I'm not usually fond of historical fiction, but I enjoyed reading Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden. The story is built around the Chicago fire of 1871. And the story centers around a very strong female character, Mollie Knox, who owns the 57th Illinois Watch Company.
Mollie's father built the 57th Illinois Watch Company which created the most beautiful and most expensive watches in America--and he'd hired wounded veterans from the 57th Illinois Infantry. There was a strong bond among the men of the 57th and Mollie's father was committed to giving these men jobs. When Mollie's father died and she inherited the company, she realized how vulnerable her company was to Hartman's, the only store they supplied. If Hartman's decided to get their watches from another company, they would be destroyed. Hartman's lawyer, Zack Kazmarek, arrived a week before the Chicago fire with an offer from Hartman's to buy the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Mollie had only a few days to consider the buy-out. But then the fire happened. Zack accompanied Mollie during the fire and they fought their way through the fire to rescue an employee of the watch company who was blind. Through the events of the fire, Mollie came to realize Zach had feelings for her. Zach had feelings for Mollie, but he was also indebted to Louis Hartman for rescuing him from working at the docks and giving him the prominent position in his company. So the offer he'd arranged for Mollie's company favored Hartman's.
I enjoyed reading about the Chicago fire and imagining what the people endured in 1871. This is the first book that I can remember not caring which man, of the two fighting for her attention, the main character chose. Maybe Elizabeth Camden intended to evoke that emotion. You saw the good and bad qualities of both men and imagined either could be a good match for her.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255