It’s 1897 and quiet, studious Miss Anne O’Brien has her dream job: she’s the map room librarian in the Library of Congress. In the course of her research, she finds evidence that a Navy report is wrong, and enlists the assistance of a handsome young congressman to right the error. Luke Callahan is the opposite of Anne: confident and outgoing, but finds himself intrigued by the librarian.
Elizabeth Camden is one of my favourite authors, because I love her characters and plots, and I especially like the way she weaves real-life events into her stories. Beyond All Dreams is set in Washington DC in the late 1890’s, and if you know your American history, that means you’ll know the political backdrop to this novel (I didn’t know, which meant it came as a surprise, and I don’t want to spoil it).
I also liked her characters. As a keen reader (!) I could related to Anne (although I’d like to think I’m a little more outgoing…), and Luke was a wonderful hero, prepared to do almost anything for those he loved—Anne, his nephew, and his brother and sister. As always, Elizabeth Camden’s novel has managed to integrate interesting characters with real historic events into a gripping plot with a solid underlying Christian message: “If you don’t make it as a painter, funnel that passion into something else … [it is] a gift from God … even though we don’t yet know what form it will take. Don’t limit yourself by thinking you already know God’s purpose for you.” It's a lesson we all need to hear, regardless of whether our God-given passion is painting or something else. Recommended for fans of historical romance.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.