With Every Breath, is another interesting and compelling read by Elizabeth Camden. It details the development of tuberculosis research and treatment in the late 1800s as seen through the eyes of the main characters, Kate Livingston and Trevor McDonough.
Kate and Trevor are high school classmates. They share a passion for learning and both excel in their studies. Kate is devastated when Trevor wins the scholastic contest that couldve helped her attend college. Years later Kate receives a request to work at a tuberculosis facility. This comes as a great surprise. She answers the request only to find that the doctor in charge is none other than Trevor McDonough.
Not wishing to ruin the story for anyone, I will leave my summary at that. The author has a gift for good character development and drawing the reader into the story. She weaves a historical tale filled with romance, intrigue and suspense. I really appreciate how the past is fleshed out. I found myself not wanting the story to end. I would certainly recommend this book. I received complimentary copy from Bethany House for review.
This is such a powerful book! It is packed full of historical detail and lots of medical information which truly enhances the story and never weighs it down. I already knew a little background on tuberculosis, however I now feel that I know so much more!
Kate and Trevor are such interesting characters. They captured my interest from the beginning. Both are extremely competitive and very smart. Kate and Trevor interact with others in very opposite ways. Kate is open and able to read the situation. She can adapt and find a way to connect with the person she is speaking to. Trevor comes off as harsh and uncaring, and often will walk away from a conversation that he is frustrated with.
Although they are different in many ways, Kate and Trevor falling in love really makes sense. I love Kates sensitive heart and understand how her fears feel overwhelming to her at times. We slowly glimpse Trevors past throughout the book, and it is not a happy one. His strange ways make more sense when these truths are revealed.
With Every Breath is a story that is going to stick with me for a very long time. It really made me think about the degree to which I need to be able to put my faith in God. He sees the big picture, when I can only see a portion of it. This is a wonderful book with a beautiful romance, a scary disease, and a mysterious foe who tries to undermine all of Trevors hard work. I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Kate Livingston needs a better job. The year is 1891 and her work at the census bureau has been outmoded, reducing her to clerical work where she cant use her mathematical mind. She sees an ad for a statistician applies for the job and heads off to the interview. Little does she suspect that the man, who she will be working for, provided she gets the job, is her old nemesis from high school, Trevor McDonough. He ruined her chance to go to college by winning a scholarship over her. He challenged her intellectually in the past and with this new job will challenge her present. Now, as she works with him every day, she finds she wants him to continue challenging her for the rest of her life. However, she learns something about him that makes her wonder if they can ever be together as a married couple.
Trevor McDonough, who now goes by Trevor Kendall, has dedicated his life and career to finding a cure for tuberculosis. He needs someone as an assistant who shares that same dedication and determination. He believes Kate is that person. As he works with her day-to-day, he realizes how much he enjoys just being with her, her witty remarks, her compassionate heart and intelligence. He loves her, but knows he isnt a good match for her so he keeps himself at a distance emotionally. He has built a wall around himself to protect his heart from the continual defeat he suffers trying to find a cure for tuberculosis. This makes him appear cool and detached and sometimes rude. He knows God has called him to do what he does best. Can he have both his career and Kate?
What a wonderful story of perseverance in the face of hardship! I so enjoyed the romance between Trevor and Kate, with their strong personalities, feistiness and verbal sparring. Readers get to see Kate journey from fear of the future to placing the present and future, whatever they may hold, in the hands of God. Trevors recognition of his call into his specific career by God and sticking to that call no matter what was remarkable. It would have been so much easier to give in. Kates determination to not let her future with Trevor to slip away showed her mettle. I thoroughly enjoyed these two characters and the plot was very interesting. I also was intrigued by the side issue of who was trying to force Trevor to give up his research. I didnt know much about the disease of tuberculosis and the treatment, so I was gratified to learn some new things as well. I encourage readers to pick up a copy of this great historical fictional tale. This one is definitely going on my keeper shelf!
Elizabeth Camden is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Shes won well-deserved RITA and Christy awards with her previous novels, and she just keeps getting better.
Kate Norton lost her chance to go to college in 1879 when Trevor McDonough won the scholarship they were both competing for. She has worked as a statistician at the census bureau since then, but is now offered a new opportunity working for Dr T M Kendall at Washington Memorial Hospital, analysing data and predicting trends in health. She is shocked to find Dr Kendall is her high school nemesis, but soon finds there is more to him than she knew.
Trevor is attempting to find a cure for tuberculosis, an infectious and misunderstood disease. Hes convinced that rest, good diet and sunshine are key, but a series of malicious newspaper articles bring the project under scrutiny, and he and Kate have to work together.
I thought everything about With Every Breath was excellentthe characters (especially the brilliant but socially awkward Trevor), the plot, and especially the writing, which was a masterful exercise in restraint in the way so much was happening beneath the text. With Every Breath is Christian fiction, although the faith elements are understated.
The information around tuberculosis gate a poignant and bittersweet note to With Every Breath, because I knew Dr Kendall wasnt going to discover the cure. My great-grandfather, a postman, died of pulmonary tuberculosis and exhaustion on Christmas Day 1925, and Her Daughters Dream by Francine Rivers (and based on her family history) featured a character suffering from the disease in the early 1950s. Reading this made me thankful for the men and women like Kate and Trevor who have dedicated their lives to finding cures for horrible diseases over the years. Recommended.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Oh wow, what a GREAT book!! Kate's feistiness shows from the FIRST sentence and the story only gets BETTER from there. Without a doubt, Kate is one of the best book characters ever written, loved her throughout the pages.
Trevor reminded me of Mr. Darcy in sooooooooooo many ways. He comes across as such a twit, but truly he's the hero of the book. He's reserved, uptight, demanding, uncomfortable around people, has VERY deep pockets (utterly rich) and yet he's totally compassionate and has a brilliant mind while learning to distance himself. He warns Kate NOT to get attached to the patients and not to be friendly with them because many of them will die. He refers to the patient's assigned number instead of their names. However, it's totally surprising the heart Trevor has and this is one of the reasons I loved this book so much.
There is death in this book, but it's written in SUCH a touching way that I didn't consider the story sad at all. The saddest parts are Trevor and the suffering he's had to endure from his childhood and beyond. He can be sooooooooooo cruel towards Kate, but his vulnerable side also comes through and I got to love him through her eyes. There is one scene towards the middle of the story where one huge revelation comes to light and I could feel my heart break and my face react. It was such an unexpected moment and I had trouble reading Kate's reaction because I FELT what she felt at the moment. I almost wanted to stop reading the book because it bothered me so much, but at the same time I HAD to see how everything played out (I did need tissues while reading the book, but not during this scene, it was just shocking). I think Trevor would've been proud of me because I didn't quit even though that seemed like the logical step to take. The writing is just THAT good! As long as this book is (over 350 pages, I couldn't put it down), it didn't FEEL that long as I just got lost in the good story is it!
One of the BEST things about this book, the dialogue!!! Wow, the conversations between Kate and Trevor alone are worth the price! It's so rare to find books this FUN and it had me laughing more than once......it's about a deadly disease but even the dying patients are comical and precious! It really pulls the reader in just to find out what they will say next and how they will react in this situation, what a treat this story is! (and yes this paragraph totally deserves the exclamation marks)
One of my fave scenes in the book is at the party at Mrs. Kendall's home. What a delight these characters brought to the story with their joy and fond memories from Trevor's childhood. I also sooooooo enjoyed Kate and Trevor's moments on the roof. The friendship, tenderness, and conversations on that roof were tangible and wonderful to read. Also......MINOR SPOILER so skip to the next paragraph...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................the proposal in the story was so legalistic, so stiff, so business-like, but it's also SOOOOO Trevor! One of the most UNROMANTIC proposals ever done (I saw one worse in a movie with Renee Zellweger and Chris O'Donnell) and yet it was perfect.
Favorite characters in this one were Tick (what a great brother he is), Mrs. Kendall, and I even loved Kate's parents the few times they make an appearance in the story because they support her every time she needs them.
The mystery in the book is a GOOD one. I mean here these people are working so hard, so fearlessly, and so diligently to find a cure for tuberculosis and someone is seeking revenge on Trevor and doing such damage! I suspected one person, but was totally wrong. It turned out to be someone I wouldn't have considered and they leave blatant clues illustrating their hostility. Trevor does a stand up job protecting his staff, forgiving a family member he has spent his life avoiding, facing politicians and legality issues, tracking down the culprit, attemping to be fair with Kate despite his feelings for her, and eventually facing the guilty culprit with sympathy instead of rage. He never once apologizes for his determination to help the poor and the forgotten who are suffering with sickness, he never abandons Mrs. Kendall, and he never forgets the two children who inspired his calling to find a cure. As cruel as he is capable of being, he is also greatly admired. He definitely won over my heart and respect as a person and as a doctor.
I highly, highly recommend this book whether you've never read Camden before or if you've read all her books. This one is her best yet and one of my favorite reads for 2014. Yes, there is sadness in the story, but there is also adventure, brilliant dialogue, friendly competing between Kate and Trevor (racing up the stairs, skipping stones, and dedicated to winning the war against this disease), patients who are easy to love, wonderful characters like Mrs. Kendall, one incredible dog named Princess, rooftop moments, one brilliant doctor (who only takes on terminal patients) and the woman who stands with him determined to make a difference in her life. Also, the cover to this book is incredible. Three cheers to the author...hip, hip, hooray! *includes historical note and discussion questions*
I want to thank Bethany House for the review copy provided. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.