Thursday, May 21, 2015
Reader Reaction: The Lady of Bolton Hill
The Lady of Bolton Hill opens with a bang and never stops moving. I lost quite a bit of sleep staying up late to read “just one more chapter.” This was the fourth novel of Elizabeth Camden’s I have read, and I can’t decide which one is my favorite. Set in the 1800s, all her stories feature strong female protagonists who struggle with real-life issues. Impeccably researched, the books’ topics range from child labor and the opium trade (The Lady of Bolton Hill) to the early days of finding a cure for TB (With Every Breath).
It is 1879, and American journalist Clara Endicott is in London writing articles to shed light on the plight of London’s poor. When she is jailed for refusing to name one of her sources, she begins to question her career. Receiving a last minute reprieve before her trial, she returns home to Baltimore where she finds herself on opposite sides of an issue with her childhood sweetheart, Daniel Tremain. Bitter over the death of his father, Daniel is waging a one-man war against the person he holds responsible. While trying to help Daniel see his need for God’s grace, Clara is swept into a miasma of intrigue and subterfuge eventually putting her life in danger.
Author Elizabeth Camden’s realistic dialogue and vivid descriptions draw the reader into the era. The message of salvation and forgiveness are woven throughout the story without being preachy or clichéd. A stand-alone book, The Lady of Bolton Hill features a minor, yet fascinating anti-hero who shows up in a later book as the male protagonist. The story and its characters stayed with me long after I turned the last page.
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A freelance writer for over twelve years, Linda Matchett also writes historical fiction. She is currently seeking a publisher for her series about war correspondent Ruth Brown. Visit her at www.LindaShentonMatchett.com