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Posted May 19, 2013
Lydia Pallas grew up surrounded with instability, but she is fin
Lydia Pallas grew up surrounded with instability, but she is finally content with her comforting home and rewarding job as a translator for the U. S. Navy. She meticulously organizes her surroundings so that, for the first time in her life, she feels she's in control of her life. However, her landlords are now threatening to throw her out of the only stable home she's ever had. She needs to raise several hundred dollars to buy her home by December. Seemingly fortuitously, Alexander Banebridge (Bane), a friend of her boss, offers to pay her a lot of money for some free-lance translation work. Even though Lydia begins to question the odd requests of Bane, she finds herself attracted to his cleverness, charm, and sense of humor. Soon, she is swept up into a dangerous world of opium smuggling.
I have a lot of good things to say about this book. I loved the late 1800's Boston setting - it's a time which lends itself easily to romance. Although there were a few moments that I wondered if the language was historically accurate, I felt Camden did an excellent job with her research into opium trade. Despite (or possibly because of) Lydia's OCD quirks, she was very lovable. I really found myself empathizing with her pain - losing her family, the stress of raising money to buy the only home she's ever felt safe in, and her feelings for Bane. On the other hand, I inwardly groaned at her devotion to Bane and his cause. I totally understood WHY she was in love, but cringed at the foolishness of loving a man who claims he has no interest in marriage, but doesn't mind a bit of flirting. But love is foolish, often, isn't it? I was sort of torn - I empathized with her frustrations with Bane, but I also wished she would find herself a nice dedicated man. This is a similar conundrum I felt while reading Jane Eyre - I wanted her to live happily ever after with the man she loved, but I thought she was risking too much by loving him. I guess that makes it more romantic, in some ways?
The other thing that I really appreciated about this book (though my attention was only drawn to it because I'm about to lead a book discussion): the questions that Camden provided at the end of the book were really deep! I didn't realize how many sticky philosophical and spiritual questions were brought up in the story until I read the discussion questions. And they're not spiritual questions that have an obvious "right-if-you're-REALLY-a-Christian" answer, which is what a lot of end-of-book discussion questions in Christian Fiction seem to be. Personally, I don't see the world in black and white, so I love the opportunity to discuss grey.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 4, 2014
Posted February 16, 2014
This book had a lot of good qualities, unique storyline, engagin
This book had a lot of good qualities, unique storyline, engaging characters, historical accuracy, and a decent romance. I wanted to love it but it somehow fell short. Perhaps it was the negative portrayal of pharmacists that turned me off? Rationally, it would be unfair to judge the merits of the novel on that but an emotional response to a book is rarely rational. This novel does illustrate the dangers of drug addiction and how terrible a problem opium was before the government instituted control over patent medicines and began making some substances controlled. Historically there were children addicted to opium before they could walk because it was found in high concentrations in tonics marketed to soothe babies. Unfortunately, opioid addiction is still present in children when they are born to mothers who took controlled substances while pregnant. But at least you can't go in and purchase these highly addictive narcotics over the counter.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2013
Really enjoyable historical romance
This was a great read. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I really enjoyed learning about the opium trade and drug rehab back in the day.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 18, 2013
Posted August 30, 2013
Posted December 15, 2012
After her life is turned upside down as a child, Lydia Pallas ba
After her life is turned upside down as a child, Lydia Pallas battled back and used her incredible intelligence to create a new life for herself. Having gained a position as a translator for the Navy, she focuses on creating stability in her life. All of that will be changed with the acceptance of an offer from Alexander Banebridge.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
During his childhood, Alexander Banebridge, or Bane as he chooses to be called, was delivered into a life of control and imprisonment by the Professor. The Professor had spent years creating a very elaborate criminal system, dealing specifically in the trade of opium. After escaping the control of the Professor through freedom in Christ, Bane has made it his life's work to destroy the opium trade.
In order to find the information he needs, Bane enlists Lydia's help to translate documents. This is the only way that Bane will be able to gain the upper hand in his quest and stop the Professor for good. What follows is a journey through intrigue and political roadblocks, with a little love thrown in for good measure.
When I started the novel, I am not really sure what I was expecting. As the city of Boston is one of my great loves, I picked this book up based on the setting for the novel. Since Camden focuses mainly on story and not scenery, it's important to note that there are not a great deal of long descriptive passages in the novel. There is also very little in the way of history of the characters. You get glimpses into their pasts, but it is just enough to keep you from wondering why they have ended up as they have. Camden explains their tales in a very straightforward way and focuses on the present tense.
That’s the only small quibble I have with the novel. I am a reader driven by the history and the motivation of characters. I like for this to remain a bit hidden, to be revealed through actions and climatic points in the novel. If you are a reader who likes the information to be given up front and without preamble, then this novel will work well for you.
That being said, I also allow work to stand on its own merit outside of my personal likes as a reader. Camden’s story has enough tension to keep you reading, and the story is fast-paced. There was no point in my reading where I had a desire to skip pages because of dragging story line. Her focus is primarily on driving forward, which is a great aspect to her writing.
Another high point for Camden is that she has created a strong female character in Lydia Pallas. There are few things that will turn me away from a book faster than a female character who withers in the face of adversity. Lydia faces adversity at every turn and refuses to back down from any challenge that Camden creates for her. From childhood through the end of the novel, Lydia has to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in order to come out on top at the end.
And in the end: she does.
**This book was provided as a review copy.
Posted December 9, 2012
When I saw the description of this book, I wanted to read it. I
When I saw the description of this book, I wanted to read it. I am from Connecticut, and have been to Boston, where this story takes place. The Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party.... What New Englander would not want to read about Lydia, the heroine in this book, who works for the U.S. Navy in Boston Harbor? She is a translator by day, and her job brings her into contact with Bane. Bane's life is consumed with shutting down the opium trade. There is no room in his heart for Lydia, nor is there room in his life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lydia's translating skills are soon needed by Bane, and as she works for him their hearts slowly become intertwined. They both know the lack of room for romance, but that does not stop them from falling in love with each other!
I really liked this book, because it had history and romance, an I could relate to the setting of the book. It was well written and easy to follow. It was also a fast read for me, that I could not easily put down. There was a lot of action and and I did not know what was going to happen, until it happened. There was also a bad guy in the book that I wanted to lose everything, and that made me fight for Bane and Lydia even more. Lydia and Bane also have a past that shapes who they are. There are a lot of obstacles that Bane and Lydia must face, some together and some apart, but they will need to have each others back to succeed. Constantly being together and in love, may make Lydia and Bane double guess their no relationship rule.
I was given this book to do this review from Bethany House but all opinions are my own.
Posted December 5, 2012
Lydia Pallas is alone. Her parents died when she was young, and
Lydia Pallas is alone. Her parents died when she was young, and she’s had to fend for herself ever since. Her ability as a translator lands her a job with the United States Navy, a position generally held by men in 1891. Lydia is thankful; this post offers her a slightly better lifestyle than Boston’s female working class.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
At the Naval office, Lydia and her co-workers see Alexander Banebridge as an enigma. He visits their supervisor, Admiral Eric Fontaine, on occasion, but no one knows why. Cloaked in mystery and importance, Banebridge floats in and out, seldom exchanging a word with the office staff. He too, is alone in the world, having been separated from his family under unusual circumstances when he was a boy.
Banebridge asks Lydia to help him with several translating projects. She agrees, as she is saving to buy her apartment. At first, Banebridge gets on her nerves. He seems too perfect, in looks, demeanor, and values. She warms to him, despite efforts to keep her distance.
Bane’s project eventually puts Lydia in danger, not because he wishes her harm, but because he needs someone he can trust. His philosophy demands that he keep people at arm’s length. However, many things change, much to their mutual surprise, throughout this deceptive and dangerous journey.
Since I haven’t read any of Ms. Camden’s books, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Against the Tide offered engaging characters and one of those edge-of-your-seat plots that makes you want to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am impressed by Camden’s rich story telling ability. She creates realistic and relatable characters, the kind that readers care about. I look forward to checking out Ms. Camden’s other books.
Posted November 29, 2012
The Summary: Against the Tide was written by Elizabeth Camden, a
The Summary:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Against the Tide was written by Elizabeth Camden, and takes place in Boston in the late 1800s.
The story follows Lydia Pallas, a translator for the US Navy. Lydia has her life in a neat and orderly pattern-everything the same, day in and day out, and that’s the way she likes it.
Until Alexander Banebridge enters her life. He is dashing, adventurous-and needs Lydia’s translation skills.
The two form a friendship, a mutual admiration, and the relationship begins to turn into something more, but Alexander’s dark past casts a shadow over everything Lydia does, and eventually brings her orderly life crashing down upon her.
Can Alexander make peace with his past and keep Lydia safe?
I liked the setting of this book, and enjoyed the story line. It was well-written, and I really enjoyed the humorous banter between Lydia and Alexander. I didn’t care for the fact that Alexander was kind of wishy-washy-going back and forth between “I really care for you, and we can never be together” kind of thing, and he continually put her in danger-a little tough to believe someone would do that if they really cared for someone. Otherwise, I really did enjoy this book, and it made for an interesting read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for my unbiased review-thank you!
Posted August 11, 2013
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Posted August 30, 2013
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Posted August 9, 2013
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