Anna O’Brien loves her quiet life as a map librarian at the Library of Congress. Her shy spirit enjoys the predictability and relative anonymity of her job and she avoids unnecessary associations with Congressmen or their loud meetings at all costs. This is until she stumbles upon an error in a report of a ship disappeared at sea. If there is anything Anna cannot abide it is errors in historical documents, so her sense of justice overrides her timidity and causes her to seek help for her startling discovery. Luke Callahan is a boisterous and popular Congressman from Maine who does not mind clashing heads with others despite its consequences for his political career. Curious about the strong spirit hidden in the mysterious map librarian, he agrees to assist Anna in her quest. But both meet great resistance during their search for the truth, which only serves to cast further mystery on what really happened to the ship. Determined to find the truth, this unlikely pair soon find themselves involved in a deeper conspiracy than either realized existed.
Another enjoyable read from a beloved author, Beyond All Dreams is complex, interesting, and engaging. Anna and Luke are both realistically flawed characters, but their troubled pasts bind them in unique ways, allowing each to learn and grow from each other. Anna is a truly endearing heroine, her ability to forgive and overcome great obstacles making her instantly likable. The historical information in this novel is wonderfully interwoven, providing a very interesting backdrop about a perhaps lesser-known period of American history. The descriptions and events allow the story to come alive and the creativity of the multifaceted plot engages the reader throughout the entire book. The romance is accurately complex and although a few parts of Luke’s character are frustrating, the overall theme and conclusion are certainly remarkable. Another recommended historical novel from a great author!