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Review: Against The Tide by Elizabeth Camden

Lydia Pallas is the daughter of a Turkish mother and Greek father. She'd spent her early life aboard a fishing boat. The gift of language is her special talent. She speaks fluent Greek, Turkish, Croatian, Italian, she understands some Russian. Her family moved to Boston when she was age 9. After beginning public school she learned English. When she was a young woman she gained employment as a translator at The Boston Naval Yard, she is an assistant to Admiral Fontaine. Handsome and mysterious Alexander Banebridge, and known to Lydia's boss, hires her to translate documents. The extra job gives her the ability to earn needed money to buy the home she is living in.

I love stories that have not been told before. It is unique in its theme, historical background, and main character Lydia.
Lydia is a smart, talented, woman. She has the knowledge of foreign languages that give her the ability to have a career and independence. In the 19th century most women were faced with marriage as their only means of livelihood.
The historical background is of the 19th century shipping business, and Naval history of Boston, Massachusetts.
There is also the history of opium. It's growth in foreign countries. The importing of opium, the production and development in United States, and its marketing to the public.
The addiction to opium is told in the story. The innocence and naivety of using something that seemed okay because it was sold in drugstores, but in fact was harmful and addictive. The after affects of detox after stopping opium is shared. The education to me as a reader about opium opened my eyes to this drug.
The dialogue between characters is not something that I usually review on. I was impressed by the maturity between the 2 characters who have feelings for each other. There is not a giddy feverish pursuit between the characters, bur rather a patient developing relationship. The dialogue itself between these key characters reminded me a bit of Bogart and Bacall, or Tracy and Hepburn. They are quick and in-sync with trading remarks. There is a rhythm of dance in their dialogue.

Thank you to Bethany House for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Published by Bethany House October 1, 2012
368 pages
Christian Historical Fiction/United States Navy/19th Century/Shipping Business

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