The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett - Reviewed

Friday, July 6, 2018

About the book:

Title: The Road to Paradise
Author: Karen Barnett
Publisher: Waterbrook Press

In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brannon lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn't relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills.
When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer's plans might put more than just the park in danger."

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About Karen Barnett:

Fueled by a passion for research and learning, and a secret desire to travel in time, author Karen Barnett creates historical romances that draw readers deep into a story. She’s fascinated that even though human history is constantly changing, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The point where those two facts collide forms the basis for her writing–finding those moments when an ordinary person brushes up against the eternal.

A graduate of Valparaiso University and Oregon State University, Barnett’s debut novel, Mistaken, was released in 2013 and earned her the Oregon Christian Writers “Writer of Promise” award and a Cascade Award for best historical fiction. She also won the coveted “Writer of the Year” title from the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2016.

Karen spent several years working in outdoor education as a park ranger and naturalist for Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park before becoming a stay-at-home mom and professional writer. She spends her free time hiking, taking photographs, dragging her kids through dusty history museums, and decorating crazy birthday cakes.
Karen lives in western Oregon with her husband, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.
To connect with Karen follow her on Facebook (KarenBarnettAuthor) and Twitter (KarenMBarnett).
She also enjoys public speaking and has addressed women’s groups, church organizations, book clubs, libraries, and writing conferences. Check out her speaking page if you are interested in learning more.

My Thoughts:

First, I'm a beach girl. I grew up and lived as an adult in mainly coastal states. Even when I lived in Colorado for a few short years I didn't spend nearly as much time in the mountains as I did at the beach. With that said, Ms. Barnett's book The Road to Paradise transported me to the serene beauty of Mount Rainier, a place to my knowledge I've never been before, and I now want to go. Her word pictures completely immersed me into the beauty and sounds of God's creation.

Margie was a hoot! She's grown up in polite society, determined to break away from the stereotype of a delicate woman she used her father's connections she gets a job working with the forest rangers. She does not shy away from anything even a rat who decides to take up residence in her cabin.

Ford was a hero who clearly did not want a woman invading his mountain, yet he learned that Margie wasn't a push over and that she would pull her own weight. While they might have disagreed here and there, they unite quickly on keeping a ski lodge out of the mountain.

My Bottom Line:

This was a beautifully written book filled with sights and sounds of Mount Rainier. Karen Barnett wove scripture in an out of the story creating a visual experience of God's creation. There is a sweet budding romance that both Margie and Ford attempt to avoid. Carmichael's determination for said ski lodge keeps the plot hopping and the reader riveted. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am anxious to read the second.


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