Friday, October 19, 2012

My Review of Against the Tide (CFBA Blog Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Against the Tide
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
by
Elizabeth Camden

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Word from Elizabeth:

I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.

I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.

Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Against the Tide, go HERE.

MY RATING

Summer

MY REVIEW

Deep, dark, and captivating. I started this book one evening and finished it a while later in the early morning hours - not because it is a quick read, but because it completely swept me away with its descriptions and its flawed, amazing characters. Camden has a wonderful talent, and her writing continues to get more and more remarkable with each new book!  

Against the Tide begins with Lydia, giving a sketch of her fascinating but tragic background and then diving into her life as a confident and intelligent adult with a unique career. Some of her quirks ring true for me, and I love her character for her strength and her all-too-real weaknesses.

Camden throws challenge after challenge Lydia's way throughout the story, and it's so horribly sad to witness what she goes through. But oh! The empathy!! What a beautiful thing to be able to feel a character's pain so much that it causes tears and gut-wrenching empathy! It is not an easy journey for Lydia - especially towards the end - but it is a meaningful one with hope and newfound purpose (with a nod to Bane's character - his deep devotion and passion). To be able to feel her emotions so deeply myself....to understand how hard it was for Lydia to make the right choices and to accept love while in such a difficult, humble state...it was a powerful reading experience.

Perhaps not everyone will connect with Lydia's character the way I did, but I really think that Camden does a marvelous job of getting into her characters' minds and hearts and helping the reader to do so, too. And while I was most impacted by Lydia's emotional struggles, this story also has plenty of intrigue and suspense, along with a romance that is thrilling, tender, and thought-provoking. There is a lot to love and a lot to ponder with this story!

If you enjoy a well-written historical romance that is flooded with mystery and drama, Against the Tide is a great read. But if you're like me, take note: you might just find that the emotion comes up like a sneaker wave and engulfs you.

*With thanks to the publisher through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

4 comments:

Miranda Uyeh said...

Yay! Another summer rating! Definitely going after this one.

So glad you visited my blog Amber! Feel free to waltz in anytime! :):)

Amber S. said...

Miranda,

:)

Hope you love it, too! I found it to be pretty powerful!

And I'm so glad to have discovered you have a blog! :) Thank you very much for the invite!

God bless!

~Amber

Rissi said...

Reading that you liked this one makes me happy, Amber! So glad for that. I love Camden's sweet North & South-like debut but was then disappointed in her second novel so hopefully, I'll be reminded again why I liked her writing! :-)

Amber S. said...

Rissi,

Yay! And yes, I hope you love this one, as well! If you liked her first one better than her second one, it's quite possible you'll like this one best of all, as it follows some of the characters from the first book but is better written, in my opinion! :)

~Amber