Against the Tide
Against the Tide is what might be best described as a “mild” thriller spiced with romance set in 1891 Boston written by the very talented Elizabeth Camden. Like her previous novels The Lady of Bolton Hill and The Rose of Winslow Street, the author has provided the readers with a strong, intelligent and independent heroine/role model whose ambitions and accomplishments exceed typical societal constraints of the era. In Against the Tide, Lydia Pallas, an orphan, has risen above a childhood fraught with difficulties; orphaned at a young age and reared in a strict, no-frills orphanage that provided her with an above-average education, then turned her out at 18 to make her own way in the world. Lydia was born in the Greek Isles to a seafaring, doting Greek father who was ostracized by his family for marrying a Turkish woman, who also became estranged from her own people. Lydia happily lived with her parents and younger brother aboard their small fishing boat. While she was on shore for school, a sudden storm sank the vessel and left her bereft and alone. Gifted since early childhood with an uncanny aptitude for learning languages, Lydia mastered seven before her twenty-first birthday. Because of her unusual talent for languages and despite her gender, she was hired to work for the U. S. Navy. Lydia is the sole woman translator in Boston’s Navy Yard who works directly for an Admiral and relishes her role as an independent woman. She is ambitiously saving to purchase her own apartment which she has filled with books and her meager although precious possessions. Her orderly world becomes more interesting and complicated when she takes on after hours translations for Alexander Banebridge, an intense and secretive colleague of her employer Admiral Fontaine.
Alexander Banebridge, of course, is equally intelligent and dazzlingly handsome, as well as worldly wise. One of the secrets he conceals from most is his devoutly committed Christianity, his self-professed reason for living and motivation for his work. It was his early adulthood conversion that transformed his life from scoundrel to a ferocious crusader against the then legal opium trade. Banebridge’s nemesis is lethally dangerous. I won’t spoil the readers’ enjoyment by revealing more details. Against the Tide is a rollicking good read with engaging characters, a fast pace and richly detailed period history.
Elizabeth Camden is the nom-de-plume of Dorothy Auchter Mays whose daytime occupation is Head of Public Services, reference librarian, and Assistant Professor at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Her night and vacation time avocation is writing literate, colorful novels of Christian themed historical fiction. Her undergraduate degree is in Arts, History and Theater from Trinity College with two Master’s Degrees: Arts and History from University of Virginia and in Library Science from Indiana University. She has numerous articles covering a wide range of subjects and four non-fiction books published under her own name.