Friday, August 7, 2015
Beyond All Dreams
In her latest release, Beyond All Dreams (Pub. Jan 2015), Elizabeth Camden details the intriguing lives of Anna O'Brien, a librarian at the Library of Congress in 1897, and Luke Callahan, a struggling congressman very recently demoted to the Committee on Fisheries to his great embarrassment. Introduced separately, the two characters' stories intertwine slowly and then all at once. Camden does a very good job of providing worry and suspense; wondering how things could possibly turn out in light of the messes that everyone seems to slip into.
The events of the first chapter seem to introduce a complicated plot while simultaneously crushing anyone's hope of learning anything substantial on the subject. Anna O'Brien is approached by the navy, regarding an error she believes to be documented in the country's history, only to be ordered in no uncertain terms to forget about the matter entirely and move on with her life.
But Anna is a researcher, and even under threat it seems difficult - if not downright impossible - for her to let go.
It is perhaps their tragic childhood stories that bring Anna and Luke so close to one another when their mutual use of research forces them to align. Their personalities are as different as night and day and their life experiences have taught them such different lessons. Originally they meet each other at such odds, and in Anna's case, this leads her to near-disgust. But that sentiment quickly changes and the trouble then lies with who will be the first to admit it.
For the sake of clarification, Beyond All Dreams does not focus solely on the relationship of its characters, though that could be considered a very key point. Camden does place heavy emphasis on who her characters are, for themselves and towards each other, and she does go into the emotional state of each, but this book is as much a suspenseful novel about controversy and betrayal as everything else. She adds authenticity with a careful portrayal of the time period and she approaches such questions as peace and war; right and wrong. The controversy that Anna has supposedly uncovered leads to eavesdropping, spies, stalkers, and a mess of justice between her and the truth about her past.
If nothing else, Camden's investment in her characters make them worth fighting for - or reading for - as the case may be.
For more information on Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden, visit our website here.