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Into the Whirlwind

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4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  2,364 Ratings  ·  354 Reviews
After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the afterm ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publisher (first published January 1st 2013)
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Anne This book is not high on suspense (at least in my opinion.) The only part that I found to be truly suspenseful was toward the beginning during the…moreThis book is not high on suspense (at least in my opinion.) The only part that I found to be truly suspenseful was toward the beginning during the fire. Although I suppose some could claim that the reader is kept in suspense throughout the book due to the love triangle, but I digress. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Erin
Dec 06, 2013 Erin rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I've of two minds when it comes to Elizabeth Camden's Into the Whirlwind. On one hand, I like the period and the historic details that were worked into the plot, but on the other, I think the romance between Molly and Zach was too straightforward, predictable and repetitive.

The Great Chicago Fire takes place early on and while I don't feel Camden offered a comprehensive glimpse of the damage wrought by the flames of 1871, sh
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Sarah
Nov 23, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Age Appropriate For: 15 and up (reading level and moderate romance)

Best for Ages: 18 and up

How can I even begin to describe how much I loved this book? Maybe if I tell you that Elizabeth Camden is now my favorite author you will start to understand. I don’t think I have ever read an author with such well-developed characters. Against the Tide and this book had characters that I fell in love with so much that I loved a plot that I wouldn’t normally like.

I so understood Mollie. I feel as if she is
...more
Hannah
Such a delightful story! I've only read a couple of fiction books about the Chicago Fire, and this one did an excellent job of giving details of the inferno and the unique challenges faced by those who had to rebuild out of nothing after the fire. I loved the attention to detail and the authentic feel it gave the book. A fun extra is that Mollie is described as wearing a dress like the one on the cover. I love when that happens!

Mollie and Zach are excellent characters and both very strong. Her d
...more
Rachel
Nov 29, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it
This was a fairly well written historical Christian romance. The characters were interesting, and I liked learning more about the Chicago fire and about watch and clock making through their eyes. However, ultimately this was one of those romances where the couple ended up estranged for most of the book mainly due to a lack of real communication and trust, and there are better ones, so this was a 3 star book for me.
Naomi Bowen
Jan 31, 2017 Naomi Bowen rated it really liked it
A beautifully written story. Camden has a clear writing style that I envy.

"His voice was smooth and low, like warm chocolate with a dash of cream "

"These watches capture the glory of God's universe... They are a hymn to God's creation. A celebration in gold and rubies."

A great historical Christian novel with complex characters. My only dislike was the romance plot was a bit dragged out.

Very good novel - liked it a lot.
Ann
Mar 26, 2017 Ann rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story. Starts out with the Chicago Fire and gets more engrossing with every page. Elizabeth Camden's details, both of the aftermath of the fire and the protagonist's occupation, thoroughly immerse the reader in the time period. Readers of well-written historical fiction will love this one--I certainly did.
Kara
Jul 10, 2013 Kara rated it it was amazing
This was my first time reading Elizabeth Camden and even though I wasn’t sure what to expect, I felt like this was a book I had to read. It only took 50 pages for me to become hooked and it was easy for me to fall in love with the story. Mollie is not your typical business owner. She has taken over her father’s watch making company which employees the veterans he served with during the Civil War. Mollie has an excellent mind for business and keeping the figures organized, but one day Zack Kazmar ...more
Rachelle Cobb
Oct 28, 2012 Rachelle Cobb rated it it was amazing
What I Loved

Ever since reading the amazing Against the Tide in less than 12 hours on the day after Christmas, I've been an Elizabeth Camden fan.

I'm an even bigger one after having read Into the Whirlwind.

I read this book over a weekend spent with a girlfriend at the beach--a weekend where I very well could have gone without reading anything. Instead, I stayed up way too late reading about Mollie and Zack running through a burning Chicago.

This is one of those books of which I read every line slo
...more
Ron
Excellent. This is what historical fiction should be like. Camden got both the history, and the feel of the era right. Strong, but believable--especially in context--female lead. Plenty of conflict and growth.

(Don't recall any battles late in the Civil War where the Union forces were threatened as much as the Battle of Winston Cliff is presented. That's okay, Northern units faced--and met--that sort of challenge often in 1862 and 1863.)

One quibble (view spoiler)
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Iola
Mollie Knox is the owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, designers and manufacturers of exclusive hand-made watches Hartman’s, the elite Chicago department store. Zack Kazmarek is the son of Polish immigrants who has risen to be the lawyer for Hartman’s. He meets Mollie every three months to approve her designs and he has fallen hard for her unique combination of passion and business sense.

Mollie is suspicious when Zack presents an offer from Hartman to purchase her business outright, espec
...more
Kym McNabney
Jul 17, 2013 Kym McNabney rated it it was amazing
Sigh! I do so love ELIZABETH CAMDEN’S books. MS CAMDEN is one of the few authors I adore so much that I don’t need to know the title, see the cover, or be familiar with the synopsis of her new release. Nope. I just flat out purchase it, no hesitations, even when I have a pile of books to be read filling my bookshelves.

Mollie Knox’s 57th Illinois Watch Company is a victim in the path of the fire that spread throughout part of Chicago, leaving destruction in its wake. Her father’s building may be
...more
Anne
Oct 14, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing
In high school, I disliked History class but if I had a teacher who could tell a story like Ms. Camden, I’m sure I would have excelled. Into the Whirlwind takes us through the horror of the Great Chicago Fire and the months afterward. From page one the stage is set, the cast is ready and the heat is on.

Mollie Knox is a character who has resilience, determination and a huge capacity to love. These traits are echoed throughout the story and shown in eloquent detail. From her business dealings to h
...more
Gwendolyn Gage
Jan 07, 2014 Gwendolyn Gage rated it really liked it
Mollie Knox craves order and routine, her systematic way of life reflected by the precision watches her company makes. But it's not so much about the watches--her employees are men who fought beside her father in the Civil War, many of them disabled. The only family she has left, Mollie will go to great lengths to keep providing for them through work.

Lawyer Zack Kazmarek is torn between loyalty to the millionaire who saved him from life as an uneducated dock-worker, and the desire to help and re
...more
Laura
Jul 10, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian, and it shows in her books. The details of the Chicago fire rang true and the events drew me into the book from the first page when Mollie Knox, the owner of a watch company, and Zack, the lawyer for her biggest buyer, flee the city as it burns.

Although she could walk away from her destroyed company, Mollie refuses. Many of her employees are wounded veterans who fought with her dad in the Civil War. Instead, the remaining members of the 57th come to help
...more
Shantelle
Into the Whirlwind is a tale of intricate watch-designing, raging fires, and a whirlwind of emotions. It follows proper, controlled Mollie who runs her deceased father's watch business that employs scarred veterans from the war. And it follows Zack, who is part of the big business that buys Mollie's watches... he's the opposite of proper, but rather wild and impulsive.

I love how Elizabeth Camden incorporates stuff like the Chicago fire and something as fun and unusual as watch-making into her n
...more
Ann Saylor
Sep 08, 2013 Ann Saylor rated it it was amazing




I love historical fiction novels - especially if they have a spiritual undertone. Into the Whirlwind was captivating. I loved reading about the emotional, physical and spiritual ramifications of the Chicago fire. I loved reading about a woman business owner in the 1870s. I loved reading about the minute details of watch-making and clock-making. I loved reading the wisdom of a woman wrestling to understand the passions and longings of her heart. I loved reading about characters struggling to find
...more
Nicole
Nov 23, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This was an aptly-titled masterpiece! I so thoroughly enjoyed this book, and wish I could read it for the first time again. From the very first page, I felt like I was in a whirlwind, as the title suggests, and I wasn't set down until the last words had been read.

As I said in one of my updates, for someone who always falls for a story's handsome rogue...this book is one masterfully crafted piece of riveting agony! Elizabeth Camden is a master at pulling out the emotions of the characters and inc
...more
Lynne Stringer
I have become a fan of Elizabeth Camden's work, and this novel was a good one, although not without a couple of minor problems. I think it was a little on the long side, the Christian element seemed a little forced, and at times the storyline seemed to jump awkwardly between threads. Mind you, there was a lot to cover and it did fit the disjointed sense that must have existed after the Chicago fire which is the historical centrepiece of this novel.
Ms Camden has a wonderful way of making me like
...more
Nidofito
Into the whirlwind has your standard Camden characters with an engaging, thoroughly researched setting and an interesting plot which makes this book a pleasant read.

The reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because I'd like to see my heroines other than prim and proper, and my heroes other than intense and impulsive. If both are upstanding Christians, surely their personalities can be reversed. The story is also rather repetitive and shockingly, had miscommunication, or more accurately non-
...more
The Literary Maidens
Jul 16, 2013 The Literary Maidens rated it it was amazing
// Bethany's Book Review //
Bethany's Rating: 4 stars

In the face of tragedy, can love survive? Does it makes the bond stronger, or weaken it to a breaking point? In this story of overcoming enormous difficulties, Elizabeth Camden delivers a heart-racing retelling of the Chicago fire of the 19th century that took out the whole town and forced it to completely rebuild from the ground up, and gives a insightful look into a fiction life which survived that harsh time.

Mollie Knox is the owner and main
...more
Kayla Finley
Aug 30, 2013 Kayla Finley rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book for free through Netgalley.

I'm going to be up front here - I loved this book. I'll try not to gush about it too much, and I'll tell you the few things I didn't like, but I had a really good time with this one.

My problem with most Christian fiction, especially historicals, is that the plots are pretty boring. There's only one central conflict that's not enough to sustain an entire book. Not the case with this one.

The first thing I loved about this, though, was the s
...more
Michelle Woods
Aug 14, 2013 Michelle Woods rated it it was amazing
Title: Into the Whirlwind

Author: Elizabeth Camden

Pages: 377

Year: 2013

Publisher: Bethany House

I usually start off my reviews with a brief summary of the book. But I have to say, I LOVE this book!!! It is amazing. If you are reading this, I hope you decide to pick the book up and read it. Okay, now that I have that out of the way. . .

Mollie Knox is a hardworking watchmaker’s daughter who has taken over his factory when he passed. This takes place in October of 1871 in Chicago, when a woman owning
...more
Megan
I have read all of Elizabeth Camden's previous books and loved them! So I was anticipating great things when I requested to review this book, however I was slightly disappointed.

The story started off differently than I expected, it begins with the main characters trying to escape the fire. This was a different way to start it and, while I somewhat liked it, I would have preferred to have gotten to know the characters a bit first. It was so intense yet I felt disconnected from it. Thankfully, si
...more
Sandra
Aug 08, 2013 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. I loved this novel! Enough said? No? Okay, here's the skinny.

This book arrived as a surprise from Bethany House. (And it wasn't even my birthday.) Since Elizabeth Camden has become one of my favorite authors, I dug into it right away.

First, the cover is more beautiful on the print book than you could ever tell by looking online. Raised lettering. Raised swirly-doos. Depth to the city street. Very classy.

Second, Into the Whirlwind is the first novel I've read in a while that I found downr
...more
Laura
Dec 19, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
Title: INTO THE WHIRLWIND
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House
August 2013
ISBN: 978-0764210242
Genre: Historical

As owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, Mollie Knox's future looks bright until the night the legendary Great Chicago Fire destroys her beloved city. With her world crumbling around her, Mollie will do whatever it takes to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek, an influential attorney for one of Chicago's finest department stores, is a force to b
...more
Tegan Vandenbosch
Aug 11, 2013 Tegan Vandenbosch rated it really liked it
Mollie Knox loved her perfectly scheduled world, run like the beautifully crafted artisan watches that she and her company, the 57th Illinois Watch Company, make for some of the elite clientele of Chicago. But when the Great Chicago Fire turns her world upside down, she must find the strength and ingenuity to help her company rise from the ashes and start anew.

More than whirling flames bursts into her orderly world when she gets to know Zach Kazmarek, a powerful attorney in the city who rubs el
...more
Faye
Nov 02, 2012 Faye rated it really liked it
Mollie Knox has found a purpose in following in her father's footsteps by making famously intricate watches, but when the Great Chicago Fire takes almost everything from her she finds herself relying on the one man she swore she'd never trust.
Zach Kazmarek has made a name for himself as a lawyer to be reckoned with, from a humble home he has worked for everything that her has. Zach has admired Mollie from afar for years and now that he has the opportunity to help her, will he keep her best int
...more
Bethany
Sep 06, 2013 Bethany rated it really liked it
This book gives an insiders view of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and what it took to rebuild lives, businesses, and loves from the rubble and ashes left behind.
I really liked the characters in this book. Mollie Knox is a independent, strong, and compassionate women determined to keep her father's watch shop open, if for nothing else she has to provide her employees, mostly Civil War veterans with work and stability.
Zack Kazmarek is a influential Polish man who has worked his way up from unload
...more
Melanie
Nov 23, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
Review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1DV7PO7...
Review on my blog (to be posted 9/10): http://christianbookshelfreviews.blog...

4.5 stars

Into the Whirlwind is the first of Elizabeth Camden's books I've read and I really enjoyed it! The author did a great job of portraying the Great Chicago Fire - the characters' emotions were so real and I felt like I was there!

The one downside for me were the characters. I liked them all fine, but Mollie definitely wasn't a favorite and I have mixed fe
...more
June
This is more of a clean historical romance. This was an okay read for me, I more enjoyed the female protagonist as she cared for her employees following the great fire of Chicago. The romance was meh for me, I didn't like Zach so much. His personality was not my cup of tea.



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“Why are you so angry at me?” she asked. The question ratcheted him even closer to the boiling point. “Because for some insane reason, I adore you. For three solid years I have thought you were the closest thing to perfection on this earth, and I can’t watch you risk your life crossing that bridge!” Had she understood correctly? After all these years of cold decorum, Zack’s eyes glittered in a face streaked with soot and sweat as he stepped closer, shouting over the roar of wind and fire. “I’ve been insane about you since the moment you waltzed into my office three years ago in that ridiculous suit and your hair as prim as a schoolmarm,” he shouted. “Don’t you dare get yourself killed on me now!” 5 likes
“And why is that?” he asked softly. “Because you don’t scare me anymore.” She placed her other hand on his chest. “You used to intimidate me down to my toes, but since the fire, everything is different. I can be myself around you. Flaws and all.” “You don’t have any flaws.” 3 likes
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