In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.
Melody Carlson’s Sunset Cove series is one you will definitely want to read in order as Anna McDowell and her family star prominently in each book. Surf Smugglers (book three) takes readers to the brink of America joining World War I, the age of prohibition, and tense racial relations.
Through Anna and her daughter Katy’s perspectives, readers feel the uncertainty and changes of a world at war, the tensions around racial prejudices, and the criminal element of the rum runners. Each of those issues, combined with some romance, family relations, and small-town politics and friendships create a quick-moving story that engaged me throughout.
While most of the large issues were resolved, the war continues, leaving some uncertainty of what the future holds for Anna, Katy, and Sunset Cove. Since there’s one more book to come in the series, there’s hope of full resolution.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
This is the third book in Melody Carlson’s The Legacy of Sunset Cove series and the three books should be read in order since the sequels start off immediately where the previous book ends. This book follows the lives of Anna and her daughter Katy as Anna continues on as the chief of the town’s newspaper and Katy works as the owner of a dress shop in the small Oregonian coastal town of Sunset Cove. Rum running in 1917 is still rampant in Sunset Cove as the country prepares to enter WWI and politics run hot. All the characters from the previous two books return to propel the plot forward and they stay true to character even as they mature. Anna and Katy both have romances that bloom and other social issues of the day like racism are addressed in the book. The plot moved a bit slowly for me this time around but those who enjoy historical fiction will surely enjoy this entire series.
I received a copy of the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
It’s 1917 and the Great War is still in progress. However, the Selective Service Act has now been passed. Sunset Cove, on the Oregon coast, is no different than any other small town – those between the ages of 21 and 30 were required to register for military service. Suddenly jobs that have been filled by capable young men are available, young ladies are lost without their boyfriends, and weddings are being planned in a hurry. Those not of conscription age are questioning if they should volunteer.
Some things, however, have not changed. Rum-running and smuggling are still happening since prohibition is still in effect. Another less than positive thing is happening in town, since the arrival of Anna and Katy’s friend from Portland. Sarah Beth is colored, and there are those that feel discrimination is acceptable. Kidnapping brings the whole town together, but will they survive if their boys don’t return from the war?
I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series, and am looking forward to reading more about this charming small town situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. A copy of this novel was received through CelebrateLit. The five star rating was in no way solicited and all comments and opinions are my own.
I am so glad to be back in Sunset Cove, Oregon in 1917. So much has changed in the small town with women getting the right to vote and hopefully the rum running is over. Anna still runs the local newspaper and people are becoming more accepting of her . The big story is that the US will be putting into place the Selective Service Act. This news has everyone on edge as young men face being sent into battle.
An old friend of Anna and her daughter Katy has been asked to come stay with them to help get her back on her feet. There could be a problem with Sarah Rose coming to town because she has darker skin. Not everyone during this time period was accepting of African American people and they fear that Sarah Rose could be in danger. I liked how several people made her feel welcome and made sure she got to work and home safely.
Katy has sure matured and her dress job is a huge success. She is smitten with Jim and I loved their innocent relationship develop slowly. It is very likely that Jim will be called up for duty and Katy is a bit upset. What will she do when Jim leaves? Will he still be her sweetheart when he returns? Katy is so worried about his safety and does something very spur of the moment that takes her mother by surprise.
The story has wonderful characters and I loved how Anna and Daniel were slowly starting to like each other. He also has news that he has to leave and what the town does to entice him to return is overwhelming. The town is full of people who help each other out and want the town to prosper. There is still a rumor that liquor is being smuggled and Anna is determined to find out who it is. The town has a lot going on and the author keeps the story flowing at a great pace. It is a book that brings people together to celebrate achievements and continue to trust God as they look to the future.
There is a little suspense in the story that was unexpected. Someone is kidnapped and the race is on to rescue this person before a tragedy happens. I liked this part because it part townspeople together and put aside their differences.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
I enjoyed Surf Smugglers as much as I enjoyed the previous two books in The Legacy of Sunset Cover series. Set in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900’s, the books combine historical fiction and clean romance into enjoyable storylines. Melody Carlson is a prolific author with many interests and a wide knowledge base which is evident in her books.
Surf Smugglers continues the story of growing love between Katy and JIm and between Anna and Daniel. The plot also includes continued troubles with rum running as well as racial tensions when a black woman, a friend of Katy and Anna, comes to town. There is plenty in the plot to keep it moving forward – making the book hard to put down at times. While there is no author’s note, the book does appear to be historically accurate. I am hoping Carlson continues the series as there are several “loose ends” regarding those participating in the war that appear to need another book to wrap them up.
I would not hesitate to add Surf Smugglers to my K-12 Christian School library. It is appropriate for middle school and up.
I want to thank Celebrate Lit for the complimentary copy of Surf Smugglers. This is my honest review.
First off, isn’t the cover on this one stunning? I fell in love from the moment I saw it!
I didn’t have the chance to read the first two books in this series before starting this one, which I felt like hampered me a bit, but not as much as I would of thought. While I wouldn’t call this a stand alone story by any means, I felt like Melody does a good job of introducing characters so that the reader isn’t lost when starting in the middle.
I love the characters in this story! The women in it are strong characters who are very progressive for their time, partially due to necessity, without being annoying about it. Both Anna and Sarah Rose have had to make a life for themselves when things don’t go as planned, and I admired them for the grace they exhibited when things didn’t go their way. I also found the history of the story interesting, since I didn’t realize that Oregon was so behind on racial issues in the early 1900’s compared to other Northern states. This is a fascinating story and I look forward to going back and reading the rest of it!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influence by receiving a complimentary copy.
Although this is likely not a series that I would necessarily gravitate toward on my own, I am glad that I have had the opportunity to read and review each of the three books thus far. Ordinarily, I prefer action and some mystery or suspense when reading fiction, and while there is arguably a bit of this in the Legacy of Sunset Cove series, the true foundation is built on relationships and people. In the first book, I admittedly had a somewhat difficult time connecting with and truly engaging with the characters. This improved in book two, and “Surf Smugglers” presents a blossoming and maturation of the central figures that is realistic and endearing.
If there is a single word that captures the spirit of “Surf Smugglers”, it is “change.” Melody Carlson draws credible parallels between the United States entering the war in 1917 and the battles that each character, as well as the town of Sunset Cove itself, likewise faces. There is a suspicion of continued rum-running, and with the war coming closer to home due to the draft, shortages of both employees and goods become more common. Even women’s fashion adapts, becoming more austere and less frilly. Developing a local Red Cross chapter and making other amendments to the town further highlight how war influences even more backwater locales.
Most compelling, however, is Carlson’s portrayal of the community. The people reflect the challenges and transformations of the time period, because “history did not change itself overnight.” In “Surf Smugglers”, I appreciated the inclusion of a colored woman as one of the important secondary characters, and the ensuing implications. Similarly, there is a theme of second chances and of not judging or forming an opinion too hastily. I know that I have struggled with this myself, and having it raised as an issue in the novel is a reminder of how we should model the redemption that our Savior has given us. One of the characters who matured the most is Katy. Her approach to life, “Take chances and make changes”, leads her to plenty of new experiences. The spiritual element in the narrative is light, and I think that this series would appeal to any readers who enjoy historical fiction, historical romance, and coming-of-age stories.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
“Surf Smugglers” by Melody Carlson is a wonderful book about forgiveness and and accepting people for who they are regardless of their skin color. This is the three book in the ” The Legacy of Sunset Cove” series and I suppose a reader could enjoy reading this book without reading the other two, but I strongly recommend reading the books in order. The books have the same characters and somewhat the same plot, newspapers editors and reporters and smugglers and the war.
This book actually had me holding my breath for a couple of events that took place. I can honestly say I am glad they both ended the way it did. The ending makes me wonder and hope for another book about these characters.
I really think my favorite character in this book is Lawrence because he proves that a person who is bad can change into a productive member of society.
I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.