Review of The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin   Leave a comment

 

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for–fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family–the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

***

After reading The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin, I can say with all surety that I’ll definitely be grabbing the rest of the series now, especially since I found out the other two books help with backstory of the third Paxton brother. Despite starting at the third book, it stands quite well on its own.

Forgiveness and learning to accept the value God has in you even when society tells you you’re worth nothing are the two main themes that run through this story. Clay has gone through a lot because of his two older brothers. He feels literally like Joseph thrown into the pit, as his brothers took from him his girl and dreams. What gives him purpose now? Training to be the best Ranger he can be so he can take care of his buddies and then die, fulfilling the dream that haunts his every night and what he believes is God’s destiny for him. Despite what he’s lost, he still remains honorably and true, and is a thoroughly likable fellow everyone should enjoy.
Leah is like a lost little lamb when she starts out, but one thing I admired was that she never stopped fighting to better herself. Even though she’s an orphan who’s been told she has no value, she doesn’t stop trying to learn and advance in life. Somehow, she manages to see the good in everyone and thank God for His blessings instead of complaining.
A savage attack on Leah brings her and Clay into a marriage of convenience that over time, begins to develop into something much more.

A lot of story is spent on Clay training far away, while Leah learns to take care of herself and the child she now needs to raise. I was concerned that the author would just have the entire romance and a good chunk of story devoted to writing letters to each other, but I was glad to see she did not do that.

What I loved most about this book was the message of faith, of learning to trust God with everything. Both Leah and Clay started out with a lot of insecurities and hurts, but through it all they trusted God and He helped them to grow and heal. Overall, I found it an encouraging read with an awesome ending. Now on to getting the rest of the series. 😀

Verdict: Buy if you’re looking for a well-written and inspiring read.

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author from the blogging program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

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Posted February 25, 2020 by J.M. Christian in book reviews

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