In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin is the third in her Wings of the Nightingale series about three friends who were flight nurses during WWII (The first was With Every Letter, the second was On Distant Shores, both linked to my reviews).
They didn’t start out as friends: they had their differences. Kay Jobson was probably the hardest to get to know for the other girls. They were Christians and she was not. She liked to flirt, to have half a dozen boyfriends at a time, was decidedly unchristian, and liked to run around with other girls who felt the same way she did. But circumstances in the previous two books have led to something of a friendship between Kay, Mellie, and Georgie.
Someone in the book called Kay a floozy, and honestly, that’s what I thought of her in the other books. But I was convicted of being judgmental. She doesn’t get physical with her boyfriends – in fact, that’s one reason she keeps so many, so that none will get too serious. When he does, she drops him. Finding out her back story and mindset was eye-opening. Girls who are flirtatious and even promiscuous are souls Jesus died for with stories and heartaches of their own.
I won’t unfold her story here except to say that part of it involved a father who only preached condemnation and who condemned her about things that weren’t her fault and were beyond her ability to change. Her life now is all about control. Her view of Christians has been shaped by her father.
Guys seem to melt like around her, except for pilot Roger Cooper. He keeps his distance and is known not to date. He has his reasons, noble to him, as we soon discover. He is a Christian anyway, which Kay doesn’t like. But one encounter opens both of their eyes a bit to the other, with a glimpse that there may be more to the other than each had thought.
Roger is a great pilot, courageous, daring, thinking outside the box, but he is not good with details like filling out forms and being on time, and he loves to pull pranks on the other guys. His father told him he would never amount to anything, which becomes kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Both Roger and Kay have to learn that other people’s expectations and misjudgments and even past failures don’t define us. When Kay learns that she is, in fact, redeemable, for the first time she begins to want to be redeemed. They also have to learn that though it is okay to dream, ultimately we have to give our dreams and desires over to God. If He fulfills them, it will be better than anything we could have done. If He redirects them, it will be better than going our own way would have been.
I loved Kay and Roger’s story on several levels. I will forewarn some that this book is perhaps a little more physical than Sarah’s others, but nothing is explicit. One of the characters wrestles with sexual temptation, but that is a common temptation, and I thought Sarah handled it well.
Though characters from the other two books are in this one, I think this one can be enjoyed alone (though I’d encourage you to read the others as well. 🙂 )
(This will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)