24 November 2012

Against The Tide by Elizabeth Camden, Book review

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
ISBN-13: 978-0764210235


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.

My thoughts:

With its intriguing prologue set in 1876 Boston 'Against the Tide' captivated this reader and by the time I finished Chapter 1, this time set fifteen years later in 1891 I was hooked! 
Elizabeth Camden's name is now added to my list of favourite writers! 
True to her Masters degrees in History and Library Science, Elizabeth Camden writes historical spellbinding novels which leaves you wanting for more. 

Richly woven against the highest of the Opium trade, the author introduces us to a little known fact: this drug was present in a many compound sold over the chemist (pharmacy) counters across the continental US and abroad. In fact Mrs. Winslow's syrup for young children was one of the biggest culprit but I am getting ahead of myself.

Lydia Pallas is first introduced in the narrative as a young orphan left on the shores of Boston's wharves. She survives 15 years in an orphanage and after two years search found a small advertizing for a translator position in the US Navy offices. Greek, Turkish and Croatian were her first and subsequent languages. To English she added Russian, Italian and Albanian making her a perfect candidate for the job required by the struggling navy after the Civil War and the Army's expansion to the West. 

Lydia loves her new life and staunchly keeps to herself. She first encounter Alexander Bainbridge in the office as he sweeps by, leaving her in no doubt he wants something from her. 
It soon appears her linguistic talents is more required by the man dubbed 'The Adonis' than her female attributes. Despite her misgivings she finds herself drawn to him as if part of her own soul. Together they become a team to find the source of the opium shipments to Boston.

The subsequent events described by Elizabeth Camden leaves you in no doubt this is an intricate plot written by a master of storytelling! Part history, part drama with just enough bittersweet romance to please any romantic soul, this is none the less a recount of the gritty and addictive story of the opium reach amidst the 1800's in daily lives. You might find yourself quite shocked to read the implications of this dreadful addiction and how long it took to remove its hold on the market!  

Difficult to put down and even harder to share (albeit I found myself discussing -almost-every revealing new twist in this compelling novel with hubby! It is now his turn to read it!)

5 Stars as there are no higher!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Camden is intriguing as her novels! Here is a little bit of her biography (see more HERE).
Be sure to check out the option of reading an excerpt, how to buy this book and the BOOK EXTRAS!

'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 decided to become a librarian because I can think of no other career in which you get such a wide exposure to all aspects of recorded knowledge. I have been an academic librarian for fifteen years, where on any given day I get to research the sonnets of Shakespeare, learn what makes pelican feathers pink, or compile demographic statistics for starting a new company...'

 I received this book free from BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS as part of their blogger review program.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.


  1. I would love to write historical fiction, and I love to read she is a librarian. I've worked and volunteered in libraries most of my adult life, so she really resonates with me. Five stars - wow, sounds fantastic!

  2. You and me! Unfortunately since English is not my native language I better abstain! Translations loses a lot in the process and feelings are too important to bestow on it mere adjectives!
    5 Stars for the breathless feelings I experienced and the amount of information her story generated! It is the special features behind movies and novels I like most. The perfect combination: you write and I do the research!
    Looking forward to hear what else you come up with on your posts! How about a bout about your librarian experience in the UK?

  3. Ha! The beautiful thing is Dewey Decimal is universal - so all libraries are more or less the same to me. But I do find it interesting that there is a special 'war' section at the libraries here - they seem particularly fascinated with WWII - perhaps to make sense of it all? I'm shocked to learn English is not your native language. What is?


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