In her conclusion to the Wings of the Nightingale trilogy, Sarah Sundin follows Kay Jobson, the girl with a boyfriend (or five) in every airfield. Overlapping with events in the previous two novels, we get Kay's perspective on the war and further insight into her relationship (or lack there-of) with pilot Roger Cooper. Roger, knowing temptation when he sees it, studiously tries to avoid Kay, but God keeps throwing them together in His pursuit of her heart. Roger is willing to follow God's direction, but dreaming of being a professional drummer in a band, he mainly wants to log his flight hours and then muster out, leaving Kay far behind. However, God just might have a different plan, including resurrecting dreams buried deep in his heart of hearts.
I really enjoyed the subject of Sundin's series - the WWII flight nurses. Prior to this series, I knew next to nothing about them, and it has been fascinating reading about the dangers and difficulties they endured to serve their country, from initial prejudice to plane crashes to getting tapped behind enemy lines. The detail the author includes is astounding; she closely follows the troop movements and ever-shifting front lines of the Mediterranean theatre of the war, writing with research-driven authenticity.
As has been a common theme this year, dreams play a significant role in this story. I really like that not only does Roger pursue his dreams, but God dispels lies and empowers him along the way. Through his efforts to please his commanding officer, Roger becomes a more responsible, more mature lieutenant; in turn, that recognition of increased maturity encourages him to believe that yes, he is capable of being a teacher. He is responsible, and not the screw-up he long believed himself to be.
Another theme that struck me was that of redemption. Like for Kay, it is one thing to know that we are redeemed and forgiven; it is another to live like we believe it. Any little discouragement makes the difficulty increase tenfold, especially when it comes from other trusted christians. Though it is discouraging for Kay when men suppose she is of easy virtue, it is piercingly painful when Roger acts that way. She has to work hard to believe that she is redeemed, and she has to choose to act like she is redeemed every time she is placed in a tempting situation.
While I am sad to see the series come to an end, Sundin concludes the series in a heart-warming manner that perfectly fits the theme of the series. It is fun to look back where Kay, Mellie, and Georgie began in With Every Letter and see how far they've come by the end of this one. Like Sundin's other novels in the series, this one is rich in historical detail, driven by complex characters, and based on God's uplifting truth. 5 out of 5 stars!
Thank you Revel for providing a free book for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
Wings of the Nightingale
1. With Every Letter
2. On Distant Shores
3. In Perfect Time