16 February 2016

Review: Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

Pure in Heart

Amazon Description

Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie van Riijn sees no harm in setting up a rooftop weather station for her work with the newly established Weather Bureau. While the villagers are suspicious of the mysterious estate and its tragic history, Sophie has come to see it as her own enchanted piece of paradise.

The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover Sophie trespassing on his land.

Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie yet find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There's a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark can no longer be kept in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?

My Review

I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Camden’s historical fiction. The characters are strong, intelligent men and women. They all have a romantic element, but it’s never an easy road for the hero and heroine. The research and the writing are always excellent (in fact, in terms of the writing, I think Until the Dawn is the best yet). And there’s plenty of conflict to keep the plot moving.

There’s certainly plenty of conflict in Until the Dawn: Dierenpark is owned by Quentin’s family, but Sophie treats it as her own—and isn’t pleased when she learns of Quentin’s plan to destroy the historic mansion. And Sophie is a committed Christian while Quentin is an atheist, refusing to believe in anything he can’t experience with his own senses. But he and Sophie bond over science and over Quentin’s son.

Quentin considers Sophie to be too sunny, too cheerful, to have any conception of what the world is really like. I’ve met people like Sophie, and it’s tempting to consider them na├»ve, but Until the Dawn got me thinking. Sophie is “pure in heart”, and sees the world through that veil rather than through a veil of cynicism. This got me wondering how I see the world, and I have to admit it’s more likely to be through Quentin’s veil of cynicism than Sophie’s purity. It’s a challenge, to consciously decide how we are going to see the world, to actively try to see through a pure heart, to see God. To walk with God.


Thanks to Baker Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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