Against the Tide
A Great Weekend Read
I have had this book since December but didnÃ¢ÂÂt realize I hadnÃ¢ÂÂt written the review yet! School has a way of being distracting Ã¢ÂÂ 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 Ã¢ÂÂ 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.
April 29, 2013
Good Solid Book - Great Attention to Detail
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 CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
April 1, 2013
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.
February 22, 2013
A must have!
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!
February 6, 2013