On occasion I happily stumble upon new books to review that check off all the boxes for what I enjoy in a book. Kate Breslin's Far Side of the Sea from Bethany House is a work of historical fiction set in World War I Europe with a touch of a light, Christian romance. One of my favorite styles of books is historical fiction. I also like nonfiction works and I love studying World War I so this book was one that I quickly finished in a few days.
The main characters of Far Side of the Sea are Lieutenant Colin Mabry and Ms. Johanna Reyer. We journey with them through France to Spain in search of Jewel, Johanna's sister, and Jack, their father. A few of the characters were first introduced in Breslin's earlier novel – Not By Sight – but I did not feel at a loss for not having read this prior novel. (Although I will be reading it soon as I enjoyed Far Side of the Sea so much!)
"That trust is quickly put to the test, however, when their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot and their search for answers quickly turns into a battle for their lives."
Over the course of 367 pages, Breslin takes us on an intriguing journey of spies, coded messages, carrier pigeons, and a brief history of the Irish fight for freedom from one girl's perspective. The paperback book also includes an author's note which provides a few historic details about World War I and ten discussion questions that are good for a book club.
Throughout the adventure of searching for her sister and father, Johanna learns from Colin to trust in God and that miracles can happen. During their journey to Barcelona, Colin shares a wonderful story about how he overcame his stutter and came to talk to God once they "got to know one another."
While some may see the events that took place in regards to his stutter as mere coincidence, it is very easy to see that God had answered Colin's prayer and aided him in being like the other boys at his school. Now he just has to trust God's plan for him after his injury on the battlefield.
I would recommend Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin to those who enjoy historical fiction or Christian Romance. If you like spy tales or mysteries, this might also interest you as it is a complex tale of German, French, British, and American agents. I will definitely be looking for other books by Kate Breslin in the near future.