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Sunrise at Normandy #3

The Land Beneath Us

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In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. 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?

371 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 2020

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About the author

Sarah Sundin

17 books2,762 followers
Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of The Sound of Light (February 2023), Until Leaves Fall in Paris (2022), When Twilight Breaks (2021), and four WWII series. Her novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. Until Leaves Fall in Paris, received the 2022 Christy Award, When Twilight Breaks and The Land Beneath Us were Christy Award finalists, and The Sky Above Us won the 2020 Carol Award.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in Southern California and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 412 reviews
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,402 reviews1,335 followers
March 16, 2020
No words...this story is too rich to describe without spoilers. My best attempt is to say that the characters are as palpable as if they really lived and that I feel like I could walk back in time and be friends with them.

I read it in under 24 hours and was immediately ready to read it all over again. (Lacking time, I just went over some favorites scenes again)

You definitely need to read this series in order, to get the full panoramic experience of the brothers’ saga. The wait between books was excruciating, really! But I’m sorry it’s over now...aren’t I contrary?! This family of brothers and the ladies they fall in love with are such strong characters, and this is my favorite couple of all of them! Aw, and the brother meeting....but here I’m about to start spouting spoilers. I’ll stop. :)

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free reading copy. A favorable review was not required.
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews830 followers
February 24, 2020
I haven't read any of Sarah Sundin's books before now, but The Land Beneath Us has convinced me that I need to! I absolutely loved this one cover to cover!

Marriage of convenience stories are always hit or miss for me and I'm hesitant to read them as they can sometimes get too sexualized for me. But I'm so glad I gave this one a try because it was perfect in every way! Leah and Clay were such great characters and the motivation for their marriage of convenience worked really well. Clay is such a gentleman, I can't help but respect him. And Leah's innocence and gentle spirit is inspiring. I found the storyline with Clay's dream really interesting and love how Sundin wrapped it up. This is the third and last book in the series, and I haven't read the first two, but I never felt lost reading this one. Everything is explained sufficiently that this could almost be a standalone. (I would still recommend reading the series in order though, but if you don't, you'll still be fine.)

Sundin's writing style is just beautiful and fits the historic time period perfectly, down to the dialogue and all. She also does a great job describing the settings and I felt like I was right there with the characters.

All in all, I absolutely loved this historical novel with beautiful themes! I highly recommend this if you love historical fiction, particularly set around WWII.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
Profile Image for Anne.
502 reviews491 followers
August 13, 2020
"Words make delightful playthings. They cost nothing, they never wear out, and no one can ever take them away from you."

What a rich and eventful story!

An excellent conclusion to the tale of the Paxton brothers as they each stand out during D-day and are reunited at last. We had calm, gentle Wyatt at sea, fun and outgoing Adler in the air, and now we have resourceful and caring Clay on land.

If you’ve read the first two books (which you really should before reading this one) then you know all about what happened between the brothers on that long-ago night when Adler’s fiancée died and everyone’s lives were drastically changed. Clay’s future was severely impacted, but a recurring dream has him believing that he will die soon and find solace at last.

It sounds a bit grim, but it did make sense in the context of the story. It is WWII after all and Clay is a Ranger training for D-day, which isn’t exactly the safest job in the world. Anyone could have vivid dreams about dying! He believes his dream to be a sign from God, but he hasn’t altogether given up on life in the sense that his dream doesn’t fill him with despair, but with hope. So he tries his best to be the best version of himself he can be while he still lives, and is presented as such a loveable hero that you simply cannot imagine him dying for real.

Things turn even more adorable when he meets and rescues the heroine, Leah Jones. Leah is a wide-eyed, innocent young librarian, whose appeal rests in her genuine personality. An orphan in search of her sisters, she always sees the best in everyone and every situation, without necessarily being disillusioned. She just understands how to see the world and take things in stride, and it was refreshing.

She was, of course, perfect for Clay, and their repeated attempts to out-nice each other made my heart melt. I will also add that I didn’t know until this book that it was possible to have such a well-developed romance between two characters on separate continents and who are only together in the beginning and ending chapters, literally separated by an ocean for the entire middle section WHILE BEING MARRIED.

If you are confused, fear not, it actually all makes sense in the story! My one little gripe is that a certain major event did not seem to have enough impact on the main characters as it should have.

As always, there are fabulous descriptions that bring you right there at the heart of all the action, and, AND….THE FAMILY REUNION IS EVERYTHING YOUR HEART COULD POSSIBLY DESIRE. After three whole books filled with regrets and remorse and endless apologies, where you’re basically screaming at everyone to just get together and make up already, THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER AND ALL IS WELL THAT ENDS WELL (this isn’t a spoiler, because you better expect a happy, cutesy-cute ending from a Sarah Sundin novel! Never mind that it’s WWII and not everyone survives! Never you mind, with Sarah Sundin you are in good hands!).

The Land Beneath Us was an excellent conclusion to the Paxton brothers’ saga, and I enjoyed it immensely. I eagerly await her next release!!!
Profile Image for Abigail.
Author 2 books176 followers
February 23, 2020
I truly have no words to describe how breathtaking this book is....as much as I love books 1 and 2, I honestly think this one is my favorite due to many elements woven throughout this beautiful novel. My heart is so full and I honestly do believe my pupils are in heart shapes right now. I am so in love!

Clay was a cinnamon roll who deserves that world and I am so happy with how this book ended for him. My heart ached for this poor man while reading his older brother's books, but I connected with him so much more and deeper through this novel. I saw what his brothers were talking about when they said that he was sweet, caring, and just a sunny character. His protectiveness and willingness to fight was so adorable and made me fall in love with him even more. Honestly all the Paxton boys are amazing and I am so happy with how this series concluded for them.

Just like Clay, I really, really loved Leah's character. I related to her on many levels, not all but most. She was a breath of fresh air to read about and even though she went through so much, she had such a positive attitude through it all. The way that she saw the positive in everything and trusted in God no matter what was so inspiring.

I really do wish all these characters were real because they sure do feel real. Mrs. Sundin does a FANTASTIC job as crafting realistic characters that you can relate to not only through their personalities but also their struggles. I found myself convicted on a few things throughout this series right along with most of these characters. Honestly though, I do hope I get a mother-in-law like Mrs. Paxton. She is such an amazing role model and just an amazing woman, I loved her so much!!

I loved all the connections with Joseph and the Prodigal Son woven through this book. I loved the way that Mrs. Sundin wove these Bible stories through this series and I loved how convicting it was even if I wasn't struggling right now at this moment, this whole series was still a great reminder that self-righteousness and unforgiveness is sin.

I loved this book so much. I don't even know what else to put in this review only because I can't place some things into words. Mrs. Sundin once again confirms why she is one of my favorite authors ever. She even included the letter trope, which which is one of my all time favorites romance tropes EVER! If you haven't read her before, I HIGHLY recommend reading her now!

*I received an arc copy of this book from Revell books in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.*
Profile Image for Rachel McMillan.
Author 25 books1,057 followers
January 5, 2020
Unparalleled in her research and exposition of American World War II history, Sundin draws on the Biblical tale of Rachel and Leah in this deftly woven treatise on two people yearning to belong amidst a time of tragedy and loss.

Clay Paxton is certain of death. He dreams it every night over and over again, seeing the same minutiae of detail that will signal his untimely end. Leah Jones is desperate to belong after living as an orphan: ridiculed and judged.

Both meet at a training center in Tennessee where Clay is soon bound for war and Leah is a librarian. Amidst their warm, believable friendship, a brutal attack forces Clay to act. If he is to die anyways, why not enter into a marriage of convenience to secure a future for a young woman who has no one?

Sundin balances Clay's time in the European theatre with Leah's adjustment to life building a home-- his home--- even though she believes his morbid destiny.

It is achingly romantic to see two genuine good people find each other despite the tragedies of their past. Readers of the previous two books in the trilogy are familiar with Clay's brothers Adler and Wyatt and will understand how their actions have so wounded the youngest sibling.

An exploration of the battle of forgiveness and redemption is at the crux of each character's emotional journey even as their nation is at war.

I really liked Clay. I loved his Southern American charm, the polite way he handled himself and the way he talked to Leah.

Great hero.

Exceptional research

and dialogue that reads so perfectly structured that if you took it out of the book and threw it up on stage it would feel theatrically natural. That's hard to pull off. But so is Sundin's astonishing amount of knowledge on her country's involvement in WWII.

Profile Image for Carrie Turansky.
Author 31 books1,287 followers
October 21, 2020
This is a wonderful conclusion to the series. I listened to the audio version and felt the narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters to life. Clay and Leah were unique characters and the story was unpredictable. Sarah wove the history of D-Day in very well, and it gave me a new respect for Army Rangers. The inspirational themes were well done and very meaningful. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Olivia.
677 reviews106 followers
December 15, 2019
*This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.*

A story captured with encouraging lessons and characters portrayed with authenticity in a setting of a war that affected the world.

I adored Clay and Leah from the start. I knew before I began this one that it would be a completion of the trilogy that was necessary and beautiful. But as I read, I soon realized it very quickly reached my favorite by this author. Clay needed something to live for. Leah needed a family to love her. Their struggles and trials and the beauty of their relationship were woven so well. I adored the romance and how it played out. I felt this story so deeply, and the stunning cover matches the book perfectly. What I especially loved about Clay and Leah's story is that there's a strong message of joy amid difficulties. This is a topic that has been much on my heart over the years. And it was written so well.

This is a story that will affect your heart and bring smiles and tears. Be sure to read the series in order, so that when you pick this one up, you will be even more taken in by the war, love, family, and trials that come Clay and Leah's way.
Profile Image for Christine Indorf.
716 reviews115 followers
January 5, 2021
It took me a year to finish this series and I have to say I am glad I finally read it. The last book was wonderful. I love the story of Leah and Clay. Clay marries Leah in name only when she becomes pregnant from a rape. Will they ever fall in love with each other? I love Leah. Seeing the world through her eyes. Growing up in an orphanage she had nothing. She finds a hotel wonderful and shopping and then getting a box of chocolates amazing. She is fresh and innocent. When the unthinkable happen Clay steps up and helps. Clay is a wonderful character as well. Willing to help Leah and then falling for her throughout this book. He thinks he is going to die in the war, or will he? With this being the third and final book in the series you see if the brothers will ever get back together after the fight that broke them apart. I have to say I think this might be my favorite out of all 3. I enjoyed getting to know both Leah and Clay. The ending was wonderful. I now know I will be reading more of Sarah Sundin books in the future. If you haven't read the Sunrise at Normandy series I really recommend that you do!
Profile Image for Andrea Cox.
Author 3 books1,634 followers
April 19, 2020
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

My heart was shredded and stomped on and then stitched back together in a way that made it beat better than before.

This book—the whole trilogy, really—was spectacular. I keep discovering new favorites by this author, and I want more. It would be really fun to have a bonus book on Leah’s sisters at some point… but I’m not sure what the author’s plans are.

Tough topics were tackled in this book, but they were managed beautifully. The evil was not dwelt upon, yet the rawness of the events was tangible. It was very clear that an evil deed had been done and that it was wrong and sinful. This set the stage for a beautiful tale of God’s love conquering all and making something exquisite from the evil intentions. It also showcased the human spirit rising above obstacles and hard times to discover better, brighter days and a life worth living and dreams worth striving for. The lessons to learn from this book are bountiful, and I think many future readings will be needed to glean everything I can from it. I love a great tale of courage that pushes through all sorts of heartache and crushed dreams in order to find one’s place and make one’s mark. This story definitely fit the bill.

This series is best enjoyed in order, as the problems and story builds with each addition. I especially loved that it was a series featuring brothers. That is so rare in this era of such blatant feminism. The one thing that disappointed me about the series was that the brothers weren’t featured on the covers! (Don’t get me wrong; I adore the covers. They just would have been made better if the brothers had been the featured models, considering this series revolved so much around them.)

I want more brother stories, writers. Please help a gal out! And take note: This series of Sarah Sundin’s is a great example of what “brother stories” means. Wyatt’s, Adler’s, and Clay’s stories overlapped in places, their problems all started on the same night (which meant we eventually got to see this night from all three brothers’ perspectives, which was fun), and there were heart-deep issues they each had to deal with in order to find healing and (hopefully) reconciliation. I was so amazed at the intricate ways in which these stories stumbled over each other and tumbled into each other. It was clearly by design, and what a gorgeous design it was! And well pulled off! I’m not sure I’ve ever before seen such a complex, interconnected, and greatly pulled off trilogy.

I mean no offense to the other wonderful trilogies out there. I’ve read some really fantastic ones that I consider favorites and keepers. There are many, many authors who pen fantastic trilogies.

This one just happened to completely take my breath away multiple times throughout the reading of it.

Trust me: I’m taking notes for any future brother stories (and trilogies) I might end up writing down the road.

The sea, air, and ground battles at Normandy on D-Day during WWII were described so vividly that they burst into my mind in full color and with stunning sound effects. It was easy to feel like I was there—and wish I were back at home! (Thankfully, I was already safe at home, but it did take some reminding and looking around the room to make sure.) This is clearly a testament to the author’s attention to detail and thorough research. She’s a talented storyteller, and it is such fun getting lost in one of her stories.

Little Helen was adorable, and there was a certain moment that involved an ear that made me laugh out loud. Enjoy that when you get to it!

Libraries were featured in such a sweet way. Several sweet ways, actually. I particularly enjoyed the scene in the library near the end of the story. I let loose a large happy sigh when I read that one. So romantic! It was made even more romantic because of how important libraries were throughout the entire novel.

I love that the leads were both of unique heritage. One was Mexican American, while the other was Greek. The details surrounding their heritage which the author trickled in throughout the book added such richness and depth to the tale that it kept me completely invested in the characters and made it super easy to imagine them in three-dimensional detail.

I’ll be getting paperback copies of this entire series, and I’ll be binge reading it again sooner rather than later. Such a wonderful series is meant to be enjoyed multiple times.

Trigger: Rape

Content: rape, tobacco, drunkenness, Greek mythology
Profile Image for Staci.
1,699 reviews517 followers
February 9, 2020
What a great series based upon the three different ways the U.S. fought at Normandy (air, land and sea). In The Land Beneath Us, the youngest Paxton brother becomes a U.S. Army Ranger while holding at bay his prior dream to become a doctor.

Leah Jones is a young adult that grew up from the age of four as an orphanage. Leah and Clay's paths cross at the Camp Forrest library where she is a librarian assistant.

Both of their stories were engaging. And the ending wraps up all three novels beautifully. This is my new favorite Sarah Sundin series.
Profile Image for Kellyn Roth.
Author 26 books904 followers
March 18, 2020
Read the full review here!

Ah, The Land Beneath Us! The book that (almost) snapped me out of a reading slump. (It didn’t cause me to start reading other books, but I read this one in less than a day nonetheless!)

All that aside, this is one of my favorite Sundin books now! It’s not my absolute favorite (the romance wasn’t as swoony as With Every Letter, Blue Skies Tomorrow, or A Distant Melody to me), but it’s up there!

Let’s dive into why this is such a great read (even though I’m sure I’ll get across more inarticulate mumblings than anything – it’s hard to talk legibly about a book you just loved!).

Honestly, I didn’t really get so much into the romance as into the plot & themes of the book. Oh, and the characters! Those were what really carried the novel for me.

I liked Leah a lot. She was a noble character who I admired, thought was a nice twist on your typical “bookworm main character” (and she seemed more realistic to me than most), had a strong faith, and always remained true to what the author presented her as. (Most fictional dreamers with a soft heart really don’t.)

I was really disappointed with the conclusion to her family’s story, and I couldn’t agree with it (I’m sorry, but … I would want to know even if I was happy, mmkay? I’d rather be miserable and know the truth!), but I understand why the author chose to make it that way.

Clay was also pretty great! I went into this book thinking I wouldn’t care about him, but his dream, and his peace with it, and just that whole plotline was SO. GOOD. You don’t see authors doing that kind of thing in books nowadays, but it’s both feasible and really cool (in a … kinda sad way …). I adored the way the author put it back on Clay, making it his choice how it ended even though he liked to pretend it was fated, sort of.

Also … everything about Helen. Gahhhh!

I was a bit concerned that the author underplayed certain elements of PTSD which might have been stronger in real life. However, given the main character, perhaps that’s feasible. I’m really not sure. I mean, with God, it’s possible, but …? I don’t know.

I also loved that Leah was Greek, all the talk about the muses, the truth about her family (yes, I wasn’t happy with the conclusion, but the fact behind it was great!), and just … all of that. Sundin is marvelous at culture. I loved seeing her exploring some different settings and different groups of people!

p.s. we need more mother-in-laws like Mrs. Paxton!

For these elements, and some little-discussed ones in Christian fiction that just added marvelously to the story, I adored the book.

I was never really as convinced of Leah and Clay’s relationship as in Sundin’s other books, however. I think it was because there wasn’t really time or space for “chemistry” between them. Sundin is a master of this, but … not so much space in this one.

However, since I know in any other circumstance it would’ve been swoonworthy, well, I’ll just let it go. 😉

Overall, this was another win! I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could, but since that’s all that I have to offer …

5/5 stars

Content Warnings: multiple murder/rapes are alluded to, a child is conceived from rape, blood/wounds from a violent attack are mentioned, past sins from the brothers are alluded to (cheating, fornication, stealing). Basically, something like 16+. Sundin is quite tasteful, though, and like I said, so excited about how she handled the whole “marriage of convenience” trope.
Profile Image for Paula Shreckhise.
1,108 reviews84 followers
January 17, 2020
The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin is the third book of the series Sunrise at Normandy.
Ms. Sundin has given us another gripping glimpse into a pivotal time in WWII history.
A horrific personal incident and war have torn three brothers from their home in Kerville, Texas. Can forgiveness and God’s love bring them back together? This story is primarily about Clay, the youngest of three Paxton brothers and his journey to D-Day in Normandy but also about reconciliation from an event that ripped their family apart. Clay has been brought up in a wonderful Christian family so he likens his situation to that of the patriarch Joseph in the pit before his brothers sold him.
My favorite character is Leah Jones who works in the library at Camp Forrest, Tennessee where Clay is stationed. She is an orphan with a very tender heart for the downtrodden because of her background. She loves books because they were her only friends growing up. “Words make delightful playthings. They cost nothing, they never wear out, and no one can take them away from you.” Her goal is to find information about her younger twin sisters who were adopted separately from her and discover her true identity which was hidden from her.
Clay meets Leah at the library at Camp Forrest where he is in Ranger school preparing to join the war in Europe. After an attack, he saves Leah’s life and offers a marriage of convenience. Though separated, they get to know each other through letters.
Can war possibly bring healing to the brothers? Has Clay truly forgiven his brothers?
Ms. Sundin has a firm grasp on how to convey faith and human nature and pours this knowledge into her characters, making them come alive. Her extensive research shines in the scenes about training and the invasion of Normandy, as well as the everyday hardships of the folks left behind at home. Faith in God is portrayed as the backbone of the Paxton family and forgiveness is seen as a struggle but so worth the outcome.
The underlying theme of the series is The Prodigal Son. An excellent wrap up to a remarkable series. It is no wonder that it is one of my very favorites.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for Rachel McDaniel.
Author 7 books418 followers
February 5, 2020
Sarah Sundin wrote a Marriage of Convenience story!! Repeat - Sarah Sundin wrote a Marriage of Convenience story!!!! And folks, it’s amazing! I can’t gush enough over her brilliant storytelling!

I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for this last installment to the Sunrise At Normandy series, and so when I finally got my hot little hands on The Land Beneath Us, I devoured the book! I confess to staying up past one o’clock because that ending was just…wow!

This author has proven again and again that she knows her stuff concerning the World War II era, and this time she takes us into the trenches with the Rangers of the U.S. Army. There are portions that are intense, filled with combat, and then there are places when the romance steps forward and you find yourself sighing. There’s such an artful balance to it all!

The heroine, Leah Jones, has faced a series of heartbreaks since her childhood. I found myself rooting for her to see herself as God sees her—valued, cherished, and loved. Then there’s the youngest Paxton brother, Clay, who had born the brunt of injustice and yet maintains that honorable spirit. His tenderness with Leah undid me several times throughout the story.

This book is the perfect finale to a phenomenal series. I am going to miss those Paxton brothers, but a visit is only a bookshelf away.

**I received a copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jocelyn Green.
Author 30 books1,223 followers
April 1, 2020
Sarah Sundin is one of my favorite historical novelists, and The Land Beneath Us is a perfect example of why. She strikes the perfect balance between precisely accurate historical settings and timelines, and characters and plot that move the reader through it with ease. I learn something from every novel, yet they never feel bogged down with textbook-like passages. Instead, the history unfolds naturally, populated by characters we care about. The spiritual arcs are believable, insightful, and add depths of meaning to the novel. I found The Land Beneath Us to be a satisfying conclusion to the entire series. If you love drama, danger, intrigue, reconciliation and redemption along with your history, this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Rachelle Cobb.
Author 8 books288 followers
February 5, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin. Sarah is a gifted author whose talent for weaving WWII novels that put you right into the thick of the historical setting while also crafting a love story that keeps you turning pages! I stayed up way too late one night to read this book and highly, highly recommend it. I'm convinced this is Sarah’s best, most epic novel yet.
Profile Image for Debbie.
3,210 reviews60 followers
February 4, 2020
"The Land Beneath Us" is a Christian historical romance set from June 1943 to June 1944 in England. It shows the training up to D-Day and the invasion from the viewpoint of the U.S. Army Rangers. This book is the third in a series. Though it includes enough information that it can be read as a stand alone, the three books are linked as each brother is motivated by a shared painful incident in their past.

Clay was betrayed by his brothers and feels that his future was taken from him. He has a recurring, vivid dream of his death while saving others on the battlefield. This gives his life meaning, and he's so depressed that he doesn't mind the idea of dying. When Leah needs a marriage of convenience to save her reputation and future, Clay has a further opportunity to help another. They're friends and grow closer through the frequent letters that they exchange. Leah urges Clay to forgive his brothers. Both believe that he's going to die during the invasion due to the dream.

The main characters were likable, acted realistically to events, and had depth. Clay and Leah supported each other and became better people through their friendship. They were an awesome match. It was very suspenseful since there was a good chance Clay wasn't going to survive! Both main characters had to deal with prejudice and giving forgiveness, and Leah also had to deal with feeling abandoned by everyone important in her life. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this excellent, suspenseful historical romance.

I received an ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Mary: Me, My Shelf & I.
225 reviews18 followers
April 24, 2022
DNF @30% done
That will teach me…
I will remember from here on in to look up genre for a book that interests me.
This book is *romance novel, *christian romance, *religious fiction, *war romance. 😳
I do not read romance novels (there may be a little romance in what I’ve read but nothing that classifies it as “romance” anything genre.
I’m not opposed to Christian anything per se. I’ve read The Red Tent, Sarah, The Book of Longings and others but this was faith and Christianity in your face to where to ME it was 🤮.
It was too sappy, again to me.
I’m glad others enjoy(ed) it…just not for me 🤷🏻‍♀️

I’m deleting from my reading challenge the books in 2022 I did not finish, although I’ll be way over my goal I do not count my #DNF.
Profile Image for Maureen Timerman.
2,814 reviews469 followers
January 13, 2020
I loved this book, and the only thing I didn’t like was that it ended! The whole series was wonderful, and loved how it all tied in together, and each son did his own part on D-Day.
This is the third son of the Paxton family’s story, Clay, we have previously met Wyatt and Adler, and if you haven’t read them, their books are just as good!
We also met a girl who has grown up in an orphanage, and is searching for her identity, she wants to know who she is, and the world has tried its hardest to put her down. As you can see from the description Clay comes to her rescue, and how he helps her is endearing, but what of the future?
The author made this book more special for me personally as she had Clay taken to the USS Texas, my Dad’s ship during the war.
Don’t miss the ending, or the author’s notes!

I received this book through Library Thing and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
Profile Image for Jesseca Wheaton.
Author 12 books184 followers
March 31, 2020
Well that was utterly delectable and the best one of the series, in my opinion. 😍
Profile Image for MJSH.
1,030 reviews42 followers
February 4, 2020
"There are even more blessings I can't yet see. But I will. I only have to watch."

I've loved every book by Sarah Sundin that I've read so far. I've also been a huge fan of the Paxton brothers from this Sunrise at Normandy series and have been anxiously waiting for the youngest brother's story to unfold. And, boy, the book was totally worth the wait. Though it's the third and last book of the series, it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I really enjoyed the details of the Army Ranger training Clay goes through as well as the close-up and emotional look at D-Day from the ground. The series focuses on true forgiveness, mercy, grace, reconciliation, and recognizing and embracing their place in the world but each book and set of hero/heroine are so different and unforgettable. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially set during WWII, you will love this book and the series.

I have to confess that Clay is indeed my favorite Paxton brother. As the youngest and the one to whom most wrong has been done, he feels that he has the right to be angry, disillusioned, and hopeless yet God tugs at his heart to be kind and sacrificial and he obeys. His tender spirit that wants to heal and encourage totally swept me off my feet. And Leah.... man, her story is heart-breaking and she's had as much wrong done to her as Clay but her hopeful heart and soul cling to God and a brighter tomorrow. How she loves books and children made us instant friends. We also get to meet the Paxton parents in this book, which was so delightful. What a beautiful conclusion to a fantastic series!

I received a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group via Interviews and Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Profile Image for Connie Saunders.
1,400 reviews96 followers
February 26, 2020
This book emphasizes the sacrifices of all who were involved in World War II, both male and female, and it also justifies why these brave people were called The Greatest Generation. Sarah Sundin completely captures the fears, determination, and deep patriotism and vividly describes the horrors of war. Clay Paxton is the focus of this third book of the Sunrise at Normandy series and he is the man that most parents would choose for their daughter. He proves this by marrying a young woman, in an effort to save her virtue, after she has been brutally attacked. Leah Jones is the young woman that he marries and I was especially drawn to this young woman who longs to be a librarian and yearns to find her twin sisters; the young orphan who has never eaten in a restaurant until her marriage. Being separated by war soon becomes a reality and it is through their letters to each other that Clay and Leah get to know each other and realize that perhaps their marriage could be so much more than just a marriage of convenience---if Clay can survive the war.

Sundin has written a beautiful story of faith, family, and forgiveness, and she reminds us of the amazing power of love. I highly recommend The Land Beneath Us to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction.

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review wasn't required and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Christine.
102 reviews36 followers
January 25, 2020
This was a beautiful conclusion to the Sunrise at Normandy series. It brought us to the end of WWII and gave us a lovely finish to the Paxton brothers’ story. Clay and Leah were probably the finest characters I’ve read in a Sundin novel. She has upped her game. But what I really give her kudos for, is the quality messaging that is jam packed in this novel. Forgiveness, repentance, faith, trust, unconditional love, and more were all incorporated without sounding forced or preachy. I also liked reading about different forms of battle in each of these books (sea, air & land).
As for my star rating, I really enjoyed the first and last quarter of the book. Through the middle section, however, I did find myself skimming sections. Hence I deducted one star. But it looks like most readers so far have not had this reaction, and I’m glad. I recommend this series be read in order. It’s a good one and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it.
Profile Image for Alicia.
328 reviews69 followers
July 20, 2020
I really liked reading the latest series by Sarah Sundin. Her books literally never disappoint!

While book 2 was my favourite of the series, The Land Beneath Us was great. This book definitely touched on some difficult topics, but it was tactfully done. Leah’s courage and beautiful spirit after so much devastation in her life was admirable and Clay was the sweetest (a real knight in shining armor). I fell in love with each of the Paxton boys but Clay was my favourite!

The dramatic story behind the Paxton brothers’ estrangement was intense but it made for a compelling story about forgiveness and facing your problems. I also loved how the books were filled with historical tidbits, which helped me learn a little history along the way.

4.5 stars (I’m waffling between a 4 and a 5 but rounding up for Clay & Leah)!
Profile Image for Amanda.
Author 33 books892 followers
June 17, 2022
This is by far my favorite of the Sunrise at Normandy books, a deeply emotional, not-to-be-missed story of family and forgiveness. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Courtney Clark.
571 reviews97 followers
March 24, 2020
The Land Beneath Us is the perfect conclusion to the series. This approach to a group of stories, all three on a similar timeline with the stories of the brothers overlapping, is unique and expertly woven by Sarah Sundin. I really appreciate the bits of real history included in this story, especially concerning the Army's training and preparedness, and the way all the characters show true growth and maturity as a result of their experiences and relationships. Leah, especially, grows into her role as a woman through this. Another thing I really liked about each of these stories is how they parallel and draw influence from prominent Biblical persons, this one referencing Joseph and Leah.

Thank you to Revell publishers for the review copy. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Mayda.
3,020 reviews57 followers
December 17, 2019
A tragic accident forever changed Leah’s life when she was just a toddler. Her parents were killed and she and her younger twin sisters were thrown into an orphanage. Her adoption doesn’t work out well, and she again is dumped at an orphanage for the rest of her growing up years, having no idea what became of her sisters. Now, she is hoping to find them, and is working at a library, researching when she has time. Again, tragedy stuck when she is brutally attacked after hours in the library, saved only when a soldier hears her screams and intervenes. Clay also had his share of troubles, ones that left him estranged from his brothers and resentful of what they had done to him. Perhaps it is this shared unhappiness that drew them together, or maybe they felt they could help each other. Regardless, the bond of friendship is there, and together they become stronger. This lovely tale is one of forgiveness, redemption, and hope. The characters are well written and the story is compelling. Though it is the third part of a trilogy, it works well as a stand-alone. Although it does take place during World War II, and is a romance, it is so much more than just a romantic tale of two people thrown together during a time of strife. These two main characters show growth and strength, make decisions that are right but not necessarily what they wanted, and learn to put others and their welfare before their own needs and wants. This is an intriguing tale that will please readers of historical fiction as well those who enjoy inspirational stories.
Profile Image for Nancee.
650 reviews
January 16, 2020
The Land Beneath Us is the third in this series, and I had not read the first or second books. There was only one reference to a person that I did not recognize, so in my opinion this book can easily stand on its own. The cast of characters is diverse and well described, and the settings throughout were very well documented. It is obvious that a lot of research went into this book, particularly of D-Day, and the preparation that went into it.

This book evoked a wealth of emotions that at times brought me to tears, and other times I rejoiced. Prejudice, empathy and forgiveness are highlights through this touching story. I have read several of this author's books, and find that she weaves deep human emotions into her characters that have a major impact on the reader. Family issues are at the core of both main characters, and overcoming those obstacles is an important part of healing and reconciliation. I enjoyed this book very much, and will more than likely pick up copies of the prequels to it. I highly recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through a LibraryThing giveaway. All expressed opinions are honest and my own.
Profile Image for Erin Laramore.
609 reviews45 followers
January 7, 2020
Oh my - what a satsifying conclusion to this series! I loved both of the other books, but I believe this one was my favorite. This is book 3 in the Sunrise at Normandy series, and while the story-line itself could stand alone, I'd definitely recommend reading the other books first so you can get the overall family dynamics of the Paxtons, as well as get the full effect of the epilogue. Fans of the series will be glad to see the youngest brother, Clay, finally get his story. I know I've been anxiously awaiting this final installment.

Clay Paxton is the youngest of the 3 Paxton brothers and was greatly wronged by both of his older brothers before they left home. After working for the family business for a couple of years, he was drafted into the Army and joined the Rangers, thus bringing in the "land" of the land, air and sea raid at Normandy. While in training, he meets Leah Jones, a young girl working at the base library. Leah grew up as an orphan and didn't even remember her birth name, but she has found the good in all of her circumstance, and the 2 of them help each other to heal from past wounds.

While being rich in historical details of D-Day, this story was a beautiful tale of love and forgiveness. This book had wonderful characters and was so well written. The action had me on the edge of my seat, and the romance was so sweet - Clay and Leah are a couple worth rooting for. The faith thread was strong as they both learned to give up their dreams into the arms of their Savior and seek out healing and forgiveness. There were even some good mystery elements as Clay tried to find out who the "villain" of the story was and Leah sought the details of her past. This book had a little bit of something for everyone and I absolutely adored it! I would strongly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction.

Speical thanks to NetGalley for an advanced e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
Profile Image for Cassie.
252 reviews41 followers
October 1, 2020
Sarah Sundin has long been one of my favorite authors, so when I finally picked this book up, I soon found myself wondering what took me so long to read this one! Why did I let it sit on my shelf so long without reading it? I was fully engaged from the start.

I have to say, I loved these characters so much and both their stories broke my heart. Leah has been through incredible hardship that only began with growing up an orphan, but has remained resilient and positive. Clay has been betrayed from both of his brothers and has lost all that matters to him because of it. The pain and anger he carries because of their betrayal weighs him down, and has resulted in his all-encompassing desire to die in the war.

Not only did I love these characters, I was also highly anticipating the reunion of the three Paxton brothers and hoping for their reconciliation. I won't spoil it, but I think the ending is well worth the wait readers have had to endure.

This book was my favorite of the Sunrise at Normandy series. The Land Beneath Us is the perfect conclusion, and I am happy to have it sitting on my shelf, where I can revisit it whenever I want.
Profile Image for Sydney.
967 reviews107 followers
March 2, 2020
A gifted and inspiring WWII writer, in her story The Land Beneath Us, author Sarah Sundin has crafted a story that readers will immediately be sucked into. The story of an orphan girl who works as a librarian and an Army Ranger Private, this story will come to life as readers learn about their life situations and see how these characters grow as individuals and as a couple. The story also dives into what life is like for not only the soldiers out fighting, but those left behind at home, bringing readers right into the action. The details that the author pays to historical details is amazing and helps bring to life this beloved and epic conclusion to the Sunrise at Normandy series.

Series: Sunrise at Normandy
Genre: historical, romance, WWII
Publisher: Revell
Publication date: February 4, 2020
Number of pages: 384

Other books in the series:
1-The Sea Before Us
2-The Sky Above Us

Disclosure statement: A complimentary review copy of this book was provided from tour groups, publishers, publicists, and authors, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, Or borrowed from Kindle Unlimited OR pre-ordered/purchased for review. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
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