Bethany House Publishing provided a complimentary copy of Elizabeth Camden's Against the Tide in exchange for an honest review. Meet Lydia Pallas, a half-Greek, half-Turk young woman who knows exactly how to order her life to protect herself from the chaotic past she has known since she became an orphan. As a language shark of multiple tongues she has landed a job as a translator for the Navy during the late 19th century that enables her to live above the poverty she knew as a young girl. While working under Admiral Fontaine, she meets Alexander Banebridge whom also has known a life of loneliness and disappointment. However, after his conversion to Christianity he leaves the world of opium trade to conquer the dark cloud that resides unbeknownst to the common American family.
Bane recruits Lydia to help him banish the opium trade. In the process they find love and come to test where love can lead them. Bane and Lydia both come to terms with their pasts and find hope within one another. It is often when we see something of ourselves in someone else that we find ourselves at home in their arms. In the face of the dreadful Professor, an opium drug leader, Bane and Lydia find their purpose in life can be the work of a duet, rather than flying solo. Only time will tell if their will and courage can bring them through the adventure together.
Camden has an easy way with words and a good grasp of the historical context of the subject. Not every author brings through such accuracy throughout their work. Against the Tide is more than an historical novel. It explores the depth of human emotion; the joys of love, the loneliness of self-exile, sorrow in loss, bravery in the face of adventure and determination to finish well. Even if the reader is not one to relish historical fiction one would still relate to the emotional depths that are delved into.
I absolutely was captivated by the descriptive scenery and vivid pictures portrayed. I was transported to Boston in the late 1800s in a matter of pages. Camden created a heroine that wasn't overly macho or lost her femininity. Lydia Pallas was written with grace, eloquence and a strong spirit. She isn't the damsel in distress that needs her knight in shining armor to sweep her off her feet. Though her character has flaws and she did need some rescuing, she needed a man to come into her life to show her the way to our shining Light, Jesus Christ.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that Against the Tide has left a lasting impression upon me. I will be quick to read Camden's next adventure. May you be carried as well into her adventures and find true North.