Book Review: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

Against the Tide (Click book for description)
By Elizabeth Camden
Downloaded free on 8/2/13

Finish Time: 3 nights.  Another quick read, but a really good one.  I really enjoyed this book.  Set in harbor of Boston in the late 1800’s (early 1900’s?), this is the story of Lydia Pallas.  Lydia is a woman so far ahead of her time, that at times I wondered the accuracy of her character, but was easily able to bypass that by this action packed story.  She is just full of spunk and a lot more outspoken than I would picture of women during that time (but then again maybe I have just been fed too many stereotypes!)  She has had her ups and downs and is really one of my favorite characters as of late.

The story begins with a bit of Lydia’s back story to illustrate some of her struggles and why she is how she is.  But quickly moves to present day (of the book) and the action begins.  The other lead character is Alexander Banebridge (Bane).  I had read a few reviews (I try not to read very many before reading a book) where a lot of people didn’t like Bane.  While he does come across very sure of himself, I think he always treats Lydia with respect and never sets any unrealistic expectations.  I enjoyed watching the banter between them and their relationship grow throughout the book.

The “meat” of the book is the opium trade, which the author says was a hot topic of that time (true).  Like many of the historical books I read, I enjoy some facts woven into a fictional story (makes me feel smarter!)  But I thought the author was brilliant in using a real product available at the time, Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup.  This was a product very commonly given to children to help them “sleep” that was filled with opium, and later pulled from shelves.  So as a mom (and especially one trying to “clean” up what is in children’s products) this side story line tugged at my heart strings and had me rooting even harder for Lydia and Bane to complete their mission.

File:Mrs Winslows Soothing Syrup bottle.JPG

Overall – great book.  Not too long, but filled with lot of action and great characters.  I’m on the lookout for other titles from this author!  (I think I was able to download this one for free is because she just released a new title on 8/1/13 – Into the Whirlwind)

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