Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reviewer's Bookshelf: "To the Farthest Shores" by Elizabeth Camden

Book Summary (Amazon): It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett's heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.

Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can't tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can't pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.

My thoughts...
In To The Farthest Shores, Elizabeth Camden has once again captured a moment in history in a unique and interesting way. She is so gifted at merging American culture with the culture of another place and time. In this novel, Ryan Gallagher has grown up in Japan and has been immersed in its culture, social customs, and is intrigued by the pearl industry, which is prominent in Japan. His whole persona actually seems half American, half Japanese, and this is represented in several ways throughout the novel. As he returns to America, deeply affected by his recent mission, his inner struggle of doing his duty or following his heart is constantly at odds with one another.

Jenny Bennett has a history as well. While she has been in the United States her whole life, she grew up abandoned, having to learn to survive and fight for everything she has. Her feelings of rejection early on in life are affected even more as she feels abandoned and betrayed by Ryan. Her inner struggle is to leave behind the scrappy girl of her past and become a well-respected nurse with an impeccable record. As she begins to spend time with Ryan again, their personal battles create the romantic and emotional tension that build throughout the novel. 

I've read every novel Elizabeth Camden has published, and even though I usually feel like the setting and cultural aspect that is featured in each book takes center stage and the romantic aspect is in the background (I'm a hopeless romantic), I still eagerly anticipate each novel. Character development is also a prominent feature, but it is often a hard road...not always filled with heart-fluttery moments (but there are some of those). I appreciate the journey I go on and all of the research that is obviously put in to each of her books. If you like historical fiction, you'll enjoy this book. There are some adult themes in To the Farthest Shores, but they are not told graphically. It is clean and has a redemptive, spiritual aspect as well. 

**I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and enjoyed giving an honest review.**