5 Stars Out Of 5
Another for the keeper shelf!
August 18, 2014
I have loved Elizabeth Camdens other books, so the fact that I absolutely adored With Every Breath comes as no surprise. I had very high expectations for it and am thrilled to be able to say that it surpassed them all!
One thing that is always a given in Ms. Camdens book is the historical accuracy and detail. She seamlessly weaves it in a story, bringing the setting and time period to life, without overwhelming readers. Her writing was fantastic, as always, as were the descriptions. I often felt like I was actually there, with the characters. I was drawn in from the first page and didnt want to put it down!
Its a toss up who I loved more - Kate Livingston, or Trevor McDonough. Kate is a great protagonist and I was drawn to her immediately, wanting to find out who she was and what made her different. She is bold, determined, competitive, sarcastic, a bit nosy, but also kind and caring. She takes care of everyone, in little ways and cant help but care about everyone she meets. This is also a problem for her, since it means facing her biggest fear. She sounds almost perfect, but her fear made her human, real. I felt for her and was cheering her on every step of the way. I loved watching her grow and learn to trust God more fully.
Trevor McDonough is the hero of this novel, though he is a very atypical one. He is a doctor, determined to find a cure for tuberculosis, not exactly an exciting career. His description isnt overly dashing, either. But Ms. Camden has a talent for creating unlikely and unique characters, and making us fall in love with them anyway. And seeing him through Kates eyes quickly changed my opinion of him, anyway. Trevor is just as determined, competitive and sarcastic as Kate, which led to many interesting encounters between them. I loved getting to know him, too. Learning what made him the way he was, finding out what made him tick - I felt like Kate, nagging at him to find out his secrets.
I loved Kate and Trevors relationship. They knew each other from years ago and quickly fall into their familiar banter, picking at each other and nagging. Ms. Camden had me laughing out loud several times at the outrageous things they would say to each other. They are both unswervingly blunt, especially Trevor, which makes for an interesting friendship. I love this quote, which I think sums up their relationship really well. I always thought you and Trevor McDonough were destined to be either mortal enemies or the very best of friends. Youre too alike to be anything else. - Charlie Davis, page 36
They are both incredibly stubborn, as well, and face off often. But what makes them so special is that they started off as enemies, slowly became friends, then ended up as something more. I kind of wish Ms. Camden could have done a few chapters with them after marriage, so we could see them in that light, but I understand that probably wouldnt have worked very well - I can dream anyway.
There is also a mystery woven throughout the story. While it was rarely the main focus, it still fascinated me and I kept trying to guess whodunit - I was wrong, in case you were wondering. I did love having that aspect in it, a little mystery and suspense to give Kate and Trevor something else to argue about. I also really enjoyed that I wasnt even close to guessing who the villain was.
The spiritual theme was one that really touched my heart. Trevors faith isnt mentioned that much, except for when hes talking with Kate, but for Kate it was a big deal. She had to learn to trust God again. I really appreciated how carefully Ms. Camden dealt with this subject. She never made Kate seem foolish for struggling with trust, but rather gently guided her through Trevor and a few other people toward Him. And after losing her brothers and husband, I kind of think she had a right to fear losing anyone else. But her work with tuberculosis pretty much guaranteed that she would face more loss. I love this quote, taken from when she realizes that she either has to figure out how to confront her fear and trust God, or risk losing more than she was willing to.
God never asked her to understand Him. He asked her to trust Him. - Kate Livingston Thats pretty much the definition of faith - trusting, even when you dont understand.
I honestly cant think of a single thing I did not like about this book - a rarity for me. As Ive already said, I loved the characters, the dialogue, Ms. Camdens writing, the historical facet, and the spiritual theme. To sum it up, I loved everything about it! I even enjoyed the ending, which is always the worst part of a great book for me. I dont want it to end! But Ms. Camden did an excellent job of tying all the loose ends together and bringing it to a satisfying end.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys excellent historical romance!
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 have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
*Please note, all quotations used with permission from the publisher. No infringement intended.