Erin's Reviews > The Lady of Bolton Hill

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden
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Jun 20, 11

Read in June, 2011

When reading an author's debut novel you never know if you'll have a hit or a miss. Nor can you predict their future success based on their first offering alone. Some have break-out first novels but can't seem to find their stide on subsequent tries (Ray Blackston). Others have rather mediocre debut stories but go on to become one of Christian fiction's most recognizable figures (Karen Kingsbury). Sometimes you find an author whose first novel blows you away to the point where you know you'll put their second one on your wishlist before you even know what the plot is about (Austin Boyd, Christa Parrish, Sharon K. Souza, etc.)

While reading Elizabeth Camden's new release, "The Lady of Bolton Hill," I kept being distracted by the cover. I had seen a very interesting blog post entirely dedicated to its creation and therefore paid a little bit extra attention to it. There's a woman looking somewhat longingly out a window (what a popular cover pose this is!) and you can see the cityscape behind her so you know the story is set in a town rather than in the country. The woman has her hands clasped together in front of her chest as though waiting and praying for an outcome out of her control to be determined. There is lovely silver scrollwork around the title, and from its nomenclature you would assume the heroine is a lady of privileged position who has always lived in this Baltimore, MD, neighborhood.

I found myself wishing as I read the story that the book was actually more like the cover and the title. From the plot itself, it seemed as though it should have been christened "The Worldwide Adventures of Clara Endicott" and showed a woman traipsing about for social justice rather than a pining figure in a window. I mean, I knew something was up the moment the story opened and Clara was in jail in England. Lady of Bolton Hill, indeed!

Not being a huge fan of the political scene (either social or governmental), I realized as I got into the story that I was not going to be able to really enjoy it. I'd give it 2.5 stars and ask that the author cut down on the runaway metaphors next time. But there were two things I'd like to highlight about the story:

1) We get into the advertised plot at a good pace. I hate it when the main plot point doesn't happen until you're half-way through the story and have spent every page wondering when it was going to arrive. Elizabeth Camden delivers you there with just the proper amount of build-up.

2) The scenes where one of the characters decides to turn his life over to Christ are very powerfully done. You can feel the liberation of soul and the inpouring of peace which only comes from the presence of Jesus Christ. Very fine job by the author!

This book would be right up your alley if you are interested in social politics and historical adventure stories. Unfortunately it isn't exactly what I enjoy but I could see its merits and won't judge other Elizabeth Camden releases on this one alone.

Note: I received this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for this honest review.

This review originally appeared at http://wwww.reviewsbyerin.livejournal...
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