Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1)

Written by Sarah Sundin
Review by Fiona Alison

A battleship launch, a gasoline-filled champagne bottle and a childhood love of Nancy Drew mysteries is our introduction to Mary Sterling – an executive assistant at the Boston Navy Yard who is charged with organizing the launches. When Mary realizes the bottle of champagne she personally approved has been tampered with, she begins some private sleuthing to find a saboteur. Jim Avery, just graduated from the academy and awaiting his first mission, enlists Mary to show him Boston’s historic sights. This sparks a new friendship which gradually moves towards romance, but the shy Mary remains circumspect about a deeper relationship, recalling Jim’s schoolboy infatuation with her best friend, Quintessa – Mary’s polar opposite. As the list of saboteur-related incidents grows, stinging accusations are made, resulting in several false arrests, yet the saboteur remains elusive until Mary’s intuitions, finally shared with an FBI agent, show results.

Sarah Sundin is well known for her WWII-era historical romance dramas. Her female protagonists are upstanding, capable and ethical, and the novel contains many inspirational moments testing Mary’s and Jim’s faith in God to guide them through difficult times and difficult choices. Lots of factual information emerges through the narrative about Boston and US naval history and the high state-of-alert in the USA in 1941. Several US battleships were sunk during that year, prior to Pearl Harbor, and the author uses these lesser-known events as catalysts for her plot, including torpedoing Jim’s ship. The romance takes a backseat to the historical aspects and action, but Jim finds a wonderfully inventive way of declaring his love at the conclusion.