Hudson River Valley, 1898: Dierenpark is one of the oldest mansions in the country, but has stood abandoned for the past sixty years. Owned by the Vandermark family, over time legends have spread about the family curse. Sophie van Riijn has been fascinated by the house and sees it as an ideal place to set up a weather station for the Weather Bureau.
Things are upheaved when Quentin Vandermark arrives to tear down the house and put an end to the rumors. Sophie makes it her mission to change his mind and help his young troubled son. Will she succeed? Find out in Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden.
I was somewhat disappointed with this book. While the story was interesting, it was all over the place which made it confusing at times. Camden starts to make up for this in the final chapters when she brings everything together in the climax.
I found the parts of the story about the weather data gathering interesting. In today’s world where we have easy access to satellites and information it can be easy to take our forecasts for granted. But it was not always that easy when data had to be gathered and analyzed.
In some respects, this story could easily be set in England during the same time period. I appreciated that Camden took pains to give the story an American flair. She also incorporated some US history to make it even more interesting.
Camden uses Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart for, for they shall see God” as her theme verse. It describes Sophie very well and is repeated multiple times throughout to the point where it becomes annoying. I think 1 Corinthians 5:5 would be equally if not more relevant “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Sophie has a strong faith and it enables her to believe in things she cannot see, while Quentin believes if he cannot see it, it is not real.
On the whole this is an interesting story that could have been better. I give it three and a half out of five stars.
Soli Deo Gloria!