A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie knows no better option despite a lack of permission from the absent owners.
Toward the Sunrise ~ free eBook Novella preceding Until the Dawn
North of New Holland, 1898. Early each morning, Sophie van Riijn arrives at the Dierenpark mansion high above the Hudson River, to calculate the weather readings to telegraph to Washington to the Weather Bureau. Nine years she has been collecting the data to send each day; rain, storm, or shine. There is a groundskeeper, Emil Broeder, and a housekeeper, Florence Hengeveld, who have maintained the abandoned Vandermark estate for several decades, that it not lay in ruins.
The tourists come to buy postcards and Dutch cookie treats, painters come to fill their canvases ~ Sophie comes for a respite from the clamor of the small village of New Holland where her father runs a hotel and is the local mayor. How she loves the scent of the open water blowing across the breeze, and the flowers... There is a cove where oysters bed and lilies bloom, quite unordinary for other places in the area. A quiet paradise. That is until the summer day a steamboat from Manhattan brought sightseers, and the tour guide unknowingly told his embellished tale to young Pieter, the great-grandson of Nickolaas Vandermark, the last occupant sixty years earlier.
Pieter and his father, Quentin Vandermark, have arrived to stay.
This is an intertwining story of the remarkable village girl who soothes the angst of these newer generations of Vandermarks, far beyond what they might have imagined. Used to hearing superstition and grave losses to their family line, they are query to her attendance to them. An excellent cook, the aromas coming from their kitchen bid them come, however wary at first. Her constant peace is uneasy to Quentin, through his constant years of physical pain and anguish.
A settling comes, as Quentin begins to speak with Sophie as much as he would like to stay away. Years of turmoil is not easily left behind.
***Thank you to author Elizabeth Camden and to Bethany House Publishers for sending a copy of Until the Dawn to me for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central
Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She
has published several articles for academic publications and is the
author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with
history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.
releases June 2016; a free eBook prequel to From This Moment will be available in May 2016