Friday, December 11, 2015

Until the Dawn

Prepare yourself!  This day is really a doozy!  It is National Ding-a-Ling Day!  I am not kidding!  I am not talking about bells.  We are talking about strange and bizarre behavior from people you will encounter during the course of your day (even the most conservative or shy person may do something unusual today)!  If you have some sick time, consider taking a day off (stay in and read a good book).  This way it will not be you everyone will be laughing because you did something bizarre!

I just finished reading Elizabeth Camden’s Until the Dawn.  Sophie van Riijn is twenty-five years old and living in New Holland, New York (in the Hudson River Valley) in 1898.  Sophie cooks for the staff at the Vandermark mansion.  The Vandermark mansion has not seen the family in sixty years (just two staff members to take care of the place).  The house is supposed to be cursed (and therefore the family and anyone who works there).  Sophie also sells cookies to the people that come down the river on steamboats and stop to look at the mansion.  In addition, Sophie has installed a weather station on top of the mansion (without permission).  She is one of the volunteers around the country that records weather information and sends it to the new Weather Bureau in Washington, D.C. 

Then one day Quentin and his son, Pieter Vandermark show up.  His son happened to overhear the story about the mansion and the curse on the Vandermark family.  Quentin comes into the mansion full of fury and fires all the staff.  Sophie will have to work hard to convince Quentin to let her keep the weather station and hire back the staff.  Unfortunately, Quentin has not returned to stay.  He has come to blow up the mansion at the request of father.  Without the Vandermark mansion, the town will dissolve.  Can Sophie change his mind?  Sophie is in luck with Pieter when he is taken with Sophie.  Sophie seems to be able to reach Pieter (his grandfather has made him afraid and scared with his stories).  It also helps that Sophie is a good cook and no one from the town will work in the mansion (thanks to the stories about the curse and bad luck).  Sophie will have her work cut out for her though with taciturn Quentin Vandermark. 

I enjoyed Until the Dawn.  It is an engaging novel that captured my interest and held it until the end.  Elizabeth Camden is an excellent writer who creates characters that readers will love (or at least like). I loved the descriptions of the mansion.  It sounds so lovely.  I could spend days just in the library (probably longer).  It was interesting to read about the newly created Weather Bureau and their use of volunteers.  I give Until the Dawn 4.5 out of 5 stars. There was a place or two that was a little slow, but they did not detract from the novel.  The writer provided some beautiful descriptive images of the Hudson Valley!  

Toward the Sunrise:  An Until the Dawn Novella is currently available for free on Amazon.  You can follow Elizabeth Camden on Amazon (to get updates on her latest releases).  I received a complimentary copy of Until the Dawn from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you have enjoyed my review.  I am currently reading The Nightengale Girls by Donna Douglas (great book).  Have a pleasant afternoon! Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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