Elizabeth Camden. Until the Dawn. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2015.
With the busyness of the Advent season, it’s sometimes much more challenging than normal to find time to read (and review) books. Fortunately, the excellent caliber of Elizabeth Camden’s novels made this week’s addition an absolute pleasure to read.
Ms. Camden’s newest release, Until the Dawn, follows the events and setting first introduced in Toward the Sunrise, an e-novella released in October 2015. Sophie van Riijn’s mother worked as the cook at Dierenpark, the Vandermark family’s mansion and estate located in the Hudson River Valley. As long as Sophie can remember, the mansion has been abandoned by its owners, left under the care of a very small staff. Since her mother’s death, Sophie has volunteered her services at the estate as cook, while running a volunteer weather station for the newly-formed Weather Bureau on the mansion’s roof. When members of the Vandermark family suddenly descend on Dierenpark with the express purpose of demolishing it, Sophie must do everything in her power to save it. Suddenly, the woman with her own tragic history becomes a light to a family otherwise without hope, as the secrets of Dierenpark and the reasons for the Vandermarks’ sixty-year desertion of the property are revealed.
With a delightful cast of characters and an enchanting setting, Until the Dawn proves once again that Ms. Camden continues to push the boundaries and expectations of the historical Christian fiction genre.
Overall, I was absolutely delighted with Until the Dawn. In reading Toward the Sunrise earlier this year, I was very excited about the unique setting and perspective that Ms. Camden utilized within her story. Likewise, its inclusion of an extended preview of Until the Dawn made me very eager to read the novel in its entirety. I can honestly say that the book far outpaced my high expectations! While Ms. Camden has been known for her complex and somewhat denser writing style than found in works by other Christian authors, Until the Dawn offers a more approachable style and somewhat faster pacing that will definitely expand her audience. Additionally, this work offers a more intensive focus on Christian themes and discussions of faith-related topics among the characters. While many Christian authors and publishers seem to be diluting these themes within their works, I am very excited to see this level of writing and Christian focus in Until the Dawn!
Fans of Ms. Camden’s other novels, especially the e-novella, Toward the Sunrise, will greatly enjoy Until the Dawn! Readers of Christian fiction and historical fiction works will also want to read the novel, as it is an excellent example of both genres. Until the Dawn remains true to Ms. Camden’s writing style and pacing, including her talent at creating elaborate storylines and character development within a similar length (approximately 346 pages) as other novels in the industry. Based on Ms. Camden’s focus on scientific and historical professionals throughout the novel, I am excited to add these tags to this review. :)
Special thanks to Bethany House Publishers for an advanced copy of Until the Dawn!
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