ABOUT THE BOOK
Eloise Drake's prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she's finally put behind her—or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she's now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.
Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town—but he needs Eloise's help to succeed.
Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he'd lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them before it's too late.
A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As I read A Desperate Hope I was struck by the fact that in 1908 a young woman in New York City was enjoying a successful career as a CPA and auditor for the state of New York. Eloise Drake was also living a straight-laced life in an effort to atone for a mistake that she made as a teenager. What she doesn't count on is being sent to Duval Springs to help in the project that will eventually demolish that town so that a huge reservoir can be built to furnish water for New York City. Eloise once lived near Duval Springs and it was there, as a teenager, that she experienced her first love affair. Now, her first love is the mayor of Duval Springs and he is determined to protect the town that he loves. Eloise's mathemetical genius knows that this project is feasible but her heart allows her to understand why the people of Duval Springs want to save their town.
There are so many facets to this story. Young love, the embarassment and shame of being judged, the loss of innocence. There is also murder, mystery and the question of parentage but what I loved most is the presence of hope. Alex Duval was hopeful that Eloise would join his fight to save Duval Springs and Eloise hoped that her efforts would help because she realized that he and the citizens deserved to keep their homes. As they began to work together Eloise began to understand that God had made her a planner and Alex a dreamer. Loving each other again might not be possible but this was okay because "It was simply the way God had made them, and the world needed both sorts to succeed".
I truly enjoyed reading this book and the fact that it is actually based on true events made it even better. There truly were several small towns in New York that were forced to either dissolve or to relocate so that The Ashokan Reservoir could be built. As I read the town people's determined efforts I thought how I would feel knowing that the small rural town that I grew up in might soon be displaced and I could imagine their desperation.
A Desperate Hope is wonderful historical fiction filled with hope and faith. Author Elizabeth Camden reminds us that no one is beyond redemption and that forgiveness is possible for everyone. She shows Eloise and Alex's growth from their past hurts and she allows other characters to change also. The way that she chooses to end A Desperate Hope is a wonderful testament to the power of love, both human and divine!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review.
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