The Road to Paradise

The Road to Paradise

A Vintage National Park Novel

Book - 2017
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"An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true-that's what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God's gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainer National Park. It's 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier's long shadow. But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden knows too well how awe-inspiring nature can quickly turn deadly. Ford is still haunted by his father's death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its growing crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic Senator's daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources. When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park's pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love? Karen Barnett's Vintage National Parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt's vision for protected lands, when he wrote, "There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.""-- Provided by publisher.
"a historical romance about a determined young naturalist resolved to work in the dazzling-but-untamed Mount Rainier National Park in 1927"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Colorado Springs, Colorado : WaterBrook, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780735289543
Characteristics: 344 pages ; 21 cm

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Geaney
Apr 23, 2019

It’s long been a dream of mine to visit each and every U.S. National Park. When I learned Karen Barnett would be writing a series of books set in three parks around the time of their inception, I hastily added them to my must-read list. The Road to Paradise was my introduction to Barnett’s writing and admittedly I felt an instant connection with the author through her protagonist. Perhaps it’s because Margie and I share a proclivity for praising God as we explore His creation.

Margie, Chief Ranger Ford Brayden, and Mt. Rainier are the main characters of this story. How can a mountain be a character? God uses the mountain to woo the other two characters to Himself. In fact, you’ll find God on virtually every page—entering scenes by way of Margie’s words and thoughts towards Him, and indirectly in Barnett’s descriptions of His handiwork.

Weighty Christian themes are balanced by moments of levity as well as Margie and Ford’s blossoming romance. My first laughs came at Ford’s expense, because he was so irritated at having to accommodate a female in his ranks. As he began to appreciate her skills of observation and impressive knowledge of Rainier’s flora and fauna, I delighted in the playful banter they carried on for the remainder of the book.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the guest post Karen Barnett wrote about her research for this book, I hope you will take the time. Her personal experience as a ranger in Mount Rainer National Park as well as many of the historical details she gained through corresponding with a park curator, add to the story. I never questioned the historicity, merely the minute detail of Margie’s physical conditioning prior to her 14,411’ ascent. Nevertheless, I am absolutely looking forward to exploring both Yellowstone and Yosemite in Barnett’s forthcoming Vintage National Parks Novels.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel. This review is my honest opinion, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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