I purchased "Into the Whirlwind" by Elizabeth Camden and once I got started, I couldn't put it down. So much to love about this book!!! Vivid descriptions of the characters with Zach so passionate I could feel him simmer and Mollie wound so tight at times I wanted to shake her; and interesting details of the historical Chicago Fire that brought it to life once again in the pages of this book. My favorite authors have a unique ability to draw me into the time and place visually and the storyline emotionally. This is the case with every Elizabeth Camden book, and I have them all. Read "Into the Whirlwind" .....then read the rest!!
Another masterpiece by one of my favourite authors. Camden has the incredible ability to breathe life into history. Fascinating details of 19th century Chicago and the great fire is an enthralling background to this compelling story. Rife with contrasting emotions, Mollie and Zack and a cast of intriguing secondary characters make this book memorable. I was committed from the very first page, anguishing over the gnarly bits, praying over the hopeful ones, and cheering at ending that left me cheering. An exceptional read for historical romance lovers everywhere.
Chicago 1871 - Mollie Knox, expert watchmaker and owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, is enjoying the benefits of the city's wealth. Her business dealings with Louis Hartman's grand Chicago department store assure her of a market for her fine watches. But change is in the wind. When disaster strikes, who will she turn to? Who can she trust?
This is the second book I have read by Elizabeth Camden and I enjoyed it very much. The author has obviously put a lot of research into the historical background of the story and I appreciate that. I enjoy historical fiction that uses authentic details and likely scenarios rather than over romanticising the past. I'm not sure how many women owned businesses of the scale of Mollie's watch company in America in 1871, but the explanation that her father began the company and left it to her when he passed away seems plausible enough.
The characters are quite interesting and there is good character development even among the secondary figures. There is one character who is so annoying you dislike her almost right away but her attitude is very fitting to the action going on.
The novel has a strong romantic storyline but that is not the only focus of the book. It is "Christian" fiction but unobtrusively so. There are a few mentions of prayer, faith, and the Creator. This is an interesting historical fiction read with a clean romance story.
Please note: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review.
In high school, I disliked History class but if I had a teacher who could tell a story like Ms. Camden, I'm sure I would have excelled. Into the Whirlwind takes us through the horror of the Great Chicago Fire and the months afterward. From page one the stage is set, the cast is ready and the heat is on.
Mollie Knox is a character who has resilience, determination and a huge capacity to love. These traits are echoed throughout the story and shown in eloquent detail. From her business dealings to her personal tragedy, she is a woman to be admired.
Zack Kazmarek is another fantastic male character. Really, I don't know how the author does it. From the first scene to the last, he captured my heart. The strange thing is, I can't "see" him. Even after the intricate description of his features, his looks elude me. It's his heart I envision. His compassion, his spirit, his all-encompassing love for his family and for Mollie is what speaks to me.
The scene of the fire was vivid and brilliant. I could feel the heat, the embers, the overwhelming fear while Mollie and Zack ran in and out, weaving through the streets while walls of flames blazed in the night. I felt the chill of the water as they took refuge and the sorrow as they watched their beloved city burn. My heart cried for the people who experienced that awful night all those decades ago. They must have felt hopeless and in total despair. But they rose from the destruction and rebuilt, just like Molly did in the book, to be better than before.
I loved this book. It was difficult to put down for long. There are many wonderful characters and moments that take place in this beauty from ashes story, it is impossible for me to cover all of them. Into the Whirlwind is a perfect combination of drama and romance with a delicate spiritual thread. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a Christian influence.
Bethany House provided a copy for review purposes only. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only my opinion of the book.
Elizabeth Camden has now officially earned a place in my list of top authors! I mean, with her last book, "Against the Tide," I was pretty much sold but this story sealed the deal.
It was fantastic. I am in love with Zack Kasmarek and I found my self yelling at Mollie far too often. There are some words that get saved for frustrating heroines and I'm afraid I used them rather fluently on poor Mollie.
Okay, this may be painting the wrong picture... It wasn't that she was an awful character, it's just that I was so into the story that I was getting involved with every little detail. The history aspect of this novel was fascinating and the author must have labored many hours to bring every bit of burnt out Chicago to life for us.
This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who loves a good book; not only historical romance but lovers of all fiction.