The Lady of Bolton Hill was sent to me as a review copy by Bethany House Publishers. It is by debut author Elizabeth Camden and is a historical fiction novel set in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1879. Clara Endicott, one of Baltimore’s elite young ladies, finds herself reacquainted after many years with Daniel Tremain, a young man from the “wrong side of the tracks” who is now a titan of the steel and railroad industries. The friendship they shared, brought on by their love of music, has been interrupted for the last twelve years due to Clara’s father’s interference. Now they have a chance to start their friendship again, but has time changed them too much? Daniel now has some formidable enemies, and Clara has become a committed journalist bent on protecting the working poor, many of whom work for Daniel. Clara and Daniel will both have to discover where their loyalties lie and from Whom they should draw their strength.
Call me a sucker for historical romance, but I really liked this book. This one drew me into the characters and their storylines immediately. While I enjoy the romance part of a novel, I really appreciate when the story goes into other issues involving the characters that are somewhat separate from the romance, and this novel does that well. In this book, there are several other issues that the characters face, including problems with powerful industrialists, the plight of the working man, the plague of vengeance, the power of forgiveness, and even the illegal drug trade (yes, even in 1879). The depth of storyline surprised me based on the cover of the book and its title. I also thought the author did a good job of placing faith in God in the novel. It is presented by the characters in a natural way that fits with the storylines without being overdone.
I guess a critique of this book would be that sometimes the characters seemed to act a little out of character for their time period. But that doesn’t really bother me too much in this book, since it is sometimes nice to have a little bit of ‘fantasy’ in a book that is being read for entertainment. At least in this novel, the characters were definitely not perfect, and that gave them a quality that was more real even if they sometimes acted out of place. Also, the ultimate ending sort of came out of left field, I thought, but I will let the reader determine that for themselves.
On the whole, I thought this was a great first novel for Elizabeth Camden. It had a much easier flow to it than some of the other debut novels I have read recently. I actually did not even know until I had finished the book that this was a first novel for this author.
The Lady of Bolton Hill is representative of good Christian historical fiction, and I look forward to the next book by this author.
I will give The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden... 4 BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”