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Monday, 30 May 2011

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew.

In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives.

When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

The Lady of Bolton Hill started out like I expected - two teens, one rich and one poor, both falling in love with each other. But I did not expect characters being thrown in jail, revenge, suicide, kidnappings, black-market shipping, and riots.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Camden took this novel into a direction I really liked. She took historical facts from that time period, such as under-paid railroad workers and "the tortured conditions children endured when they were shoved beneath the surface of the earth to mine coal" (page 30). Throw in an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers who is in love with a poor-boy-now-turned-into-industrial-titan who is too angry to provide better opportunities for his workers, and you have some story right there.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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