When I read Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden last year, I immediately became a fan of her writing. I’ve since acquired (but not yet read) several of her books in my never-ending TBR stack. The latest from her, With Every Breath, has a strong heroine, a unique (and accurate) historical setting and subject, and a captivating storyline.
Summary: In the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she’s bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor’s entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.
As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.
When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?
The main characters, Trevor and Kate, are complex and realistic. Just below the surface, Trevor conceals a flood of emotions, though to Kate, it appears that he has a cold demeanor. This proves challenging as they work together and uncover their true feelings and fears: Trevor, afraid of being hurt or inflicting unnecessary pain; and Kate, fearing risk and the unknown.
It’s an interesting journey watching these characters change and grow as a result of their surroundings. Trevor is not your typical hero — in this case, that’s refreshing. He’s not bold, but quietly heroic and steadfast. Kate is strong and independent (but at the same time sweet), fitting for an era when an educated woman faced so many challenges. It is easy to identify with her character. The reader shares in her struggles to find happiness, purpose, and meaning.
Elizabeth shares an interesting and lesser-known bit of the history surrounding early treatment of tuberculosis in this story. Paired with suspense and dramatic events surrounding Trevor’s research, it gives this story a slight “medical drama” feel. This gives the story momentum and keeps the reader guessing.
In all, I really enjoyed this historical drama/romance. It emphasized how you can’t comprehend God’s plans or let mistakes from the past — or fear — steal the joy found only in Christ.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.