Far Side of the Sea: Fiction Review

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Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin went everywhere with me! I couldn’t put it down. Whether at the dining table with the kiddos, the doctor’s office waiting for my physical therapy appointment, or the wee hours of the morning in bed… It only took a couple of days to finish, but it was my constant companion.


I love the historical details and learning about pigeon carriers used in World War I was particularly interesting. The characters themselves were engaging and while there was a beautiful culmination of the story there were twists and turns along the way that took me by surprise.


Set in 1918 England the tale takes us through France and Spain during wartime. Main characters Colin Mabry and Johanna Reyer have a mission of a personal nature, that after being thrust together; they set out to accomplish despite dangerous times and unexpected events. Colin’s love, Johanna’s sister, Jewel is missing along with the women’s father. As the story unfolds they learn to trust each other and God, the story is filled with excitement serious mishaps, and complicated relationships.

I loved the story and I truly could not put it down. I even jumped over to audiobook on audible when chores beckoned. Breslin is a fresh and detailed writer who incorporates history and faith seamlessly. I love that I learned something while reading the story, but wasn’t distracted or derailed by the historically rich information. The characters have integrity and deal in their circumstances and relationships both honestly and realistically.

As this book is a novel I did not realize that it built on a previous novel written by Breslin. If I had known this I may have started there first, as the reader is introduced in Not by Sight to the beloved Colin Mabry, and will know more of what made him who he is at the start of Far Side of the Sea. Just an insider tip to those who may snag the book.

Thanks to Bethany House publishers for providing me a copy of the book, all these opinions are my own.

From the Back Cover

“A complex and riveting tale that you won’t be able to set aside. Bravo!”–Roseanna M. White, bestselling author of the Ladies of the Manor and Shadows Over England series

In 1918 England, Lieutenant Colin Mabry spends his days decoding messages for MI8 after suffering injuries at the front. When he receives an urgent summons by carrier pigeon from Jewel Reyer–a woman who saved his life and whom he believed to be dead–he can only hope he’ll regain the courage he lost on the front lines as he’s driven back into war-torn France.

But Jewel isn’t the one waiting for him in Paris. Instead, it is a stranger who claims to be her half sister, Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence. She found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust grows.

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.

“Blending spycraft with a story of romance forged under the pressure of a life-or-death rescue mission, this action-packed historical will appeal to fans of historical thrillers and will keep readers guessing until the final moments.”–Publishers Weekly

“Breslin illuminates the world of spies and double agents in this exciting story set in 1918 Europe at a time when political divides cost families dearly. A romance rich in fascinating historic detail and charged with suspicion and suspense.”–Booklist

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