The Land Beneath Us By Sarah Sundin

This is my first book to read of this talented writer. The story is set in 1943 during World War 2. This is a beautiful story of forgiveness, strong faith in God and courage. During times of war, we always think of the bravery of the soldiers, and rightfully so. Those left at home when their loved one goes to fight for freedom are also courageous. They fight different battles. Ms. Sundin skillfully and intimately captures both.
Clay Paxton is a part of the U.S. Army Rangers preparing for D-day. He was raised by loving and caring parents. His home life was ripped apart by his two older brothers who deeply hurt him. While he struggles with forgiveness it has not changed his sweet, caring spirit.
Leah Jones on the other hand lost her parents when she was 4 years old. Separated from her infant twin sisters she was raised in an orphanage. She longs to find them and information about her parents. She comes to Camp Forrest where Clay is training to be an assistant librarian. Her beauty and innocence catch his attention, but only as a friend as she is only 18 years of age.
One night at the library as she is closing, she is attacked and sexually assaulted. The author was very discreet and tasteful in describing her occurrence. Clay saves her from her assailant and gets her to the hospital just in time. He visits her as she heals and they develop a deeper friendship. Hurting for all she is facing from being violated, he asks her to marry him before he is shipped out, a marriage in name only. This way she would be cared for by is military benefits. With nowhere to go she accepts.
Ms. Sudin’s detail in what each is facing while apart gives a complete picture of their lives as with many couples separated during this era. Their experiences were worlds apart. It helped me understand how difficult for families when they are reunited after a war. Both characters strong relationship with God no matter what their circumstances was not only inspiring but a testimony of what peace it can bring. Those that showed compassion and helped Leah through hard times reminded me that no matter how bad things might be, God will send others to aid us. I must admit the story had me on pins and needles at different points, wondering what would happen next. A sweet romance with strong lessons and an ending that will make you sigh. I liked this book!
I received this book from Revell Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

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