Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Distant Melody (Wings of Glory, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Distant Melody

(Wings of Glory #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  4,608 ratings  ·  564 reviews
Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval - even marry a man she doesn't love. While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak - fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women - takes his last furlough at home in California before bein
Paperback, 422 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Fleming H. Revell Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Distant Melody, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
CurlyG There is some over lap, and you get small updates on the couple from the previous book (and couples in Book 3). Small paragraphs like Allie and Walt a…moreThere is some over lap, and you get small updates on the couple from the previous book (and couples in Book 3). Small paragraphs like Allie and Walt attending are mentioned a party, and you get the update through the eyes of Walt's brother.(less)
Mary I wouldn't say it is overly so. I read a ton of christian fiction, and I don't like the overly preachy ones. I adored this book though. There a main t…moreI wouldn't say it is overly so. I read a ton of christian fiction, and I don't like the overly preachy ones. I adored this book though. There a main theme running through out the book of obedience to God and His teachings. There are also a bunch of bible quotes discussed. But it isn't as extreme as some I have read. As I said I really loved this book, so I don't think I would say it was over the top.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,608 ratings  ·  564 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Distant Melody (Wings of Glory, #1)
Jocelyn Green
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite novels ever. Here’s what I liked about it:
■It’s a love story, but it’s not sicky-sweet.
■It’s set during World War 2, so I think military wives/girlfriends of any generation will be able to relate to some part of the heroine’s journey
■It’s very thoroughly researched. I was so impressed with the level of detail in the descriptions of the Flying Fortress (B-17s), as well as life back home in California during the war. But don’t worry, it’s not dull, it’s fascinating.
■The char
Kellyn Roth
Read Second Time:
JUST AS GOOD AS BEFORE! Allie + Walt = <3 And I'm reading it knowing about *coughs* certain characters *coughs* and it makes it sooo much better and the message and the history and the era ... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Even more creeped out by Baxter, though. *shivers* Creepy, scary, awful guy ...

Read First Time:

Simply fantastic story. I can’t get over it. I just loved it to death. Now, time to explain why A Distant Melody is now among my favorite novels ever. Not that I’ll be able
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4,75 stars - English Ebook -
- antisipation trillend a song in her heart, but the tune felt thin, a single line of melody with no harmony to make it sonate.-
Two people meet at a wedding. Their world could not be more apart. They fall in love but she is going to get married to someone else and he is of to war. How will this end?
I loved this read. It took me to a time where it counted what you say and do. Honnor and love. A good combi for me.
- Nah. Gotta get used to the could. B-17s fly at over
I think this is my favorite book by Sarah Sundin so far. I laughed, I cried, I sighed in delight, and groaned in frustration... This author really likes to engage the reader's emotions!

The story really pulled me in and I loved it from start to finish. I especially enjoyed getting to see the stateside pov as well as the overseas pov. It was quite interesting. The journeys of both Walt and Allie were very difficult at times and I liked seeing them grow and change, maturing into better people throu
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I began this book, I thought it might get three stars. Halfway through, it got bumped up to four. That's why you read the whole book- it was definitely a five-star book for me.

I had two (minor) complaints: the beginning and the end. The beginning felt too modern for me, with the talk of boyfriends, attraction, etc. I'm not sure why, but it lost that feel quickly. Then there was the end. It was fine, but a little cliché and unrealistic. I don't know how often people jump of trains, but it's
California & England, 1942

I would have given this book an unhesitant 5 star rating if it hadn't been for the extremely frustrating, incredibly maddening last quarter of the story, which left me annoyed and rolling my eyes and very disappointed to have such a beautiful book slightly marred by miscommunication problems and childishness.

But aside from that I loved this book to pieces, it was charming and romantic, I loved all the '40s references and Allie's clothing (I am definitely making that dr
A chance encounter during her best friend’s wedding is sufficient to revolutionize Allie Miller’s life. Why does she have a feeling that the charming pilot Walter Novak is able to understand her more than anyone else in the world? What would her boyfriend think if he knew that she feels something special for this young man that she has known only for some days? Accepting to write him some letters to cheer him up during the war may be the worst decision of her life. Or maybe the best?

Sarah Sundin
Libby May
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Personally, I did not like the writing style. There was a lot of shallow events that were created to bring across a point, and it really felt like a junk food book. Not healthy, no depth, and just honestly leaves you feeling a little sick.

This is my personal opinion and I don't agree with the author about her standings as a Christian. The main point in the book was largely focused on disobeying her parents (because they wanted her to marry Baxter) and Walter's habit of lying. And I do agree tha
Jesseca Wheaton
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Ahhhh!! *hugs book* Just finished this! One of the best books I have read in a loonnggg time! I'll write my full review later. . .once I have a chance to collect all my thoughts and maybe re-read a couple parts. :) ...more
*sigh* so so so sweet.

The Good


I've seen a lot of reviews for this book, and they were all glowing, so I went in with high expectations, and this book certainly met them. Plot-wise, the book was really good, and there was a lot of action to keep me immersed and interested the entire way. Plus, with the writing, I was completely drawn into the book, and it felt like I really was in the 1940's. I could also tell that Mrs. Sundin did her research 'cause there was a whole lot of historical info
Bruce Judisch
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Oh boy, was this good! Where do I start?

I've already confessed to being a softie for stories of the Greatest Generation, but that aside, this is a marvelous book. Strong storyline, excellent writing, impeccable research--A Distant Melody has it all. In fact, Sarah Sundin has set the bar so high in this, her debut novel, that I'm a little nervous for her follow-on work. (Not really)

The story opens in 1942 with plain Allie Miller, heiress to a fabulously wealthy estate and a disasterously arranged
Noella Baird
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a great writer! Had me guessing what would happen next and cheering on the characters that I loved best. So much happening in this book!! A really great book indeed!
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wondered how it would be to read the author's first book after reading eight others by her. Would it be as good? I needn't have given it a thought. Sarah Sundin is one of the most consistent writers I've read, even down to her first book. I highly recommend all of her books.

This book, as all of her books, is a winning combination of WWII history, men (and women) in the military, family and romantic relationships, and faith, not to mention personal growth. If you look for books from which you c
Not sure I get all the five star reviews. I found the writing to be clumsy. The plot is confusing and filled with filler that didn't add to the execution of the story. I ended up not finishing the book. With so many "good reads", I don't want to waste my time. ...more
Age Appropriate For: 13 and up for romance and violence
Best for Ages: 15 and up

I have been a bit flighty when it comes to books lately. I have read a few pages in one book before jumping to the next book. This book grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until I read the last page. I wished I could afford to go out and buy copies of all of Sundin’s books.

This book will make my top 10 books of the year list for sure. I thought it was going to be another sweet romance with a little spiritual messag
Wow, wow, wow! As the characters in this book would say, "What a swell read!" I am a big fan of WWII fiction and could actually hear the characters talking as I read this book. It made me think of the old movies set in that era. I felt like I was living within the pages because the setting was so well done. While this was a thick novel, don't let it deceive you. I zipped right through it in a few days. I can't stand it when books drag on forever and this one didn't slow or lag at all. It was the ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Though there were many things that I enjoyed about this book my overall feeling finishing it was just frustration. I love the WWII era which is what drew me to this book in particular. I enjoyed the characters for the most part and thought the writing was good but it was a little too religious for me. I really don't mind when authors make their characters religious, I appreciate that most of the time but I felt like it kind of overtook the story in general. I love reading books with characters o ...more
Rachelle Cobb
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read, kindle-read
Love this book! Sarah Sundin is one of my favorites!
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Why in the world did I not pick this book up sooner! A Distant Melody is now one of my most favorite books EVER! I absolutely loved it!!! (sorry if this review is a little all over the place!)

From the perfect cover to the story inside, this book was phenomenal! What can I say? When I read the very last page, I was sad because I didn't want it to end!

Allie and Walt "Preach" are so wonderful together! These two main characters came alive to me, they were very real and really just the best! In fac
Sheila Holmes
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, I'm stumped... thoroughly and completely stumped. I'm not sure I even know how to rate and review this novel. Where to begin???

First, I looove WWII stories, so that thrilled my heart. And, frankly, the novel was just beautiful in it's content. But, I got hung up on three things.

First, there was sooo much detail about fighter planes, their crew member's positions and duties, and I kind of got lost, then learned that when I got to those places, I could just skim over them and move ahead to t
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-ii
Very sweet story :)

“I thought it would fix everything, but it just made everything worse. Lies do. Remember when I told you white lies were like ball bearings in the machinery of society? Wrong. Lies are like incendiary bombs, burning and melting and mangling everything- trust, hopes, everyone you love.”
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I regret I wasn't born during the Roaring Twenties so I could experience the 1940s as a twenty-something. I love this era. As I continue to decorate my house - built in 1930 - I can't help but continue to add little vintage design nods to the 1940s. When I cook in my vintage-inspired kitchen, I usually have Pandora radio on to "The Andrews Sisters" channel I created - complete with an apron donned of course.

So, it should come at no surprise that I really enjoyed reading book one of the "Wings of
Aug 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Okay.. So I know a lot of you are going to not believe I could possibly rate this book one star-and I didn't think I would either-until I got near half-way through the book. I wasn't going to give it a very high rating, due to the fact I didn't like how Walt thought about her legs and how she looked in her bathing suit.And all the immoral characters in the army-I know it's there, but older books have more tact in portraying an evil character. I did love the characters Allie and Walt though-so sw ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Quickie Review

A woman in the 1940's is about to be forced into a marriage to a man she doesn't love...when she meets an Air Force pilot who she knows is her soulmate.  Her parents are very unhappy when she announces her true love, and threaten to forsake her if she doesn't marry the guy they want her to.  Will true love win out, or will she be unhappily married? A captivating story, great writing, and a bit of fun along with the romantic historical drama.  I loved it, and am very glad I have t
Elizabeth N. | ThePennilessBooknerd
This is pretty good. There were some parts i didn't like (like when a certain character thinks lying will help and the other is withholding the truth. *grunts in frustration* although it is part of the plot line but whyz.) i do really want to read the 3rd book in the series after reading the summary for that.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was a easy, light read. But, I found much of it to be a bit cheesy and cliche for my tastes.
Carla Stewart
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while a book comes along that wraps its arms around you and so enchants you that you don’t want to the story to end. Sarah Sundin’s debut novel, A Distant Melody, is one of those books. At the height of WWII, a chance meeting brings Allie Miller and Walt Novak together, but Allie’s upcoming marriage, arranged by her wealthy parents, and Walt’s dispatch to pilot a B-17 bomber from an airbase in England, halts the romance before it has time to spark. Only the letters which cross the Atla ...more
Keli Gwyn
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sarah Sundin made a sensational debut with her WWII romance. A Distant Melody grabbed me from the start and held me captive until the last page. Sundin’s characters, including those in supporting roles, are well crafted and leap off the page. I’d welcome Walt and Allie as friends. Though they’re imperfect people in need of the Lord’s guiding hand, they’re extremely likeable, and I ached to see the hardships they faced. After their meeting, which was such fun to read, the two are torn apart by th ...more
Catherine Hawthorn
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of my absolute favorite wartime books (4 1/2 stars)!! Especially since the hero is a B-17 pilot, which I'm rather partial too.

Langauge: 5 stars.

Abuse: 4 stars. Heavy emotional manipulation by parents, some mental depression and mild PTSD from war.

Lust: 4 stars. one of the characters is falsely accused of homosexuality, mention of some wartime art (nude woman), mentions of carousing.
Plot: Allie is an unhappy, lonely girl who is willing to marry to please her mother and for money. But that all changes when she meets Walter Novak, a Air Force lieutenant who has been stationed in her hometown of Fresno, CA.
Warning: one character is revealed to be homosexual but that’s a minor detail. Some major kissing.
Recommend: for all
Read/ 7/6-9/19
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Dec 21, 2014 09:54AM  
Christian Fiction...: July "Bonus" Book of the Month - A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin 18 55 Jul 30, 2014 03:37AM  
Clean Fiction: discussion of September 2014's Main Group Read 2 6 May 16, 2014 04:53AM  
Free on Kindle 1 15 Jan 17, 2014 07:56AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II
  • Ring of Secrets (The Culper Ring, #1)
  • High As the Heavens
  • String of Pearls (The Mulligan Sisters #3)
  • On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers, #2)
  • A Wing and a Prayer (The Cousins O'Connor, #1)
  • The Number of Love (The Codebreakers, #1)
  • Far Side of the Sea
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
  • We'll Meet Again (The Mulligan Sisters #4)
  • A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1)
  • An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England, #3)
  • After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own, #1)
  • The Best of Intentions (Canadian Crossings, #1)
  • Not by Sight
  • Whispers from the Shadows (The Culper Ring, #2)
  • I'll Be Seeing You (The Mulligan Sisters #1)
See similar books…
Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of When Twilight Breaks (coming February 2021),The Land Beneath Us (2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), as well as the Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale series, and Wings of Glory series. Her novel The Land Beneath Us was a 2020 Christy Award finalist, Th ...more

Other books in the series

Wings of Glory (3 books)
  • A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory, #2)
  • Blue Skies Tomorrow (Wings of Glory, #3)

News & Interviews

Looking for a fictional meet-cute in the new year? We've got some steamy novels for you to snuggle up with, including Casey McQuiston's...
52 likes · 14 comments
“When we're not following God's will, our sacrifices aren't acceptable to Him. What God wants most is for us to be broken before Him, walk with Him, know Him, and obey Him.” 15 likes
“He raged and questioned and mourned. Eventually he found peace—not peace like some still pond, but peace like a river, jostling over rocks, hurtling over falls, whirling in eddies. Authentic, rugged peace.” 7 likes
More quotes…