A few years ago, I read Elizabeth Camden’s Against the Tide. I liked the book well enough that when the opportunity arose to review another of her books, I went for it. Her latest release, Beyond All Dreams, is an interesting story from inside the heart of the Library of Congress in 1897.
Anna is a quiet-as-a-mouse map librarian in the Library of Congress, living a predictable but content life in spite the hurts and struggles of her past. Luke is one of the nation’s most powerful, and charming, congressmen left in a fight to save his career after infighting with Congress leadership. Under duress, Anna joins Luke’s quest to save his job and in return, Luke sets out to help Anna solve the mystery of a lost ship. Together, they find themselves surrounded by secrets that could prove perilous.
I think my favorite part of this story is my favorite part of every historical fiction — learning more about history. I can honestly say I didn’t have much knowledge of the formation or early workings of the Library of Congress, but as a lit nerd, I definitely find it interesting. And even though I’m not much for politics, I also enjoyed the nuances about Congress and the congressional pages and all of that. It’s a very good testament to a historical fiction novel if I come away with a greater knowledge of history.
That said, I read this book almost entirely in one sitting. It was a breeze to get through (and I am a slow reader!), which makes it ideal for a vacation novel or something to pick up on the next snow day. It isn’t a complex masterpiece, but it is certainly enjoyable.
I received a complimentary copy of Beyond All Dreams from Bethany House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.