. The biggest obstacle to his plan? Ruth doesn’t want her heart to be won. Is there a way for both of them to have what they want? Or will they destroy all of their chances at happines in the process?
I love Ruth. It’s hard to write a character who is real and broken, yet sympathetic and not whiny. Sarah managed bring Ruth to life and made me pull for her, even as she operated under the flawed assumptions of her past. There was never a point (like there is in some books) where I wanted to shake Ruth and yell, “Oh, come on!” Her growth in the book was perfectly drawn and believable, and by the time she took control (or did she relinquish control?) and emerged on the other side, I wanted to hug that girl’s neck. I thought I liked Ally in book one, and I did. But Ruth? Ruth rocks.
And then there’s Jack. Brash, arrogant, take charge of it all Jack. You have to love him. He could have been a cliche’, but he’s certainly not. His conflicts–both internal and external–are easily understood and painfully felt. Watching him change through the course of the story made me get teary more than once. And, again, there was nothing abrupt about his transformation. Like real life, it unfolded gradually and made perfect sense when he got to where he was going.
Sarah’s rapidly knocking other books out of my top ten favorites. I said A Distant Melody was on my top ten list. Well, so is A Memory Between Us. Sarah, girl, bring on book three. I absolutely cannot wait.