Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

Pouring over book catalogs is always one of my favorite things to do and when debut author Elizabeth Camden came on the scene I remember being very curious about who she was. The cover of this book is so gorgeous to me and the summary was very interesting. That led to having the opportunity to interview her way before the book came out, and I definitely recommend reading that interview now. Also, I LOVE the cover of this book, and the Lifeway blog had a really fascinating look at how the cover came to be.

So I was excited to get the chance to read this book! It's a good one. Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain share a strong bond and burgeoning romance before Clara's family intervenes and sends her England. Even though the two try to correspond they don't receive each other's letters. Clara becomes a successful reporter known for investigating questionable labor practices but her interest in this subject matter causes a lot of trouble for her including jail time. She soon returns home to discover many things have changed in her absence.

She quickly reconnects with Daniel but soon discovers they have many idealogical differences. Can they overcome their differences and save their romance? Or will Daniel hold onto his differences too stubbornly?

This book surprised me in some ways because it's actually like a historical romantic suspense. I really appreciated that the subject matter was very different and therefore interesting and I loved the bond that Clara and Daniel shared. I never doubted that they loved each other throughout the story. I loved that Clara had an occupation that was so different for her time and found the fact that her family actually wanted to push her away from romance and towards career success to be absolutely fascinating.

The book is very classic Christian fiction. Clara is a believer from the start and Daniel is not. Clara wants Daniel to come to faith so they can pursue their romance, but then a bunch of stuff happens that sort of forces the issue to the surface. There was one point where I just wanted to roll my eyes while Clara was witnessing, but then it took a very unexpected and interesting turn that was pretty awesome.

If I have one complaint with the book, I felt like maybe Clara was a bit too perfect. I actually wanted to take Daniel's side a few times, or see Clara be a bit more repentant or flawed or something. But overall that didn't detract from enjoyment of the book and I'm hoping there's a sequel that focuses on a different character of the book because I think that would be FASCINATING. (for those of you have read the book maybe you know what I'm talking about?)

Rating: 4.25/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Christian Fiction
Source of Book: Received for Review
Publisher: Bethany House


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