Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

Now here's a good book for you! This book, Against the Tide, by Elizabeth Camden, has a beautiful, striking cover (okay, I know it's superficial, but it is a nice cover!). . .and now that we've gotten that out of the way :) I'll say that this is a wonderful book. I enjoyed reading this book over the course of several days and I think it'll be enjoyed by a broad audience. I have not read anything else by E. Camden, but having read this one, I'll gladly move on to her other books!

Against the Tide begins with the tragic story of a little girl who started out life in an unconventional home before being orphaned in a new place where she did not even speak the language. This little girl, Lydia, grows up alone and gains an interesting job using her linguistic talents. As the book progresses, she is faced with many difficulties and challenges. She meets the male "hero" of the story, a man obsessed with ridding the country of opium, its trade, and its insidious usage. They join forces (first of all her intent is just to earn enough money to save her home, but then she begins to believe in the fight on its own virtue) and become involved in a dramatic adventure to stop the biggest force behind opium in their area.

I was drawn in by this story. It's an emotional story, sorrow over Lydia's ever-increasing difficulties, anxiety when they're sneaking around gaining information, terror regarding the kidnapping of a child (and later semi-kidnapping of Lydia),discouragement on many fronts including fighting an addiction, hope of plans succeeding or nearly so, adoration and love growing, etc. This was not just your typical "romance" -- where you can see the end coming before you're into the story too far -- I'd rather call it more a historical fiction, centering on the opium trade and usage in the late 1800's. I will say that I did not fly through this book -- it is a nice length, the story line is quite developed, and the characters are full.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I'll be looking for others by this author--it was not only a good story, but also a nicely-written adventure.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review!

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