About the Book:Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?
I don't know if it is the picture of the movie theater on the cover, or just my imagination, but as I was reading this book I could see the story unfolding on a big screen, played by famous stars of the 1940's. It is a sweeping story that features small town life, and the battles of WWII. While Ray fights the Germans, in part to prove his manhood, Helen battles to find herself, a self she has buried since her marriage to her late husband. We soon learn that for all her courage and all her busyness, all was not right with her marriage, and now with her life with her in-laws.
Ray is a good guy. He's the son of a preacher and until this book starts, has been serving as an instructor pilot. Now those jobs are given to those returning from overseas tours so he is made a supply officer--a nice safe job not far from home. He wants to be a preacher when the war is over, but something Helen says compels him to request a combat slot to prove, to himself if no one else, that he is truly a man.
The book is Christian fiction but unless you hate to read about people's faith lives, if you are a fan of clean historical romance, you should like this. There are prayers and scripture readings but they are well-integrated into the story and not preachy. No one has to find Jesus to live happily ever after, and Christians suffer plenty.
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this book. It is available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Grade: B+
Blue Skies Tomorrow: A Novel (Wings of Glory) is the third book in the series; the other two feature Ray's brothers. My reviews can be found here and here.