Kate Livingston is working as a government statistician in Washington, D.C., when she is surprisingly contacted by a former classmate and offered a new job. Trevor McDonough, a Harvard-educated doctor, is working in a tuberculosis wing at a local hospital and is determined to rid the world of this terrible disease. Kate is reluctant to accept Trevor’s proposal as the two were always such fierce academic rivals during their school days, but she is curious as to why Trevor would want her for the position.
As Kate and Trevor begin to work together, more and more of Trevor’s past comes to light. Kate realizes that she may have misjudged this intense, passionate man. But someone is determined to discredit Trevor and all that he has accomplished, and that might not be the only thing standing in their way.
Set in 1891 with the nation’s capital as a backdrop, With Every Breath is a novel based on the messages of overcoming fears and embracing life and joy.
I really like it when books really grab me from the start, and With Every Breath definitely did that. I absolutely loved how this novel began with the scholarship competition between Kate and Trevor. It was unique and was a great jumping off point for the eventual relationship between the two main characters.
I also really enjoyed the beginning of Kate and Trevor’s relationship – both their friendship and their romance. Their witty banter was fantastic, and I absolutely adored how Trevor was attracted to Kate as more than just a pretty face. He was attracted to her attitude and her intelligence as well. At one point, Trevor thinks to himself, “By heaven, was there anything more attractive than watching a pretty woman tackle a thorny mathematical equation?” That’s just awesome.
As their relationship developed, however, I kind of got bored with that part of the story, and it’s hard to explain why. I was glad that the reasons that kept them apart were valid and that those reasons didn’t feel contrived, but I guess I just felt as if there was too much back-and-forth – will they get together or won’t they? – and it became tiring. The mystery part of the story, however, was appealing and made up for some of the things lacking in the romance.
While the romance might not have been as interesting as I had hoped, the historical and medical aspects of this novel were fascinating. The author pays such attention to detail when it comes to the setting and to the feeling of being right there with the characters. I have read other historical novels where a character has tuberculosis, but I had never understood what a toll it takes and the medical history behind it. The medical aspects were a bit grisly at times, so if you are at all squeamish, be forewarned.
Although this book had a great story and an interesting historical setting, the Christian aspect of this book just didn’t go far enough for me. Kate did experience some spiritual growth in the fact that she ultimately had to come to terms with her fears and to trust God. This was one of the biggest messages that came through in this story - that constantly succumbing to her fears was also keeping her from experiencing great joy. But apart from that, it felt as if the book came from the vantage point that everyone who dies will go to heaven. Jesus coming to die for our sins, our admission of that sin, and our acceptance of His righteousness as our own did not come into play whatsoever. Since the main focus of the book was tuberculosis, death was a major theme, but what happens after death was not. It just seemed very vague to me, and since death was at the forefront of the subject of this novel, I expected more.
While there were some aspects that kept me from liking it fully, it was still an enjoyable novel overall.
I will give With Every Breath ... 3.5 BookWorms.
With Every Breath
by Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: August 5, 2014
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."