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The Lady of Bolton Hill

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

nice addition to the historical genre

This was an interesting read; maybe a bit hard to classify topic wise. Even though the book's cover might indicate a purely romantic nature, I'd say it's a mixture of action, mystery, and politics with a dose of love story to soften things up. Those are pretty substanti...
This was an interesting read; maybe a bit hard to classify topic wise. Even though the book's cover might indicate a purely romantic nature, I'd say it's a mixture of action, mystery, and politics with a dose of love story to soften things up. Those are pretty substantial themes to conquer in a little over 300 pages but, for the most part, it works.

We start out with a little back history into the relationship between our protagonists, Daniel and Clara. Their friendship as teenagers, built upon a mutual love for music and composition, has flourished despite social class barriers until an unexpected tragedy forces them apart. Twelve years later, Daniel and Clara find themselves brought back together yet not under the best of circumstances. She has just left prison and he is embroiled in legal/business dilemmas that threaten to undo his company's hard earned profits. No longer poor, Daniel still feels the need to prove himself to Clara while also holding onto a long held vendetta from the past. So caught up in his anger and need for vengeance, he is not the same man Clara remembers from her childhood. But can she uncover the Daniel she knew before it's too late?

I love historical fiction and The Lady of Bolton Hill is a nice addition to the genre. The writing was excellent, descriptive without being wordy, and has a certain finesse that speaks of intelligence. I also found the bits of humorous dialogue sprinkled throughout delightful, without being annoyingly cliched. The only thing that seemed a bit heavy handed was the biblical aspect. Clara came across too preachy at times, spouting off scripture at every turn to anyone who would listen. (Or even those who did not want to listen.) A few times, I wanted to yell across the pages for her to back off and tone it down so as not to further irritate those she was addressing. An incident that comes to mind is right while Daniel's house is being destroyed, Clara can't just let him come to grips with the horror of it unfolding before his eyes. Instead, she gets in his face to lecture him some more and then has the nerve to tell him it's only things he is losing, despite the fact some of those "things" are quite meaningful to him. Not the best time to be saying something like that if you have any trace of sensitivity. It was so obnoxious, my mouth was gaping open. If someone ever did that to me, I would be furious. Talk about adding insult to injury!

In short, I suppose Clara was the weakest link in the story for me. I just found her attitude holier than thou quite a bit of the time which ultimately made it hard for me to root for her. I actually enjoyed the few times Daniel, or anyone else, managed to put her in her place...until she slipped her way out again to bible thump some more. However, despite all of Clara's pressuring, I liked that Daniel didn't immediately convert his views to placate her but that it was a gradual process, a dawning of sorts. That seemed realistic, which is what I appreciate most in inspirational fiction. The character of Bane was one of the more interesting ones and I was intrigued to learn what made him tick. By the end of the story, I was pulling for him and wishing for more details about his life pre and post Clara. Possible sequal for Bane? Hint hint...

Despite a few quibbles, I look forward to reading Mrs. Camden's next story and think The Lady of Bolton Hill was a very good debut novel. The author is definitely talented, with an engaging s

posted by hammyflirt on August 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Average Read

In the debut from Elizabeth Camden, as teenagers Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain were in love. Clara grew up at Bolton Hill as the a preacher's daughter, but grew up to a journalist. Her love Daniel grew poor, as his father worked at a steel mill. After Daniel's fathe...
In the debut from Elizabeth Camden, as teenagers Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain were in love. Clara grew up at Bolton Hill as the a preacher's daughter, but grew up to a journalist. Her love Daniel grew poor, as his father worked at a steel mill. After Daniel's father dies in a tragic accident, Clara leaves for England. Over the next twelve years, their lives go in different directions. Clara's journalism career is going strong, while Daniel has become a railroad tycoon. Circumstances occur causing Clara to leave England and is reunited with her long-lost-love. Daniel has changed since the last time they met. He is now a bitter man, wanting vengeance for his father's death, and his faith in God has been lost. Daniel's actions soon put Clara in mortal danger.

The Lady of Bolton Hill is an historical novel set in 1879 and spans England and the United States, and emerges in the booming technology era of the railroad. Unlike other Christian novels, the two main characters are already in love, and develops more on a plot than relationships. I, personally, had trouble getting interested in the novel. I couldn't connect to any of the characters, which at times they felt a little bland. I did enjoy the historical accepts of the railroad boom, and Clara's profession. It's not a bad debut for the author, but I, overall, have mixed feelings for the novel. I would only recommend this book to other historical romance readers/fans.

posted by BillyB on June 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Highly rcommended

    Great book ,couldn't put it down until every page was read.I would recommend to book club.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Credible, original debut

    Elizabeth Camden makes an impressive debut in The Lady of Bolton Hill. Set in the 1880's, the author adeptly moves us from the squalor of a London prison to the machinations of the New York Stock Exchange and the power-brokering that was an unfortunate foundation of railroad-building in America. It is refreshing in a novel set in this period to read of a woman who follows the dictates of her own conscience and suffers the consequences for it. Clara Endicott, sent to London by her parents, unearths the abuse of children in the coal mining industry. She publishes relevant articles in the Time of London while a journalist there, only to find herself imprisoned. Eager to remove her from their country, Parliament rules she be sent back to America. Once back in Baltimore, she reunites with her childhood friend, Daniel Tremain. In her absence, he rose from the poor working class to considerable wealth. Unknown to her, he is heading toward robber baron status in the railroad business with only a modicum of moral sense. Daniel will stop at nothing to ruin Forsythe, owner of the ill-kept steel mill where Daniel's father died in an unnecessary accident. The infatuation with the youth who shared cello and piano duets with her rekindles. Daniel now lives in a position of power far beyond what her moral dictates would find acceptable. Their romantic sparks alternate with the fires of enmity Daniel stokes among his business rivals. The novel reworks the tired boy-meets-girl-and-together-they-solve-the-conflict theme. However, Camden writes realistic, flawed characters. She tactfully broaches the issue of suicide and the opium trade. The enigmatic secondary character, Bane, is masterfully employed. The novel succeeds because the author uses differences in the main characters' moral compasses to further impact their affection for each other and their growth as individuals. What is the stronger force, bitterness and revenge or God's grace? Read The Lady of Bolton Hill to find out. The advance review copy was graciously provided by Bethany Publishing. The review is unbiased and the opinions expressed solely those of the reviewer. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Lady of Bolton Hill

    A rarity in 1800's, Clara Endicott is a journalist. She has made a name for herself in England by writing about the working conditions of London's poor. She has also wound up in jail for the same thing. An anonymous supporter helps her return home to Baltimore where she finds that life has changed. Her childhood best friend, Daniel Tremain, has risen from a mill worker to an industry leader and power house. But Clara finds that more than just Daniel's social and financial status has changed. He does not seem to be the same person she knew growing up. As Clara tries to find the man she once knew deep inside Daniel, she is inadvertently drawn into danger by one of Daniel's many adversaries.

    A enjoyed the story very much, until the end. I had not read too much about this time period and I enjoyed reading a story that brought it to life for me - the labor riots, the crime, and the muckrakers making headlines. However, the characters fell a little flat - especially Clara who seems to start off perfect and go about trying to make everyone else just as perfect as she is. In some ways she succeeds and in others she doesn't. Her successes seem to pop out of nowhere, with people changing their entire life view after just a few conversations with her.

    Overall, the story itself was good, but I found the characters to be lacking.

    2.5/5

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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