Deb’s Dozen: Beyond all dreams, love is born, can flourish, and overcome all obstacles

Deb’s Dozen: 12-Word Summary – Beyond all dreams, love is born, can flourish, and overcome all obstacles.

Set in the late 1890s, Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden tells of a young woman, Anna O’Brien, who works in the Maps Department of the Library of Congress. The book also relates the story of Congressman from Maine, Luke Callahan. Beyond All Dreams is their story.

In the 1890s, the few women who were fortunate enough to work for the U.S. Government served in a probationary status. Fear, of being fired from the job of her dreams, kept Anna quietly working as a map librarian. Extremely good at her tasks, she was given the assignment of doing research, both cartographic and general, for young Congressman Callahan.

For Luke, meeting Anna was a coup de foudre, or strike of lightning—love at first sight. For Anna, Luke was a threat to all she held dear. She did not want to end up like the infamous woman who fired from her job for kissing a congressman. Besides, she disliked the man who’d had the audacity to snap his fingers at her to get her to bring him the information he wanted quickly.

Camden draws us in with elegantly and realistically drawn characters. They are both flawed, but talented. I was also amazed at the wealth of information woven into the story about cartography, and about the Library of Congress when it still occupied part of the Capitol Building. The mechanical pen was first manufactured in the 1890s as was the flashlight or electric torch. Hearst and Pulitzer warred with each other to provide the best press coverage of events of the day. McKinley was President and Teddy Roosevelt the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Beyond All Dreams paints us the picture of those times prior to the birth of the new century.

You will want to read about the brave librarian with the raspy voice and the brash young congressman used to getting his way. You’ll love their story and how the story evolves despite all odds.

Elizabeth Camden is the author of six books, with a RITA Award, a Christy Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award to her credit. She and her husband live in Florida – Elizabeth actually is a research librarian during the day and writes her novels by night. You can visit her website at

I was given a copy of Beyond All Dreams by Bethany House in exchange for my candid review.

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