Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie van Riijn sees no harm in setting up a rooftop weather station for her work with the newly established Weather Bureau. While the villagers are suspicious of the mysterious estate and its tragic history, Sophie has come to see it as her own enchanted piece of paradise.
The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover Sophie trespassing on his land.
Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie yet find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There’s a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark can no longer be kept in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?
Continue reading for an excerpt from Until the Dawn and for my thoughts on the newest book by Elizabeth Camden
I always look forward to a new Elizabeth Camden novel. I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve read and I’m delighted to say Until the Dawn is no exception. Here we have two characters of different backgrounds and sensibilities, drawn together to care for one small boy and falling in love in the process. Sophie often feels like a failure and finds satisfaction in cooking, which is something the newly-established Vandermark household can’t get enough of. Volunteering for the Weather Bureau also makes her feel useful. Quentin, on the other hand, is determined and domineering. He trusts in science and in things that can be seen and touched. He understands Sophie’s weather work, but thinks the Federal Government is taking advantage of her. And he really doesn’t get her ever cheerful countenance and faith. His one weakness is his feeling that he owes his grandfather a great debt, even when the older man’s demands go against everything he stands for.
Until the Dawn is a tale of bitterness and redemption. It’s a murder mystery with a supernatural touch, and a love story about the meeting of faith and science. It’s about sharing God’s love through actions but not necessarily words. The characters are unique from Emil the groundskeeper to Ratface the bodyguard. The plot regarding a sixty year old murder mystery is intriguing and forces debates on whether or not the property is cursed and if there are such things as curses. But there’s a mystery from even further back in Vandermark history that becomes the cornerstone of the novel. How do they tie together? I’m not going to tell you, but there’s a twist this seasoned reader never saw coming that adds to the wow factor.
Elizabeth Camden has also created a prequel novella, Toward the Sunrise. It’s available in electronic format and is free from most online retailers.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary copy of Until the Dawn, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read Until the Dawn? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 01 December 2015
Page Count: 352