Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

I, like most of the followers of Christian Romance, was captivated when I first saw the striking cover  for The Lady of Bolton Hill: a woman of the late Victorian age, staring wistfully out to a towering skyscraper: a clash of tradition with industry and change.

The city setting is as unique as some of the tenets of this historical romance. Daniel and Clara's world is Baltimore, Maryland: where high society, glitter and riches frost the booming industry, invention and grit of a world that is not what it seems.

This cover is SO pretty! 
Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain have been friends for years: very close friends in that sort of L. M. Montgomery Teddy/Emily or Anne/ Gil type of way: they yearn for each other's company, to learn, to play music; but are from very different worlds. Tragedy in Daniel's family catapults him into a state of progressive revenge: not only does he make a name for himself, destined to prove worthy of Clara and her world, he invests every fibre of his energy into seeking justice for a deed long done.

Danger, confusion and change await the two as they rediscover themselves and their child infatuation slowly blossoms into love.

The most poignant scenes take place in the music conservatory: where Clara and Daniel experiment with Chopin and with compositions of their own.  The musical undertones of the novel were well-handled by Camden's pen. I also quite enjoyed the well-researched business world that took Daniel and his ilk high above the city in those massive skyscrapers, slowly chugging the wheels of change into motion.

The friction between Daniel and Clara as adults is a believable exposition of faith and doubt: while Clara holds steady to her belief that the Almighty is the ultimate Judge, Daniel cannot see past the wrongs done to himself and his family.   The reader is engaged and slowly, deliciously tortured as you watch them inch toward meeting half way.

I highly recommend this novel as an example of a thought-provoking, well-researched and well-balanced novel by a fresh voice in contemporary Christian Romance. 

I look forward to more by Elizabeth Camden.... and to see more of her cover treatment!

In fact, you can read more about the cover process for Lady of Bolton Hill in this article. The Novel Process shows us the many different covers considered for the book before the final decision and ( in my opinion) the right one.  For fans of books, I found this a captivating snapshot and a nice companion piece to the book.

look! how pretty!
You can visit Elizabeth Camden's website to read her blog, learn more about The Lady of Bolton Hill and for a sneak peek at her new novel, the Rose of Winslow Street, publishing early 2012

My thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one -- I need to read it! And I found that article on the book's cover process fascinating as well -- wonderful insight into the making of a book!