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.
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Orphaned Lydia Pallas has found a successful career working as a translator for the Navy in 1876 Boston. Both handsome and wealthy Admiral Fontaine, whom she serves under, and Alexander Banebridge, an intriguing stranger who also employs her services, add drama and trials to her life. Will Lydia be forced to return to the impoverished life she has fought to escape? Can she build a lasting relationship with the man she loves?
Suspense and danger threaten their lives, but Lydia stands strong despite the terrors she faces. Will her struggles be rewarded or will she even survive? This novel leaps from the pages of history to bring to life a story of that time period. The characterization, setting, and events seem completely realistic as well as the way people act¬ and react—manipulation, lack of trust, unforgiveness, class conflict, obedience to the law, and so on.
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Review 2 for Against the Tide - eBook
Wonderful Hisorical Fiction
Date:August 7, 2013
I love historical fiction from the Christian perspective! Very, very interesting book!
AGAINST THE TIDE won the 2013 Christy Award for Best Historical Romance novel. Elizabeth Camden has penned a great read. The plot is fascinating, the characters memorable, and the ending is more than satisfying. Highly recommend!
I truly expected to enjoy this book since I loved The Rose of Winslow Street. Sadly, that is not the case.
This book has too much tragedy and the vile creepiness of the villain was to much for me. Instead of feeling refreshed from reading a Christian novel, I was deeply bothered, and felt sick to my stomach.
This book does have Christian references, but it felt as if God was in the background.
It begins in 1876 Boston, featuring Lydia, a lovely little girl who is half Greek, half Turkish and opens on her family’s tiny boat, The Ugly Kate. Tragedy ensues which changes her life forever. Fast forward 15 years to 1891 and the story resumes with her working as a translator in the Boston Navy Yard. Eventually, she encounters Alexander Banebridge aka Bane. Apparently this character was from a previous novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill. In that novel, I gather he was quite vile until he found salvation. After reading the vileness in this book, I have no intention of subjecting myself to any further reading of that sort. In this novel, Bane is a fun, interesting character who is tortured by his past and believes he must spend his life doing penance for it. Professor Van Braken is devious and, I believe, insane. He values his collection of rare books as if they were his children. To fund his passion, he deals in the opium trade, which at that time, was legal. However, he is battling opposition and evading taxes, in addition to other crimes. He kidnaps children of wealthy men who would stand in his way and keeps them for years. If his opponents resist, he sends the child back dead. It is horrifying. Now, I am not saying this type of control never happened, but it is not what I personally enjoy reading. The dependency on opium is covered in great detail in this book; particularly the long lasting effects from childhood into adulthood. Apparently, since it was not regulated and ingredients were not required on labels, it was added to children’s teething medicines and tonics. Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup was marketed from 1849 to 1915 in the U.S. and until 1930 in England and was widely administered to children, particularly in orphanages to get children to relax and behave (noted in the back of the book. Once they finally listed opium as its main ingredient, the public was outraged and they went out of business. We are along for the ride when one of the characters begins to stop the use of this drug and goes through heart wrenching withdrawals and all the detailed symptoms that go along with that. Lydia, has intelligence in spades. She is a good person; however, she is not a Christian. I have trouble with Christian authors weaving romance around unequally yoked characters. It is not biblical, and I know from personal experience the heartache it causes by disobeying this important law. When an author leads a character down the road of salvation, but it is clear the intended match has already fallen in love prior to their revelation, and intends to help lead/guide them rather than seeking an equally yoked mate, I find that disturbing. It gives the sense that it is ok and could leave some Christians (not well versed in the bible) believing it is fine – we can help lead people to salvation for our romantic purposes. All to often, that leads to heartbreak.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars, because it is well written and very detailed. However it is not my cup of tea and I could not recommend it.
I leave it to you to judge for yourself.
You can read more about this author at www.ElizabethCamden.com
Included at the End: *Historical Notes *Discussion Questions for the reader to ponder or for a Book Club
I purchased this copy and am offering my honest opinions for no compensation. 362 Pages Reviewed August 26, 2013
This is the second book that I've read by Elizabeth Camden, and while I enjoyed her novel, "The Rose of Winslow Street", it wasn't amazing, so I didn't expect a whole lot from this story. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself not only loving this book, but considering it in my list of top books so far this year! I love Lydia's character! She's everything a heroine should be, and more. She's resilient in the face of difficulty, persistent when it comes to love, and courageous enough to overcome her weakness. Bane was also a great character, although like any man, he had a tendency to be ridiculously stubborn. All in all, this is a book with depth and beauty and I'd highly recommend it to all lovers of fiction!
I have had this book since December but didn’t realize I hadn’t written the review yet! School has a way of being distracting – darn homework... Thankfully, this provided an excuse for me to read it again and it was as good the second time as it was the first.
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden provides a lovely escape into late nineteenth century Boston that will help the reader dissolve a day into a trip to the past. The characters are deep and human, the villain is truly terrible and the suspense is thrilling.
While not a big fan of romance novels, I LOVE historical fiction. Thankfully, Against the Tide is full of historical details and does not overdo the romance between the characters. Yes, there is tension, but it is not the focus of the story! I especially enjoyed the villain, the complicated story he brought to the story and how he is connected to one of the characters.
This would be a great book to throw in your bag when going on a trip, to take to the beach or to read while relaxing in the sunshine – if we ever get spring!
I give this book 5 stars out of 5.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Meet Lydia Pallas. Orphaned as a young Greek immigrant child on the Boston wharves, Lydia grew up determined not to rely on anyone but herself. All grown up, Lydia, who is fluent in multiple languages, works for the Navy as a translator. When her neat and orderly (OCD) world is suddenly turned upside down, she makes a deal with mysterious Alexander Banebridge who has a driving need to shut down the opium trade.
Elizabeth Camden weaves a good, solid story pulling you in to the idiosyncrasies of her main characters. While the majority of the story was fairly predictable, I was not at all discouraged by that fact. I really did enjoy the story and the twists and turns that it had.
One thing that I absolutely loved was the opportunity to learn. Ms. Camden does a masterful job in teaching about the opium trade that was extremely prevalent and widely accepted by many physicians in the 1800s. I remember reading somewhere that opium was actually encouraged by most doctors at that time. So the great detail she went into on that subject, as well as the behind the scenes look at the Navy was very much appreciated by me.
All in all, a quite excellent book. I highly encourage you to branch out to this author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is the first book I have read by author Elizabeth Camden, so I am new to her writing style and touch. I would read more of her books because I did enjoy reading this one.
There were however, a few things I did not agree with from a Biblical standpoint. First off, is the character of Alexander Banebridge (Bane). He claims to be a Christian, following God's will for his life. He is trying to purge the stains of his involvement with the Opium Trade from his sinful past. I had hoped the author would have approached this issue because she set it up wonderfully. This is a very key issue to the Christian walk that many believers struggle with. For several years Bane has pursued his own personal crusade against the Opium Trade. This is his way to make up for the sin's of his past. The sad thing is though that No Where in the book does the author address this or bring Bane to a place of understanding God's grace! This was very disappionting to me. When Bane accepted Christ, his sinful past was wiped clean! He did not need to do anything to earn his salvation, it was freely given because of Christ's death on the cross. There could have easily been a wonderful lesson on God's grace represented through Bane, but unfortunately, the author missed this oppurtunity.
Another issue I have with Bane is that he plays on Lydia's heartstrings. He intentionally pursues a romantic relationship with Lydia... with the full intention of walking away from her in the end. As a Christian, he should not have been dallying with Lydia (who was unsaved). He should have been showing her Christ's love, not full-filling his own romantic desires. And again, NO where in the story does Bane apologize or address this issue! There is the issue of being "unequally yoked" to an unbeliever. Bane should not have been pursuing any romance with Lydia because she was not saved. Regardless of Lydia's spiritual walk, Bane was adamant he could not have a relationship with anyone because of his life on the run, constantly dodging danger and fear that caring for someone would become a liability. If this was the case, then Bane had no business playing around with Lydia's heart. This sort of behavior was wrong, and is not a Biblical approach to romance. This paints an incorrect picture of what a healthy, godly relationship looks like. And even worse, not once does the author address this as issue and resolve the problem for the characters. Bane's rejection of Lydia sends her into depression and had a powerful affect on her life. But no where is there resolution of how Bane treated her. I was very appalled at the romantic plot of this book because there was no Biblical value brought out Bane's behavior in the end.
One more thing that bothered me was Lydia's journey to salvation. There is one, rather pathetic attempt from Bane in the beginning of their friendship to share the Gospel message with Lydia. But throughout the pages of the story, there is little development of how she finds Christ. When she hits rock bottom during her treatment for opium addiction, she finds peace. I was hoping that the author would have expressed Lydia's desire for God and wrestling with the conviction on her heart more throughout the story. I had hoped that the author would have made me as the reader to feel Lydia's struggle to find God.
All in all, the research was wonderful. I think this was the one aspect of this story I liked the most. I loved the details I learned about life in America during the 1800's. The author put a lot of thought and effort into researching the opium trade, the US Navy, and describing the difficult conditions people of lower class had in daily life. The plot was intriguing, although I will admit, I felt as though it was a bit anti-climatic. I feel as though there was great potential for both Bane and Lydia to change and learn, while the reader also learns about God's grace, mercy and forgiveness. I was however more frustrated by the end of the book, because the emphasis was in all the wrong places.
I recieved this book from Bethany House Pulishing in exchange for my honest review of this book.
I simply loved Against the Tide! I would say it is in my top three books that I have loved this year! It was so powerfully written and left me on the edge of my seat (I turned off the Superbowl just so I could finish reading this book if that tells you anything!)! I'm so glad that Elizabeth decided to bring Bane back and further his story while bringing in Miss Lydia!
One of the things I liked I best about Against the Tide is that the story did not go as I had planned. I didn't think Lydia and Bane would fall in love so early in the story only to experience such heartbreak through much of the novel due to outside circumstances! I thought they would fall in love near the end after the bad guy went down! I'm glad I was wrong! Lydia goes through so many tough trials that my heart ached for her! Due to her worsening condition as the story progressed I thought she would be a damsel in distress who needed saving, but again I was wrong because she becomes a hero! There is an even another hero in the end (not Bane) that through me for a loop!
The research that the author did for this book is very informative as well! It was interesting to see the effects of opium as well as how it was given out to patients and smuggled in the country.
Overall, a fantastic read! This by far has been my favorite novel from Elizabeth Camden! I am looking forward to more of her books! This one I checked out from the library, but I definitely plan on buying this novel to add to my book collection!
If you are interested in reading the interview I had with Elizabeth, please check out my blog Crafty Booksheeps!
This review may contain spoilers. Read with caution!
This review is a difficult one for me to write. I'll come right out front and say that I had huge expectations for this latest novel of Elizabeth Camden after reading "The Rose of Winslow Street" which I hugely enjoyed. "Against the Tide" turned out to be a beast of a different color.
This novel is set in 1891 and is the story of twenty-something Greek native Lydia Pallas. After the calamitous death of Lydia's family at an early age she grows up in an orphanage/school reminiscent of something from "Jane Eyre". Now a grown woman Lydia is fastidious and focused making her a perfect fit for her job translating for a prominent Admiral at the Boston Navy Yard. Lydia's job is something she does with great care and pride, it is her great calling in life and the root of her security.
Into her perfectly ordered world walks Alexander Banebridge, or Bane, as he prefers. Bane is the literal embodiment of a Greek god walking amongst men and drifts in and out of Lydia's office mysteriously meeting with the Admiral and driving her nuts with his meddling ways. When Bane ends up needing a translator for top secret documents he hires Lydia but soon 'the plot thickens' as Lydia finds out what Bane is really up to and finds herself getting into more danger and chaos then she counted on. Soon she must confront a personal demon as she helps Bane to face his past and bring down the ruthless head of an opium trading ring.
Along the way a romance developers between Lydia and Bane that felt was rather uncomfortable. Bane makes it clear to Lydia from the onset that a) He is a Christian and has dedicated his life to God; b) He will not be sticking around; and, c) He cannot be involved in any relationship- ever. Lydia however, despite his enigmatic ways, falls for him, and when he does leave falls into a deep, life threatening depression. As a result of her desperation to prove herself to him she puts herself in ever increasing danger even as she falls deeper into a serious illness. Even though I liked Lydia at the beginning of the book I found her increasingly annoying as I read on because she does not behave in a way that seems true or consistent with the Lydia to which we are first introduced. As for Bane I didn't care for him from the beginning of the book, he felt unreachable as a character and proved to be wholly unpredictable- and I felt- unprincipled because of the way he dallys with Lydia. I found him frustrating as he at one moment is falling for Lydia and pursuing a relationship with her (while he can enjoy it) and then turning on her and 'switching off' the relationship when it suited him. There is nothing gallant in a 'hero' who acts so callously towards a woman. I really wanted to smack him! Overall, I really didn't like the romantic plot that runs throughout the story and found it weak and hair-pulling.
In the end I think that the plot/story had great potential but the puzzle pieces were cut so crazily that it had a difficult time coming together in a pretty picture. Something that really bothered me was a revelation in the authors notes at the end of the book. It seems that while "Winslow Street" was a stand alone book "Against the Tide" is something of a sequel to Camden's first book "The Lady of Bolton Hill"! As I hadn't at the time of finishing "Tide" read that first book I was quite frosted at learning that Bane's character was introduced there! It really explained a number of things. I have since gone back and read "Bolton Hill" and liked Bane in that book, I really believe that if I had read that first book first I would have liked him, or at least understood him, better in this third book.
Despite having issues with the characters in this book I still enjoyed Camden's writing style and the overarching plot. I will look eagerly forward to reading more of Elizabeth Camden's books at time goes on!
Overall rating: 2.5
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a honest review and opinion of the product.
I loved Against the Tide...I've already reread it twice. I thought the plot and characters were very well developed. I was surprised to discover that Alex Bainbridge was a character from Elizabeth Camden's previous book The Lady of Bolton Hill. Naturally, I had to borrow that book from the local library in order to refresh my memory of how Alex was as a young man. The facts mentioned about the opium trade astounded me! I had known that opium was commonly used in children's cough medicines, but I hadn't realized the use of it was so prevalent. The illegal opium trade is comparable to the illegal marijuana trade between the US and Mexico today. Another aspect of the book that intrigued me was the mystery-like feel that was present during a majority of the book. I love a good suspense book. This book wasn't especially suspenseful but it added something to what would be just an average romantic story. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review
This book is set in the late 1800's, and it follows the life of a young immigrant girl named Lydia in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work in the Navel yard allows her to use her skills with language as she meets a lot of different people. One person who is in need of her translations skills is a young man named Bane. Her relationship with Bane leads her to things she never expected to do with her life. The book is full of mystery, as you never really know what Bane is up to. It covers a problem from this time period that I was not familiar with; the mass use & illegal trade of opium. I read this book in one day. It was very hard to put down. It has everything you would expect from a historical fiction novel; suspense, a complicated love story, and characters that seem so real.
I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers a division of Baker Publishing Group.
A epic love story, with characters who will capture your heart!
Bane is back, and better than ever! I don't think it's a secret that I absolutely loved Bane when I first met him in The Lady of Bolton Hill, so I could barely contain my excitement when I found that Bane would have his own book! And Against the Tide more than lived up to my frighteningly high expectations.
Lydia was the perfect heroine, and the perfect complement to Bane's larger-than-life, "glorious rascal" persona. The characters touched my heart and swept me away, Ms. Camden has created a pair of characters that I will remember LONG past the turning down of the final page, and that I plan on revisiting in the future. I loved Bane's passion and sense of duty, as well as his fierce protective streak. Lydia was so admirable, yet she had her own personal struggles, and she overcame so much! Lydia was a wonderfully rounded character!
Adventure abounded within Against the Tide 's pages! The characters and the fast moving plot kept me glued to the pages long past my bedtime. Well written and researched, Against the Tide is my favorite of Ms. Camden's books so far!
Overall, an enthralling read that left me hoping that this wasn't the last I would see of Bane and Lydia, maybe they could cameo in an upcoming book? Natural descriptions and a wonderfully fleshed out setting, really brought Lydia and Bane's world to life. An epic read, that I would highly recommend to others!
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!
Lydia was born in Europe, to a Greek father and a Turkish mom; the family’s “home” was a boat that constantly traveled to different places around the Mediterranean, in order to look for jobs and make a living. This extraordinary experience allowed the brilliant, little Lydia to learn several languages. At one point, the family comes to Boston, and when Lydia grows up, her linguistic ability allows her to get a prestigious job as a Translator for the Navy and a rudimentary, yet comfortable life when most women had very limited labor opportunities.
Although she has all the essentials, the building where Lydia lives is sold and, in order to keep her apartment, she has to come up with a lot of money in a pretty short time. Her boss, Admiral LaFontaine, knows about her predicament recommends Lydia to Bane, who has done some special jobs for the Admiral and is now in need of some translations for an investigation he is doing. Little by little, they start feeling for each other, but Bane’s past has a powerful restraint on him; he won’t allow himself to get involved with anyone, afraid of exposing them to danger.
When Bane asks Lydia to go beyond her limits, he will jeopardize everything Lydia has fought for and even stay absent when she desperately requires his assistance. However, Lydia sympathizes with his cause, and finds in herself a strength she didn’t know she had when her services are needed once more by Bane, whose investigation takes a turn for the worse, involving the Admiral’s family, and making Bane’s worst fears an awful truth.
Bane’s investigation and past has to do with the opium trade in Boston. While I won’t give details spoiling the story, I must say that Mrs. Camden takes time to end the story with an example of how an awful addiction to narcotics will affect lives at so many levels. In this note, I really appreciate the fact that the author ends the story with the same intensity present in the rest of the book; the conclusion is not rushed, and even leaves room open for further possibilities.
It took me a little to realize this was the continuation of “The Lady of Bolton Hill.” Because of this, the story became more enjoyable and gripping for me. Although “Against the Tide” can be followed as a story of its own, Bane’s character has a sort of double personality; he is sweet and cares for others, but the experiences he went through when he was younger and how he got away from it (included in the first book), make him cocky, belligerent and even rude sometimes. This rougher side of him is a result of his coping with the past, feeling responsible for his mistakes and wanting to make things right; he gets so focused on this goal that he forgets his present actions also affect the people around him. If someone reading “Against the Tide” has not read “The Lady of Bolton Hill,” this dichotomy might be confusing and his character might be taken as an unpleasant person.
Another fact that I enjoyed about this book is that Mrs. Camden is continuously reminding the reader that God is always present in our lives, whether it doesn’t seem like it, or we aren’t aware of it. Some of the characters she portrays are constantly learning about faith and growing in their relationship with Christ. For instance, someone (I won’t mention the character because I don’t want to give a lot of information about the story) mentions: “I learned that salvation is possible, even for a nasty sinner like me. I learned I had the freedom to make a choice about what sort of person I wanted to be. (page 98).” Even though this is a fictional story, it is refreshing to remember that God is a transformer of lives, as long as we allow Him to.
Something common to Elizabeth Camden’s books is that, at the end, she includes questions that invite the reader to ponder about the character, decisions, morals, habits and other situations described in the book. Even if these were not included, the story is so deep that it will be easy to be used in study groups, or even self-study. Moreover, the language is clean, and although there is a deep attraction between the main characters, the author does not use excessive descriptions that distract from the plot and focus on feelings.
Also, this is the second book by Elizabeth Camden that I’ve read. It is always a delight to read her. Her books are outstanding in that they are historically descriptive in a very realistic way. I would assume that most authors do their homework and research the context within which they are setting the story; Elizabeth Camden does it in such a way that History becomes alive and it actually taps something in the readers, making them wanting to know more about the period or situation described in the book. Few books awake that curiosity in me; Against the Tide is a highly recommendable book.
I can’t wait to read Mrs. Camden’s next one!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this influenced my opinion on the book or on the author.
For the first time in a long time, Lydia Pallas likes where she is. Her job as a translator for the U.S. Navy is secure and her cozy apartment is her haven. She enjoys the companionship of her coworkers and treats the occasional headache with a dose of Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup. When Alexander Banebridge enters the picture, Lydia's orderly life is suddenly a lot messier. From his annoying habit of rearranging items on her desk to his revelation that Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup contains opium, Bane brings disorder, intrigue and danger to Lydia's ways. Lydia and Bane find themselves falling for each other, but their relationship is doomed by Bane's goal of ending the opium trade and his commitment to bachelorhood. When an innocent boy is kidnapped, helping Bane will test Lydia's courage and strength, but if she survives, their love just might have a chance to flourish.
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden was an intriguing read. I enjoyed the bantering between Bane and Lydia and appreciated Camden's creativity in her characters. Bane had a few quirky habits that made him refreshingly unique. I wouldn't consider this a suspense novel, but it did have some suspense that kept drawing me back to the story. I found the historical aspects of the story interesting. How sad that Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup not only existed and contained opium, but was marketed for teething babies. On a side note, I absolutely love the cover of this book It definitely captures the essence of the story. I recommend this book to fans of Christian historical romances.
I did not initially realize that Against the Tide revisits the Alexander Banebridge of Camden's previous novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill. I can't say if Banebridge appears in Camden's other novel, The Rose of Winslow Street, because I haven't read it. However, Against the Tide stands firmly as a single novel, complete with the necessary background information.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This story has many twists to it and it keeps a person wondering what will happen next and will the heroine get out of it alive. Well written, keeps moving with plenty of suspense. One of the problems the main characters deal with are children kidnapped and held for years to control the parents into doing as the madman wants. The over all theme is the problem of opium and how it is used. It is quite eye opening. Well written as her first book was. This author writes a good story with a refreshing new story line.She is one I will keep in our church library.
I didn’t know what to expect when I went into reading this book. The description on the back speaks of a young woman who serves as a translator for the U.S. Navy and her encounter with a young man trying to end the opium trade. What it didn’t say was that this book takes place in 1876. This is not a time period I read much about and while I knew a little bit about the opium trade during this period, I had never read a novel set in the United States that talks about it (a couple of British themes novels I have read in the past mentioned it.) I was immediately fascinated with Lydia Pallas, a Greek orphan with a gift for languages. Her ability to survive in a male dominated world is written believably, even considering the era. As a writer myself, I have the unfortunate gifts of predicting the climax and ending of many novels. While some things about the end proved true to my prediction, the journey blew my expectations out of the water. The level of adventure, excitement and intrigue was unmatched within this genre and I was impressed with the real feel of the characters. All of the characters, including the protagonist felt realistic Spoiler Alert: One of the more impressive aspects of this book was the detailed descriptions of opium withdrawal. This author has a talent for accuracy as well as tactile description. I would highly recommend this book as a unique read in a genre often characterized by too much emotion and characterization without strong plot. This book is a definite exception I was not compensated for this review but I did receive a free copy of the book to review.
Bane! Bane! Bane! That was my refrain after reading The Lady of Bolton Hill. I wanted Bane's story. I'm sure he was meant to be only a secondary character but for me, he stole the show in that book.
Once a renowned and highly feared drug dealer, Bane was raised by a terrible man who takes young children as hostages in order to control their parents. No one knows that the Professor is an opiate dealer and that he taught Bane everything about the business, grooming him to take over one day.
Against the Tide is set 10 years after we've witnessed Bane receive Christ and begin his journey to freedom. He has dedicated his life to thwarting the Professor's drug operation. There are no close, personal relationships for fear that the Professor would kidnap whoever he thinks is meaningful to Bane in order to control him.
I love Bane's character. He's always fascinated me with his cunning and intellect; that doesn't change. His drive and determination are incredible. I love the way he manages to get under Lydia's tough exterior. The scenes dealing with Lydia's drug addiction are realistic. They were intense and such a big part of the story and her relationship with Bane. We learn much about how opium was used and how easy it was to become addicted to the substance without even knowing it.
The author does a great job of depicting poverty and wealth, evil and good. The story is well written and the dialogue exchanges between the characters is riveting. I highly recommend this book to fans of Historical fiction.
I received a review copy from Bethany House for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, just my opinion of the book.
After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
Lydia's talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.
When Bane's enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane's mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.
This was my first book to read by author, Elizabeth Camden, and I was hooked right away as the heroine, Lydia Pallas, was left an orphan. Against The Tide is set with a historical setting, the Office of Naval Intelligence, where Lydia uses her skills and knowledge of several languages to assist with translating.
The story interjects humor as Lydia, who prefers order, is challenged by those characters who enjoy teasing her. Lydia always keeps her desk in particular order, eats the same foods, and her predictictable nature makes it a challenge when she is asked to help Alexander Banebridge stop the opium trade.
There is a dark side to the story with a very evil Professor and his control of so many lives. The mystery and continuing relationship between Lydia and Alexander give the story action plus excitement. I would definitely recommend this book. The writing and imagery are well-done. I would read more of Elizabeth Camden's novels as I found her dialogue and the plots keep my interest.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Books as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
True-to-Life Portrayals to Keep the Pages Turning!
Date:December 16, 2012
I was very eager to dive into this book, given my appreciation for Bane's characterization from The Lady of Bolton Hill. Elizabeth lets enough time pass that his character is solidified in a believable way you never once question. Clearly, though, Bane is still haunted by the crimes of his past (namely helping to smuggle opium unto the country), which threatens to interfere with his future happiness, and the happiness of Lydia.
Lydia has enough quirks of her own to make her real. In fact, I know someone just like her at work, and I like to "mess" around with things on her desk the same way Bane does with Lydia....just to throw her Type-A, slightly OCD-self off. Lydia's cravings of control and order and security are well-motivated, given her loss of family at such a young age. It makes her the perfect romantic interest for a man who can never settle down for fear of his nemesis using anyone he loves for ill.
Perhaps the aspect of Elizabeth's novel that I was most impressed with was her extensive research into opium and the resulting symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. This is an area that I am most familiar with, being a licensed mental health professional, and Elizabeth's portrayal of this very real problem many face today was very true to life.
I think I read this book in about 6 hours, give or take. I took a Saturday and just lollygagged, and this book was a most worthy companion to invest time in!