The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 




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?


Sarah Sundin is the author of The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us, as well as the Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory series. Her novels have received starred reviews from BooklistLibrary Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Her popular Through Waters Deep was a Carol Award finalist, and both Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turn were named on Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years." Sarah lives in Northern California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

Wow, what a compelling read this was! The Land Beneath Us is book number three in Sarah Sundin's Sunrise at Normandy series, but I must admit that I wasn't aware of that when I first started reading. From what I can tell based on the synopsis of those other two books, they each tell the story of one of the three Paxton brothers so I suspect reading them in order will likely give you the fullest understanding of their history. That being said, I really didn't feel like I was missing anything by reading this as a standalone.

In this story we meet Clay Paxton. When his life falls apart, it is a recurring dream of his death that helps give him a purpose... that is until Leah Jones comes into his life. After saving her after being brutally attacked, he learns that she is pregnant with her attacker's child. With his knowledge of his impending death, he decides to help her in the best way he can--- giving her his name.

Can I just say wow again? Certainly a lot to take in there isn't it? Not only was this a great slow growing romance story... but it was also a really interesting look at the culture during WWII. Though not an easy read with its talk of rape and a child conceived out of that, it certainly is an eye opener for what life was like for women in that situation in those days. It's heartbreaking, but a beautiful story nonetheless.

It was clearly a well researched story as well... I could certainly tell that Sarah Sundin had done the research to keep the story accurate with the times. The war scenes especially were told with such detail that it really made it all the more real. While I don't particularly care for war stories in detail in most cases, in this one it really just made me appreciate the thought that went into this story even more.

I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that this was an absolutely fascinating read. The story was unique, well though out and will pull at your heartstrings throughout. If you love a good historical romance, this is one that I would certainly recommend.


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