I have come to love anything Elizabeth Camden writes, she writes with an elegance I don't often find. Beyond All Dreams is a book for someone who not only enjoys historical fiction, but also enjoys thinking deeply about the reading itself.
Anna works at the Library of Congress in the Maps department. She loves her job, it allows her to do something important and it allows her to research what happened to her father when he was a cartographer in the Navy fifteen years earlier.
Luke Callahan is an up-and-coming congressman from Maine who has stepped on the Speaker of the House's toes once too often. When he develops a friendship with Anna, he takes on her cause of finding out what happened to her father.
Most of the rest of the characters are just added color for the basic story and added depth for Anna and Luke. Neville, Anna's friend, helps her out with her research from time to time. He works in the patent office and has access to many new technologies that he shares with Anna. My favorite was the flashlight.
After Luke's political career seems to be imploding, he pushes the issue of what happened to Anna's father, until he ends up in a meeting with the Secretary of the Navy (Theodore Roosevelt), President McKinley, the Speaker of the House, and a couple of other players in the cause. What he finds won't comfort Anna, but her desire to know the truth overrides his ability to keep the secret of the meeting.
Luke's character is known for his explosive temper and it shows up from time to time in the book, but Anna seems to know how to corral the temper.
The setting of the book is near the turn of the twentieth century, during a time of unrest involving Spain, Cuba and the US. Elizabeth's research into the times and growth of industry, as well as the political scene. She does very well in integrating the history into the story between Anna and Luke. Her stories are compelling and engaging and this is even more so. I know that in some places in the book, tears escaped my eyes. When I read, I become immersed into the story so that I don't pay much attention to the world around me.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a map to buried treasure.
Bethany House provided this book in exchange for my honest review.