Historical Fiction

To the Farthest Shores

I was pretty excited about reading this book. (i.e. it had a really pretty cover and a popular author that was new to me.)

So let me preface by saying this: The writing was wonderful. I loved the way Elizabeth Camden brought her characters to life, the way she set up a scene and the way she described the events her character were experiencing. As you all know, I adore historical fiction and because of her writing style, I fully intend to check out other books by this author!

With that said, I didn’t especially care for this book.


The book itself is an historical romance. I have discovered, as of late, that I actually enjoy a well-written historical romance. Especially one with a deep and/or complex storyline. Now, when the couple in the story spends the entire book misunderstanding one another OR when the book’s only storyline is the story of the couple, I tend to get bored. Or frustrated. Also, bored.

And unfortunately, To the Farthest Shores does both of these things.

Now again, I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing! It is abundantly clear that she is a gifted author. But I really struggled with the storyline.

Nurse Jenny Bennett and Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher are in love and plan to marry very soon. But then Ryan is called away on a confidential mission; he can’t give Jenny any details, but promises that when he returns…even if he is gone for an extended leave…he will return with a ring. So Jenny waits. And waits. And waits even longer. Only to finally receive a letter from Ryan, which states that he will not be returning, and they will not have a future together. Flash forward a few years, and Ryan has returned…but he has many secrets, and Jenny has many questions.


As soon as Ryan returned, I wanted he and Jenny to have a heart-to-heart. Even if it didn’t result in their getting back together, at least air out the grievances, yes? At first, Jenny is too angry to really sit and talk. Okay fine. I get that. You’re hurt, you feel betrayed…give him the cold shoulder. I can handle that. For a few pages. I’ll even give you chapter. But then Ryan over here, acting all secretive and rude and not wanting to answer any of Jenny’s “why” questions…for almost the whole book. By the time the book was 3/4 of the way through, I wanted to drag them both by their ears, tell them to stop being so utterly ridiculous and talk! For goodness’ sake, People. For goodness’ sake.

So, not only was I frustrated with the two main characters, but there really wasn’t much of a plot beyond their refusal to speak to each other. Which was a struggle for me, because with every page, I realized more and more how much I was enjoying the writing! Just not the story.

Finn, though! I might be madly in love with Finn.

Bottom Line: Fantastic author! Not my favorite book.

**Thank you to Bethany House for the opportunity to read and review this book! 


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