Book Review

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Libraries are amazing places–especially for a lover of books. A large library houses so many books, that it would take more than a lifetime to explore every page. While I enjoy the ease at which I can pull up information on a computer, there is part of me that feels we severed an important part off since we no longer think of libraries as the first place to research something. But regardless, they are still beautiful places (BuzzFeed even has a collection 49 breathtaking ones).

So, to read a novel that is set in our nation’s greatest library? I was definitely interested.

**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

 

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress.

From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

“If you don’t ever make mistakes, it means you aren’t dreaming big enough, and something tells me that behind those prim clothes you’ve got the mind of a dreamer.”

-Luke Callahan, Beyond All Dreams

Characters: Like most of her books, Elizabeth Camden brought to life two very different personas in this novel. Luke Callahan is a popular man and a politician. He’s vibrant, loud, and his personality could barely fit through a door. Oh, and he’s fun and charming. Anna O’Brien on the other hand, prefers her solitary existence, being an observer rather than the observed. But she is intelligent and witty. The two often spar (in friendly ways) throughout this story and every time they did, I couldn’t help but grin at some of the comments.

Storyline: Everything about this storyline was wonderfully intriguing. Both main characters have a few secrets lurking in their past, but the biggest secret is the one that the government seems to be hiding about a ship that supposedly sank in a hurricane. As Luke and Anna team up to help one another out, it becomes them against the government, all while the nation itself is on a bit of unsteady ground. This novel had tension pouring out of the pages. While this is a complex plot, it was quite enjoyable, and as I have found with most of Camden’s novels, hard to to put down.

My Thoughts: Every time I read Elizabeth Camden’s novels I feel like I found a new favorite book. I didn’t intend to read this one so fast, but once I picked it up, I just couldn’t stop. I loved the banter between the characters especially. But the plot definitely moved the story along. Plus, there was a strong theme of forgiveness that affected both of the main characters. Also, as true to readers of Camden’s can expect, the setting in this book is enchanting–Anna is a librarian at the Library of Congress.

If this one hasn’t made it to your “want to read” list, it probably should.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

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7 thoughts on “Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

  1. I think I’ve read one. The Rose of Winslett or something like that. Yeah, I liked the older buildings too. I was disappointed in some. As a book lover, you’re not winning me over by showing me some weird or fancy building. Show me the book stacks!!! Lol

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