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Against the Tide

Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

RITA Award Winner, Best Inspirational Romance, 2013    

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself - a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy. However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane", a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head. 

Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

©2012 Elizabeth Camden (P)2012 Recorded Books

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Best Christian novel ever!

Absolutely enhralling start to finish. Wonderful strong heroine and mostcharming hero.I cried through the last five chapters or so...it was somoving!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story, well executed .

A enjoyed this story from beginning to end. Well written, intelligent characters with a smattering of humour. It was also educational
The historical facts were well researched and accurate. It was an eye opener to learn the contents of medications sold in that era and how difficult it was to have the laws changed. All done within a great story line and characters






1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Esther Cunningham
  • 17-08-2015

A story well worth your time...

This is just my second Elizabeth Camden book. My first was "The Rose at Winslow Street", which I loved. I hesitated in buying "Against the Tide" because of one or two reviews, but I'm really glad I did. I love Elizabeth's writing because she takes such care in creating memorable, distinctive characters. In "Against the Tide" she tells an engrossing story woven out of family ties, pride in work, intrigue and courage. The dry humor between the characters is witty and engaging. And the suspense and despair are very real. Some reviewers have been put off by the religious overtones, but Camden keeps everything within the context of the story, so the characters' belief feels natural for them and not at all preachy. Above all, I love the intelligence and courage of the heroine, Lydia. From the first moment we meet her, and throughout the story, she embraces life and deserves every moment of love and security she gains by the end.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • AmazonShopper_Kate
  • 28-04-2016

Great Read

A great read. Not at all preachy at all. The characters are likeable enough. The story moves pretty quickly. The narrator is very good, even though she sounds very old for performing the voice of a 24yr old woman. But all in all she did a great job.
I will definitely listen to more of this author's work.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 01-10-2015

Boston Late 1800s, Brave Young Woman & Opium

Orphaned at age nine, Lydia was at school, when her parents' ship was lost at sea, and they and her little brother were swept away, never to be seen again . . . taken to a local orphanage, she excelled at learning, and never forgot her Greek and Turkish heritage . . . growing up to become a translator at the navy shipyard, an unusual accomplishment for a woman. With a past of uncertainty, Lydia loves order in her life, right down to her very organized desk, and when she is in danger of losing her apartment that she has felt safe and secure in for several years, she's in a panic. Until she meets Bane . . . who offers her some extra work, translating documents for him . . . working hard to earn enough to buy her apartment, she finds that Bane is elusive and mysterious . . . yet she grows more and more interested in the strange, handsome man . . . Against the Tide is an excellent story, with many layers.I learned a lot about the late 1800s and early 1900s in respect to medications and opium use. I had to research Mrs. Winslow's soothing syrup after I listened to the book, and I was horrified to learn that it was indeed used routinely in the US and UK. I highly recommend Against the Tide . . . you won't be disappointed.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Valerie
  • 05-01-2019

Good story, but told way too slowly....

This story is a mystery and romance combination with a bit of religious belief thrown in. Barbara Rosenblat is always an excellent narrator, but the story is way too wordy and the reader can get bored waiting for the next course of action. Worth the credit, but you'll need to be patient throughout the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 26-01-2019

Not Camden’s best

Interesting storyline but too much repetition. I was interested in seeing how the character Bane developed after reading The Lady of Bolton Hill in which ended with an enigmatic Bane going on the run. The angst was overdone when he repeatedly said he couldn’t take Lydia with him because his life was too full of danger. This was especially irritating when he left her in harm’s way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Syd Young
  • 20-05-2014

Very Interesting Historical Fiction on Addiciton

I kept seeing this book pop up for me so I finally went for it. At first I thought I was going to be disappointed, but then the layers kept building. The book turned out to be satisfying, with good characters who had believable dillemas, plus a fun thriller aspect. It was also a subtle inspirational book, which was a pleasant surprise.

Lydia's traumatic childhood leaves her with lasting needs, yet she is surprisingly resilient. She overcomes great odds to make a life for herself, a life with seemingly great order. Then she meets a man at work who likes to subtly throw chaos into her order, and off we go. This book explores the themes of drug abuse and addiction, redemption, love, and recovery. The historical setting makes the addiction and recovery theme safe, so that we can really experience that reality without our modern day prejudices. It also explores the human need for connecting with God and our tendency to try to do it all on our own, killing ourselves in the process. Thumbs up!


NOTE: I think there are some historical inaccuracies, but being from the south I wasn't positively sure so I was able to look past them. In the end the drug addiction theme was very well explored, and not commonly found, so I think the book is a worthy offer. Also the historical aspect is pretty minor so not terribly distracting unless maybe you live in the area.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • fsutampagirl88
  • 05-03-2018

Great a read

loved this book! I'm not one for inspirational reading and didn't know this was a inspirational book but feel in love with Lydia and her courage!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lmpakborn
  • 23-02-2015

enjoyed the book

I thought the narrator did a terrific job in presenting each persona. The storyline was good and I enjoyed the historical and nautical aspects included.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-10-2019

inspirational and gripping

Worth a credit. Fantastic author. I was on the edge of my seat till the very end. Liked the history woven in. Fantastic narrator.

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  • E.F.B.
  • 10-10-2019

Well Written and Thoughtful Historical Fiction

I seem to have a dichotomous relationship with Elizabeth Camden books. Her stories are historical romances and with the two books I've read by her (this one and another), I loved the history, but disliked aspects of the romance. Guess I'll get down to business and talk about the specifics for this one.

Things I liked: As stated, I loved the historical side of this. Camden presents things that happened in history that I either didn't know much about or didn't know about at all and makes it come to life. In this case, I had no idea there was a time when people were giving babies and children opium without realizing it, thereby causing an epidemic of opium addiction in England and America. It was exciting to watch the main characters bravely fight to take down one of the worst opium smugglers in the states, and Camden did a great job of making the villain one of those insidious types: So proper and poised on the outside, but willing to kidnap and kill to stop those who get in his way. The book synopsis barely hints at this so I wasn't expecting the story to be quite the way it was, but it was this part of the story that won me over and kept me enjoying it despite the issues I had with other aspects of the story.

I also appreciated the author's honest portrayal of how drug addiction is both a choice and an illness, no matter how it got started. People who have an addiction need medical and personal/emotional support to get through it, but they also have to make the choice to stop picking up the bottle, stop taking the pills, stop even having the object of addiction in their presence, or it will call them back to it. In relation to this, I love how supportive the other characters were of the person with the opium addiction. They didn't sugar coat the terrible withdrawal she would experience to get off the drug, but they helped her survive it. Though she felt shame over her addiction, they weren't the ones shaming her. They were there when she needed them, and were firm with her while also being loving, gentle, and understanding as she went through that terrible struggle.

Things I didn't like: I was unhappy that certain things I didn't like about the romance in the first Camden book I ever read (A Dangerous Legacy) popped up in this book, too. (And the two books were published 5 years apart no less, which makes me wonder if this is a trope she likes and uses often?) Specifically, it's the tendency for the main characters to have some reason can't be together but they proceed to kiss, cuddle, and flirt anyway, all while saying some variation of "we're not supposed to be doing this."

I don't mind if the main couple can't be together yet still feel attraction and try to change the situation. But having them continue to be physical even though they supposedly know they shouldn't comes off as a "forbidden fruit is the sweetest" kind of thing and I don't find that romantic, I find that unwise. This being a romance, we the readers have a guarantee that they end up together in the end, but what if they didn't? Being physical with each other only intensifies emotions, thereby making it hurt worse if/when they get separated for good. The characters themselves have no guarantee that things will work out in the end, nor do we have that guarantee in real life relationships. Would it not be wiser for them to guard their own hearts and each other's hearts by doing what's harder and *not* being physical until the future is more certain? Would it not be more loving... more romantic, even... to say, "I love you enough to deny myself and protect you from future pain by keeping my distance," than to selfishly say, "This feels good to me right now, so I choose to ignore how it may cause both of us added pain in the future"?

That gripe aside, something I thought was rather silly, was how Bane was almost constantly described as the MOST GORGEOUS MAN TO EVER WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Both Lydia and her male coworkers nicknamed Bane "Adonis" because of his good looks and he and Lydia even teased each other about if she was okay marrying someone who was prettier than her. It came off as rather silly.

A minor issue was that I didn't care for the part near the end of the story where the symptoms of withdrawal were being described from a main character’s perspective. Like I said earlier, I appreciate that the author was honest in her portrayal of how hard withdrawal is, but I just don't enjoy reading about someone being physically ill when it's from that person's perspective as it triggers health anxiety in me. Were I reading a physical book I would have skipped those bits, but on audio that gets harder since I don't want to fast forward too much and miss the other action beats, such as when we check on another character to see what's going on with them. It's a minor gripe and a personal preference, but I thought it worth mentioning for the sake of others who might be sensitive to medical things as well.

Overall, while this book was not a new favorite, it also wasn't terrible. As I stated at the beginning, I really enjoy the historical aspects of Camden's books even if I have not liked certain details about the romantic aspects. While I'm not exactly going to run out and purchase every book by Camden that I can find I hope I'll eventually find one where I like both the history AND the romance. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.