Until the Dawn

Until the Dawn

by Elizabeth Camden


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Top-Notch Dramatic Historical Romance from a Rising Star

A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie knows no better option despite a lack of permission from the absent owners.

The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover a local woman has been trespassing on his land.

Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There's a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark and the Vandermark family history are no longer content to stay in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764217203
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/2015
Series: Until the Dawn Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 466,227
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Camden is the author of seven books and a RITA and Christy Award winner. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida. Visit her website at www.elizabethcamden.com.

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Until the Dawn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this story. Great writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
I can't help but become engrossed in Ms. Camden's historical suspenses and UNTIL THE DAWN is no different. From the first page, the first paragraph, I was involved in Sophie's life, falling in love with this gentle, loving, innocent who believed the best of people even when they didn't deserve it. Quentin's family is ruled by demon's of the past and they believe the only way of eradicating the demons is to destroy the mansion. Level it to the ground. Burn everything inside... But Sophie fights for it, and when grandson and grandfather disagree on a step and decide to hire experts to explain and find, and even they are at a loss... The surprising end answers all the questions. Who murdered who and why? What are those old documents in a language no one can read? Is grandfather right, Quentin, or Sophie? Will Sophie keep her much loved, coveted job? Or will the secrets held in this historical mansion destroy who is left in the Vandermark family? I couldn't put this book down. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story!?
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Until the Dawn #1 Until the Dawn series***** by Elizabeth Camden 1900 New York...there are many secrets and rumors surrounding the Vandermark family and their abandoned mansion—Dierenpark. The picturesque descriptions of the mansion and surrounding areas gives the reader a glimpse of the era—I certainly would like to visit such a place from the descriptions. Sophie Van Riijin quickly became my favorite character in the book. I love her strength, courage, determination and the way she stands up for herself, her kindness and compassion toward others and her strong faith—evident in her life as God's light shines through her, impacting those around her. No matter what life throws her way, she is cheerful, calm and showers others with grace. Yes, she has times of sadness and hurts but her faith helps her to quickly recover. She is a fantastic cook and loves to cook for others. Quentin Vandermark was a bit dark at first with his cynicism, bitterness and unbelief. He has been in constant pain for years, (which I can relate to). I liked how Sophie's cheerfulness got under his skin and he tried to deny it to himself. Enjoyed their discussions regarding science verses faith and how ultimately Sophie's faith impacts not only Quentin but his troubled young son, Pieter. Pieter is an adorable little boy that captured my heart. I wanted to hold him close and shower him with love—which is exactly what Sophie did. I loved watching the way Pieter went from being a scared, superstitious, fearful and shy little boy to an outgoing, adventurous boy. The security guards Quentin brought with him were a bit scary in appearance and had some strange nicknames but most were loyal and had hearts of gold—especially Ratface, who soon became another favorite character. I did not like Quentin's grandfather, Nickolass much. He seemed nice at times but was very demanding and often hurtful to Quentin. I wasn't sure he even liked his grandson at times. But he was battling his own inner battles and searching for peace in the wrong places. Toward the end of the book, I started to like him a bit more. Until the Dawn has much to offer readers: intrigue, secrets, mystery, tragic pasts, joy, pain, heartbreak, forgiveness, restoration, salvation, humor, unexpected and surprising twists and turns, history, romance, danger, love and faith—making this a captivating story.
PollyBennett More than 1 year ago
An Elizabeth Camden book will always be a study in human behavior and life and faith. This book is no different, and it's so much more. An old stately, lovely estate is key to his story. Our Hero and heroine and their families, and the town itself revolve around the estate and the family that has owned it for hundreds of years. While the story unravels a mystery from the past, it also shares the birth of the National Weather Bureau. I loved this book very much.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Mystery and romance abound... This is historical Gothic fiction at its best! I've been a fan of Elizabeth Camden's for several years so I look forward to each new release. Until The Dawn was even better than I expected. It had drama, romance, and a mansion with a number of secrets to hide. Sophie and Quentin couldn't have been more opposite, she is all kindness and light and he has allowed darkness to swallow him, but they couldn't have been more perfect for each other. They balance each other even as they take opposing sides on the fate of Dierenpark and on religion. Until The Dawn was such fun to read. The contrast between light and darkness was intriguing. And I loved how Elizabeth Camden was able to weave the fact that Christianity and science are not mutually exclusive, that there is a Creator who set all of the natural laws in motion. I think one of Elizabeth Camden's trademarks is her ability to transport her readers into history, totally immersing them in the story. Rich in historical detail and well researched, Until The Dawn grabbed my attention from the start, kept it, and when I finished I reluctantly had to rejoin the 21st century. (I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden, © 2015 North of New Holland, 1898. Early each morning, Sophie van Riijn arrives at the Dierenpark mansion high above the Hudson River, to calculate the weather readings to telegraph to Washington to the Weather Bureau. Nine years she has been collecting the data to send each day; rain, storm, or shine. There is a groundskeeper, Emil Broeder, and a housekeeper, Florence Hengeveld, who have maintained the abandoned Vandermark estate for several decades, that it not lay in ruins. The tourists come to buy postcards and Dutch cookie treats, painters come to fill their canvases ~ Sophie comes for a respite from the clamor of the small village of New Holland where her father runs a hotel and is the local mayor. How she loves the scent of the open water blowing across the breeze, and the flowers... There is a cove where oysters bed and lilies bloom, quite unordinary for other places in the area. A quiet paradise. That is until the summer day a steamboat from Manhattan brought sightseers, and the tour guide unknowingly told his embellished tale to young Pieter, the great-grandson of Nickolaas Vandermark, the last occupant sixty years earlier. Pieter and his father, Quentin Vandermark, have arrived to stay. This is an intertwining story of the remarkable village girl who soothes the angst of these newer generations of Vandermarks, far beyond what they might have imagined. Used to hearing superstition and grave losses to their family line, they are query to her attendance to them. An excellent cook, the aromas coming from their kitchen bid them come, however wary at first. Her constant peace is uneasy to Quentin, through his constant years of physical pain and anguish. A settling comes, as Quentin begins to speak with Sophie as much as he would like to stay away. Years of turmoil is not easily left behind. ***Thank you to author Elizabeth Camden and to Bethany House Publishers for sending a copy of Until the Dawn to me for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
In Until the Dawn, Sophie van Riijn’s goal in life is to convince the government to create a permanent weather station in her country town. She already has a temporary one set up on the roof of the historic mansion nearby…which creates a problem when the owner comes back after a sixty year absence to find that Sophie had set it up without his permission. Then, when she finds out the owners plan to demolish the ancient building because of the curse ascribed to it, Sophie determines to convince them otherwise. Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden was a beautifully written historical romance. It reminded me of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.” Sophie was beautiful inside and out, though she was considered a little odd by the townsfolk. And Quentin is “the Beast,” with his lame leg and unpleasant personality. I loved seeing how Sophie’s light shone through the darkness and depression in Quentin’s life! I loved the character Sophie very much. She was a sweet, beautiful person in every way. She faithfully pursued her dreams even when the town thought Sophie a fool for doing so. Her endless passion and kindness made me forget that she was only moderately intelligent (meaning she was a B/C average in grade school and no degree); I only comment on this because it became a problem for some of her goals—she was intelligent in many other ways! And, as a side note, I would really like to try the cooking she was so famous for. The setting was the ancient estate of Dierenpark, which had been empty for several decades. The estate was described so beautifully, I want to go there! I could not find any information online about it, making me think it is an imaginary location, but I commend the author for her lovely descriptions that captured my imagination. A major theme in Until the Dawn is Science versus Religion. The characters even went so far as to have a literal competition between the two sides, each trying to prove the other invalid. It was very interesting to read about. I will not tell which side won, but I was quite satisfied with how the competition ended. But the question makes me wonder what would have happened in this situation if it had been the real world. As realistic as the author made the story seem, it is still a work of fiction, and, unless the situation really did exist, there is no way to know how true it would be. In all, I really enjoyed this book. It was worth all the time I spent reading it, and I hope to read more of Elizabeth Camden’s books in the future. I recommend it to those who enjoy sweet historical romances. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
StudentofParables More than 1 year ago
An interesting and fun book that kept a joyful tone, even while dealing with some darker moments. I really enjoyed reading this work! Vivid descriptions are what catch the reader’s attention first, so detailed they nearly come off the page. And the characters have quirks and depth that bring them into crisp clarity in the mind’s eye. The premise may be that oft-told tale of love winning the day, but these characters are ones you’ve not met before, and will enjoy getting to know. The setting was very unique, with the fledgling Weather Bureau, and the station Sophie maintains not something I’ve ever read before. This unique factor is framed very well in the surrounding town and culture, making the historical part of this work well done. While the tale is complete by the last page, there was so much more story to be told! I felt there were some loose ends I would have liked the answers to, but in all, it was a satisfying read. My greatest recommendation of this book comes from the great multi-generational stories of redemption the reader gets to see. Watching the way the different characters choose their paths is a highlight of the work. Definitely check it out! I received a review copy of this work from the publisher
Sparrowhawk24 More than 1 year ago
Try as I may, and boy did I try, Until the Dawn was a story that I simply could not connect with. I have been thinking about the reasons why and I think it might have to do with the writing style and monotonous storytelling which made it incredibly difficult to stay interested and engaged. This book was just okay for me. ___________________________________ WHAT I LIKED + Elizabeth Camden’s Until the Dawn is a historical novel set in the late 1800’s in the bustling city of New York. The story follows Sophie’s audacious quests, plights and attempts to establish a weather station, save the glorious Dierenpark abandoned mansion from utter destruction, and to bring solace and comfort to a family who has had to stand against waves of immense oppression and speculation. I enjoyed these aspects of the novel (to some extent) and how they intertwined different strands of realistic hardships I assume were prominent in this era ― gender roles, disease and illness, loss of a loved one, agnosticism, mental and emotional trauma, all of which contributed to the main plot. + I especially loved the romance in Until the Dawn which alludes to similar themes found in Beauty and the Beast. We have a wealthy widowed aristocrat named Quentin who finds himself living in an abandoned mansion with his ten-year-old son, Pieter who is not only processing the loss of his mother, but a recent attempt on his life to boot. Both Quentin and Pieter are an utter mess. Quentin is stoic, snarky, vain and agnostic while Pieter is caught in a limbo of evolutionary science vs creation science and desperately longing for a motherly bond. This is where Sophie, the mansion’s cook and a kind, pure of heart woman with given potential steps in and the romance begins to bloom. Sophie made him long to be a better man, and that was something he had not felt in a long time. + In my recent review of Toward the Sunriset I expressed my immense displeasure in Sophie’s character, I’m happy to report that I enjoyed her character arc in this story a lot more. Too, despite my low rating of the book, I truly believe there is merit to Sophie’s story arc, she is deeply cemented in her beliefs, she has an active imagination and open mind, and is in a sense a sort of women’s libber. I simply couldn’t get enough of the banter between her and Quentin, there was a lot of wit and poise to their remarks and judgments. He fought not to roll his eyes. “Miss van Riijn, please be aware I am violently allergic to your brand of doe-eyed sentimentality. That much sugary optimism spilled into the atmosphere this early in the morning is liable to render us all comatose. – Quentin I’m not going to retaliate to your meanness, because I do my best to be kind to every person I encounter. That may seem small to a person like you, but trust me, it isn’t always easy. No matter how awful a person is, above all, I always try to be kind. – Sophie WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE - When it comes to reading, I love immersing myself in the moments of the story, not standing on the sidelines feeling like I am forced to swallow a complete disconnect between the characters and the plot line. That said, there was a considerable amount of science, culinary and historical jargon that in truth, did not spark any interest. I suppose this is where I made the assumption that Full Review: http://www.mysoulcalledlife.com/2016/01/29/book-review-until-the-dawn-by-elizabeth-camden/
StaceyZink More than 1 year ago
I love the main character, Sophie van Riijn, she’s very likeable in a wholesome kind of way. She is exactly how you might picture a young woman who has never left her small village and is loved by her family. She isn’t without past hurts. She has been engaged three times, each time she never made it the altar. There is a bit of scandal attached to her name, which in my opinion makes her more likeable. She is flawed in a way that brings heartache but maintains her love for life. The hero is a brooding, angry man living his life with a constant reminder of his physical limitations. Quentin Vandermark is a perfect combination of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton. He’s as proper as they come in good society, raised with a vast fortune but he is hurting hero that refuses to turn to the Great Physician. He sees God as a crutch for the weak-minded. He would never consider the possibility of Christ, until he sees Sophie living her faith. I did find this book to a bit drawn out. I loved it, but think it could have been wrapped up in less chapters. I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
BookJunkie15 More than 1 year ago
Author Elizabeth Camden brings her classic intriguing air of mystery to this read. One of the things I love about Ms. Camden’s books is that she can have the mysterious and funny side to her books but can also bring forth a serious side as well. In this book our hero deals with depression and his son deals with anxiety, I really appreciate her taking on such hard topics with her characters. It makes the character seem a bit more realistic to me. However, one thing this book lacked a lot of is any trace of lightheartedness & though I highly applaud her seriousness I do like to see a little bit of happiness breakthrough in her struggling characters and with this book I never saw too much of that personally. Some of the other negative things that I have toward this book; one being is that Quentin (the hero of this book) was extremely unlikable and nearly unbearable to me for about half of the novel. I understand that he was struggling with some serious issues and was using anger & hate to cover up those things but he was simply a character I had a really hard time liking for the first part. Later on in the book he became somewhat easier to like and even though he was hard to like in the beginning, he did grow on me and I enjoyed watching him grow in his faith and as a “person”. Second, throughout most of this book there was a large amount of talk about many different religions and had endless talk of superstition, because of this I felt like it took away from the book and the author’s writing, a good bit. Sophie is the heroine of this book; she was a very gentle and soft spoken character. One thing I liked about her character is that she seemingly had a good bit of perseverance even when others discouraged her goals and that was admirable. She was likable; however, I felt that throughout most of the book, though she was supposed to have dealt with quite a few life problems, she was incredibly naïve most of the time. All in all, this book did keep my attention, it was mysterious and interesting but it wasn’t as good as the author’s previous books that I have read. To end my review, I will add that I really did love Quentin’s son, Peiter. He was an adorable little boy who had dealt with too much for his age, seeing him blossom under Sophie’s care was a lovely thing. My personal rating for this book is 3.5 stars. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed and that is why my rating is what it is. Nevertheless, I am still a big fan of Ms. Camden’s and eagerly await her next release! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Take: I love historical fiction and Elizabeth Camden is by far one of my favorite authors in this genre. I've read four of her books before this one and I've loved everyone of them! But this one just didn't grab my interest as much. It was a good book and I enjoyed the story but I didn't have any trouble setting it down to do other things. The characters were interesting but Quentin and Sophie didn't seem to have the usual banter or chemistry characters in Camden's other books had. All in all, I still think that Until The Dawn is worthwhile reading, Camden knows how to tell a good story. Until The Dawn does have a prequel Toward The Sunrise get it FREE HERE! While the characters in it aren't mentioned much in Until The Dawn it's a really nice intro into Dierenpark and a cute short love story. * I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This novel is full of twist, mystery, science, faith, family and romance. Sophie has grown up helping around the Vandermark mansion. even though no Vandermark has been to that mansion in decades. She is in love with the castle and all its beauty and mysteries. Sophie is full of faith and tends to find the good in everyone and everything, despite some difficult times in her own life. Quentin Vandermark is a very gruff scientific atheist. He has only one goal for vandermark's castle, to follow his grandfathers wishes. With his troubled son and an entourage of body guards, he takes the Castle by surprise. Camden takes you on an amazing adventure of finding truth, faith and love. Not every path is easy but all are necessary. I was given a copy of this novel from net galley for my honest opinion.
TrekkieChick29 More than 1 year ago
★★★★☆ – 3.5 stars out of 5 In short, I enjoyed this quick read and was easily swept into the world of Sophie van Riijn and Quentin Vandermark. It is a classic tale of light versus dark in people and how one woman simply wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. The main character, Sophie van Riijn is a stubborn and independent woman of her time who’s only desire is to keep the beauty of Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion, alive and keep the weather station running. When suddenly the family of Dierenpark, the Vandermarks, return after 60 years with the intention of bringing the home to the ground, Sophie works to make her way into their lives. It’s a splendid story of a modern girl, love, religion and science (but not necessarily one or the other, which I appreciated), and mystery. The things that I enjoyed most about this book is that the main female character was described as more than just her relationships (or the failings of them). She came across as a modern girl set in a period of time where her actions weren’t appreciated. I loved the mystery behind the mansion in which the majority of the story takes place. The questions surrounding the Vandermark family kept me hooked through till the end. With that said, I was somewhat disappointed to learn that no part of this story took place in reality. That is, I think it would’ve added a great deal to the story if Dierenpark (by a different name) or the mystery of the Vandermark family was based in some truth but unfortunately it was not. I also felt like there were a lot of missed opportunities to continue to build on Sophie’s independent nature as she became more familiar with the family. Finally, the first few mentions of the weather station and other scientific based statements seemed out of place and were repeated rather then simplified or explained better. I understand the purpose (pushing the scientific nature of Quentin) but it came across as too much and were often the times that I ended up setting the book down to return to it later. Again, overall I did enjoy this book and quickly passed it on to my mother who greatly enjoys books of this nature. We discussed the book together and from that comes my/ our review of the book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and, more specifically, tales such as Jane Eyre (since this story did often remind us of it). Please note: I received a hard copy of this book from the publishers at Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own (with some input from my mother and her experience with the book). For more book reviews from my - TrekkieChick.Wordpress.com
debhgrty More than 1 year ago
Deb’s Dozen: A Curse, A Chatelaine, A Curmudgeon: God’s Generous Grace Overcomes All Odds Elizabeth Camden paints the most realistic pictures of times gone by. She has displayed her artistry again in Until the Dawn, a novel set in the late 1800s in the Hudson River Valley. Dierenpark is an abandoned mansion high overlooking the Hudson River. Although the house is supposedly cursed, that onus has not kept the citizens of the tiny village adjoining the property from keeping the mansion as a tourist draw. Sophie van Rijn has, in fact, built a rudimentary weather station on the roof to aid her in her quest to have her village become the site of the Weather Bureau’s next permanent station. The riverboats stop at the pier, the guides tell the gruesome story of the Vandermarks and their curse, the townspeople sell pastries and postcards. All comes to a screeching halt the day the Vandermarks return. Sophie, who has served as the chatelaine of the household in their absence, runs afoul of the crusty curmudgeon who is Quentin Vandermark. Sophie discovers to her horror the reason for the presence of the Quentin and his son, Pieter, is for Quentin to draw up plans to totally destroy Dierenpark. Sophie is appalled, to say the least, to find the enmity Quentin holds against the house and his heritage. She finds Dierenpark and the environs to be a piece of Paradise, which is what Direnpark means. The Edenic gardens and surroundings have been her solace for years. Sophie and Quentin engage in a duel of wits: Sophie with cheerfulness and Christian demeanor; Quentin with depression and belief in nothing but Science. How Sophie endeavors to win over Quentin, her building relationship with Pieter, her winning over of the gruff bodyguards all come together in a marvelous story of God’s goodness and grace. You’ll want to visit this Eden, meet her characters, and revel in the byplay of engaging personalities found in Until the Dawn. Four plus stars! Elizabeth Camden has written seven historical novels and has won both the RITA and Christy Awards. She has master’s degrees in both history and library science and works as a research librarian days and a novelist by night. She and her husband live in Florida. Learn more at ElizabethCamden.com. Bethany House gave me a copy of Until the Dawn in exchange for my unbiased review.
Gabrielle-Meyer More than 1 year ago
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. From the first words I was hooked. Who wouldn't be when they read, "'That's where the body was found...'" While it is categorized as Historical Fiction on the back cover, it definitely has a strong romance thread and, even better, a slight hint of intrigue. I've read Toward the Sunrise, which gives a little pre-hint into this story, but didn't realize that until about a third of the way through this novel. Obviously not reading it won't hinder your enjoyment of Until the Dawn. I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
swimreadbreathe4JC More than 1 year ago
"Until the Dawn" is the latest book in a new series by Elizabeth Camden, published by Bethany House. There is a novella prequel to this story available also. I've always loved the works I've read by Camden, but lately her stories have gotten a little slower and harder to stick with. This one didn't hold my attention all the way through like it's novella prequel did, and I found myself skipping through portions until the plot picked up, and even then just skimming to the end. I was disappointed that it didn't hold my interest as well as "Against the Tide" or "The Lady of Bolton Hill", and the characters just weren't as likeable. I still plan on continuing to read more books by this author, but just wanted to say that this isn't her best one to date. If you haven't read any of Camden's works before and were thinking of starting with this one, I would recommend going back and reading some of her earlier works. With that said, I did like the heroine, and I have always enjoyed how Camden's characters will have unique interests that educate me about various hobbies and professions. I can tell that significant research goes into each book, and I appreciate the authenticity that it lends to the stories. Thank you to Bethany House and Net Galley for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All thoughts are my own and were not required to be positive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Camden has written another intriguing historical novel introducing us to complex characters and the interesting beginning of the weather bureau in the United States. With an abandoned estate, plenty of myths, and a touch of miracles, Camden introduces us to a captivating story of loss and renewal, hope and healing in her newest novel Until the Dawn. Sophie van Riijn, is a young woman was an astute mind, a dream, and a passion for cooking. To satiate her scientific interests, Sophie sets up a weather station on the roof of the nearby abandoned Dierenpark estate and collects daily weather reports for the newly established weather bureau. When the owners of Dierenpark arrive unexpectedly, Sophie is caught trespassing in her scientific endeavors. With wit and stubbornness Sophie negotiates to continue operating her weather station while working tirelessly to preserve Dierenpark from destruction. I loved the characters in Until the Dawn. They were so real, so vulnerable, and so like everyone. I especially liked how although Sophie exudes hopefulness and kindness, she still feels authentic as we discover her story. Quentin was infuriating, yet so vulnerable. Even the supporting characters rallied to make a complex and believable story surrounding this historical period. I really enjoyed reading Until the Dawn and look forward to more books by Elizabeth Camden. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden for my candid review.
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
Mystery surrounds the great estate of Dierenpark. Will science be able to explain the strange happenings? Or is there a supernatural power at work? Quentin Vandermark is of the belief that if you can't see it or touch it, then it doesn't exist. This includes God and the supernatural power his grandfather, Nickolaas Vandermark, believes is cursing Dierenpark. A tragedy occured 60 years ago and the Vandermark's left Dierenpark abandoned ever since. The family returns without notice, only to see it destroyed. Nickolaas is determined to tear down Dierenpark in hopes of demolishing the "curse" that seems to have haunted the family for centuries. Widowed and injured, Quentin brings his son Pieter with him to Dierenpark to tear down the beautiful home. He is just doing his grandfather's bidding when his life is drastically changed. At Dierenpark he meets Sophie van Riijn, Sophie is a volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau. For the last nine years she has used the roof of Dierenpark for her weather station, without the permission of the owners. Pieter immediately takes to Sophie, not having a mother of his own, he craves a motherly figure. While Quentin is all cynicism, doubt, gloom and depression. Sophie exudes life, hope, joy and faith in every ounce of her being. The past is finally brought to light, but is it in time to save Dierenpark and Quentin? Will science be able to prove the strange goings on? Will Quentin open himself up to love? Or will he brood in his misery until his last breath? "Above all else, love one another." The progressive era is a fascinating time period to read. So many scientific advances and discoveries take place in this era. I am currently watching Murdoch Mysteries (Netflix). It is set in the same time as this book and the scientific progress that is witnessed is incredible! Until the Dawn is a story of good and evil, life and death, hope and despair. With our main characters so completely different it is very clear to see how our beliefs affect every aspect of our lives. The main theme throughout this story is love. Through the good times and difficulties, God has called us to love one another. I have heard that this story has been compared to Jane Eyre and I do see similarities. Quentin is a horrid, miserable man and Sophie longs to see him saved. I won't expand anymore because of spoilers, but if you are a fan of Jane Eyre, I believe you will enjoy this recent publication by Elizabeth Camden. I received a free digital copy of Until the Dawn from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
booksandbeverages More than 1 year ago
Each new book I read of Elizabeth Camden’s becomes my new favorite of hers. Then, when I’m done I like to put the book right back in my TBR pile because I want to read it again. It was no different with her latest, Until Dawn. Y’all….this was an absolute delight to read. With a mystery guiding the story (one that was not only creative, but unexpected), this book was fabulous. I think my fellow historical fans will love this one as much as I did. I really loved Sophie’s character. She’s a great example of letting who you are be a light to people. You never know how your personality (whether being kind or compassionate), can impact someone. I loved her development too and the role Quentin played in that. And sweet Pieter? Loved him! And Quentin Vandermark? If you are even a little bit of a fan of Edward Fairfax Rochester of Jane Eyre, then this is also a yes for you! Brooding and angry, yet not completely lost. Yes please. I think his change and development was not only fabulous to see, but genuine and honest. I’m a big fan of Quentin. Seeing the roles and influence they each have in the other’s life was one of my favorite parts of the novel. I loved the plot, the people (I also had a soft spot for Nickolaas) and thoroughly enjoyed this novel – it’s full of all things you love to see in a good story with a few extra twists at the end! How about you? Have any books already kicked off 2016 full of awesome? (Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review) - See more at: http://booksandbeverages.org/2016/01/05/until-dawn-by-elizabeth-camden-book-review/
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
Fans of historic romance will enjoy this story of love and mystery set in the Hudson River Valley in 1898. Mysterious deaths and other strange events have given Dierenpark estate a reputation among the locals and tourists. Built in 1635, the mansion has now been vacant for many years, but remains a curiosity. Much to everyone’s surprise, members of the Vandermark family, the owners of the estate, return to Dierenpark with unexpected plans. Sophie Van Riijn has been operating a weather observation station on the roof of the old house, so her work may be jeopardized. Sophie also makes a bit of money selling delicious Dutch cookies to the tourists who visit the estate. Will the return of Quentin and his son, Pieter, bring about changes to the lives of the locals, including Sophie? Quentin Vandermark has been ordered by his grandfather to destroy the house; to blow it up and let it burn to the ground. Quentin has a scientist’s curiosity, however, and dislikes the idea. The two strike a bargain that if scientists can explain certain mysteries, the house will be spared. Quentin is not a believer in anything he cannot see or explain. Sophie is a true believer in God and knows His mysterious ways. The plot develops as each tries to sway the other. The story moves at a good pace, neither too slow nor too fast, and readers will come to like and admire Sophie and the others. The events of the story are realistic, if not ideal and the story satisfies both romance readers and mystery fans. I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I am happy to recommend the book to adult and teen readers who enjoy a good, mysterious, historical romance.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Camden is one of my favorite authors and Until the Dawn was such an interesting story that takes place in 1898. There were a few main characters: Sophie Van Riijn-our bright, joyful heroine, Quentin Vandermark the heir of the home and a very moody, sometimes cruel, wounded gentleman, Pieter the very scared and lonely son of Quentin. The bodyguards, Quentin’s eccentric grandfather Nickolaas, Sophie’s father, Marten her former fiancé, and the house itself were a few of the other characters. This story had an air of mysteriousness surrounding it. I found it intriguing how some people viewed the home and the land as cursed and others as an Eden. We have archeology, biology, and meteorology represented in the story. And all play an important role. Not to mention the budding romance, the twists and turns throughout and all these elements added up to a very fresh, unique, and satisfying read. I found this one hard to put down as there were lessons to learn and mysteries to solve. On a side note my mouth was watering at the descriptions of Sophie’s cooking. I received a copy of this book for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions are my own.