Review: Against the Tide

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House, 2012

My Thoughts:
On her website, Elizabeth Camden says she loves “writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges.”

I can’t think of a better way to describe Against the Tide.

Lydia Pallas grew up with uncertainty surrounding her. At the age of nine, she finds herself alone when her parents don’t return for her after school. From that moment on, Lydia has been alone. Fast-forward fifteen years, and Lydia has made a life for herself.  Because of her knowledge of ships and her expert skills in multiple languages, she has been working for the United States Navy for the last four years. She has worked hard to leave the orphanage she grew up in and distance herself from the poverty she has known too well.

Lydia’s simple, ordered life gets complicated when Alexander “Bane” Banebridge decides he needs her help.  Bane needs Lydia’s help with translating various, seemingly pointless documents under mysterious conditions. However ridiculous the arrangement seems to Lydia, she needs the money, so she helps Bane. Little does she know the importance of the work he gives her.

Bane’s mysterious past is what drives him. But it also prevents him from letting other people into his life. He too, feels alone. His life has been full of pain and fear. Now his mission to destroy the very thing that he helped set in motion threatens to overtake his life, leaving no room for anything or anyone else.

Bane and Lydia are a wonderful duo. They both have wit and tease one another, which was a great dynamic to watch. They balanced one another with their easy banter and a shared past. These two lonely souls find each other and finally know they have found their match. But, with so much standing in their way, will their relationship ever survive?

A story of love, risk, and danger. This compelling read will urge you to turn the page to see what will happen next and will not let go. Not only does it sweep you into another time and place, but it also captures your attention by tackling heavy issues. This is a refreshing novel, not to be missed.

So: fiercely intelligent people? Check.  Confronted with profound challenges? Double check.

Elizabeth Camden just got all her books added to my TBR list.

Rating: 5 stars

Summary (from the back cover):
After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

Lydia’s talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.

When Bane’s enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane’s mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.

When forces conspire against them from without and within, can their love survive?


6 thoughts on “Review: Against the Tide

  1. This book was (and still is!) beautiful. I remember I didn’t get to it when it first came out and once I finally read it, I was blown away! The hero was flawed yet oh-so noble and Lydia’s story was compelling albeit heartbreaking. I’d enjoyed Elizabeth’s debut (it was really sweet in the style of the BBC’s ‘North & South’) and felt “okay” about her follow-up so to read her third novel and be so impressed made me very glad indeed. Since I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, I don’t always keep-up-to-date on the latest and greatest but Elizabeth’s books? She’s an author I make a point to read EVERY book. (Says the girl who is behind on reading her latest novel. ;D)


    1. Yes! I completely agree with your description of Bane and Lydia. I was surprised that I loved this book so much, as I got it for free on my e-reader and decided to read it when I was bored one day. But, it completely captured me and I had to add it on my ‘top 10’ list for 2013, seeing as I read it towards the end of December.

      I haven’t read any of her other novels yet, but I do have two of them on my e-reader, which I am eager to get to.

      I love finding a new author to love! Thanks for your comment, Rissi.


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