Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Book review: With every breath

Kate Livingston was just let go from her respectable, though rather dull, position as a government statistician. Then she receives an interesting job offer from a doctor researching tuberculosis. Kate is intrigued, until she disovers the doctor is none other than her school rival Trevor McDonough. Why would he offer a job to her of all people?

Trevor's one big goal in life is to find a cure for tuberculosis. His work would become much easier if he had a competent assistant and he decides to find Kate Livingston, the clever and quick girl he always competed with at school. While working together, Kate and Trevor form a tentative friendship despite their very different characters. But mysterious things happen at the hospital: missing stock, data which have been tampered with. Trevor tries to ignore it, but then whoever is trying to ruin his name starts to target Kate and her family. Kate and Trevor must try to find the person behind this and for that, Trevor must open up and tell Kate his secrets.

With every breath is the second novel I read by Elizabeth Camden. Last year I really enjoyed Against the tide, but I was even more impressed by With every breath. The first thing which really appealed to me was the setting. Being a scientist myself, I loved the look in late 19th century medical science this book afforded. We may have come a long way since then, but we are building on the knowledge these early scientists collected, without all the fancy equipment we have today! And ofcourse, the main character is a women working in science, so that's really great. I like how Camden's heroines are intelligent women with interesting jobs. I love reading about them and it makes it easy to identify with women like Kate.

I've read many a review of Against the tide and seen people fangirling over that novel's hero; Bane. He was an interesting character, sure, but Trevor trumps him in my opinion! A silent and closed-off man, but with hidden depths and a kind heart, that's my kind of hero! And the chemistry between Kate and Trevor was so good, to see them challenge each other was really fun. I'll admit, the mystery part of historical novels is not usually by favourite, I'm more into romance and character development. But in this book, I really liked the mystery: it was well-thought out and kept surprising me with it's revelations.

If I had to nitpick, there was one little thing which bothered me a bit in this novel and that was Kate's 'turn-about' at the end. It felt too sudden, too overly spiritual. In my opinion, in real life most people don't change their minds on a whim, it's a process that takes time.

But this was just a minor quibble and overall I really loved With every breath. I would definitely recommend it to any lover of historic fiction and strong female characters. For myself, I'm looking forward to reading more by Elizabeth Camden!

I received an ebook version of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I like the woman-scientist angle! I have a sister-in-law who is a scientist too, and I think she might rather like this.

    Also, I've nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award -- details are here :-)

    1. Thanks for the comment and thanks for letting me know about the Award! I´m quite behind with blog reading, so chances are I wouldn´t have seen your post until about 2 weeks after or so...

  2. After recently reading Ms. Camden's Beyond All Dreams, I'm anxious to try this one now! I've read a few of her older books, but hadn't read any of her more recent works until this year. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy her characters! I must get to this one soon.