When Tides Turn is a historical romance drama set during World War II. The story's main plot line follows Quintessa "Tess" Beaumont and Lt. Dan Avery. Tess, a vibrant, carefree young lady often recognized for her outward beauty is determined to establish herself in a meaningful career hoping it will make others recognize her other noteworthy traits. As such, Tess applies for and is accepted into the Navy WAVES program accelerating through training to the status of an officer. Tess particularly hopes that her newfound accomplishments in the WAVES will catch the attention of Dan whom she has grown fond of. Dan, brother-in-law of her best friend, Mary, is viewed as dull and straightlaced by those around him. His naval career ambitions have him focused on one goal- to eventually receive a placement on a Navy ship as he aspires to one day become an Admiral. As Tess and Dan spend time together during group outings with their mutual friends, both begin to develop feelings for the other. The novel follows the trials of their vastly different personalities and how these differences create both obstacles- and opportunities- for a possible future relationship.
A secondary plot line also develops as Tess expects her friend, Yvette, a French-national, of being a Nazi spy. Tess covertly begins counter-spying on the French group Yvette frequents in order to find clues to the truth of Yvette's involvement in terrorist-like schemes aimed at destroying the group's efforts to support the Allies.
This book was a little difficult for me to get into. The romance and spy plot lines seemed to move at a snail's pace making it difficult for my attention to stay put on the story. Also, there was a lot of reference to naval submarine tactics. Although these details may have been important to Dan, for the average reader it just bogged down the story. I felt that many of the specific maneuvers described in detail could have been left out without detracting from the story.
My favorite part of the romance between Tess and Dan was Dan's drawings. Sundin deftly described the personality differences between Dan and Tess through the example of the drawings. Tess's addition of color to Dan's monochromatic sketches eloquently demonstrated Tess's vibrant personality adding life and adventure to Dan's career-obsessed path in life highlighting Dan's need in real life to add "play" to his days.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.
Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep and Anchor in the Storm, as well as the Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy, and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force. Sarah lives in California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.