When Twilight Breaks

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


When Twilight Breaks


Sarah Sundin


Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Publication Date: February 2, 2021




384 pages


The year is 1938. Peter Lang is a young student doing his PhD work in Munich, glad to see a government system that produces better employment than Depression era American while avoiding community ideology. Evelyn Brand is a young reporter working in Munich who knows that the Nazi Party’s professional exterior hides something darker that most Americans don’t see. When Brand and Lang meet, they’re not certain what to think about each other. As their work draws them together and Lang discovers the terror behind Nazism’s façade, they realize that they might have found something in each other they didn’t expect: love.

Because Nazism was such a clearly evil ideology and American wars after WWII often ended with mixed results or had dubious motives, Americans tend to write about 1930s Germany in very black and white terms. This often results in novels where the villains are one-dimensional and Nazi ideology comes across as bizarre and inexplicable. This portrait misses the insidious nature of dictatorships, how they initially seem sensible and (particularly in the case of Nazism) give average people a pretext to do terrible things as long as they’re “just following orders.”

Fortunately, Sundin leans into complexity with this book by showing how one of the lead characters is initially swayed by the sense of order in Nazi Germany. It is not until things begin to get truly violent that this character realizes that behind the sense of order is something dark. In this way, the book captures just how tempting it is to believe the best of even a dictatorship, not realizing until it is too late what’s going on. Other characters are a bit one-dimensional, as is common in Christian romance novels. Still, this element and others makes this book’s characters more complex than the typical Christian Fiction novel, which is quite refreshing.   

The author also makes her story more particular than many historical romance novels, with lots of references to specific buildings and music which were popular in 1930s Germany.  This gives the story a sense of depth, the sense that Sundin is telling a story grounded in a historical period, not just using Germany as a backdrop for an easy morality tale.

An exciting and engaging story.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Fans of romantic World War II historical fiction, particularly stories about 1930s Nazi Germany and the moral conflicts presented by people living within Germany at the time.

Christian Impact

Sundin works in a number of references to prayer, trusting God in harsh circumstances, and the complexities of whether to pursue freedom or civil obedience in a country that is developing into a dictatorship. As with many Christian Fiction novels, these discussions aren’t very complex. However, these topics have more complexity than the token discussions about personal salvation that appear in most Christian Fiction thrillers. Sundin also personalizes the discussions to the characters more than most Christian Fiction authors do, which makes it much more palatable.

Note: Readers who enjoy this style of historical fiction may enjoy other novels by Sarah Sundin. To read ECLA’s review of her other books, go to:


When Twilight Breaks

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