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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 Rainier 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 is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its 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 fiancé 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 in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: “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.”
As I was reading The Road to Paradise, I was reminded of the completely awestruck feeling that washed over me at my first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains (an incredibly amazing sight for this Midwestern flatlander). The author provides readers with moving accounts of the experiences and scenery found within the park.
Margie Lane is now a permanent resident of my reader heart. She is brave enough to break out of the grasp of social expectations and so much more. Margie pursued her passion with grace and determination, despite the naysayers. I admire her work ethic, her eagerness to learn, grow, and experience, and her appreciation for the natural beauty of creation. Margie has a heart of gold and enduring spirit.
Ford Brayden is a quintessential mountain man (and y’all KNOW I have a soft spot for rugged heroes)! 😍 His dedication to the park is deeply rooted in his identity and his father’s legacy. Ford’s initial Darcy-esque demeanor is easily excused. He has been raised in the wilderness with an extremely high male to female ratio after all. I imagine any man tucked away in the mountains tends to be a bit rough around the edges (aka SWOONY)!
Readers will be filled with wonder and adoration for God’s creation as they are immersed in the grandeur of Mount Rainier. I highly recommend this engaging historical novel, fondly place it among my all time favorites, and eagerly await the next installment of the Vintage National Parks series!
I requested the opportunity to read this book through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Karen Barnett is an award-winning author of five novels who draws on her firsthand experience as a naturalist, former park ranger, and outdoor educator to transport readers to America’s national parks.
She lives in Oregon with her husband, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.
When she’s not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her kids through boring history museums.
You might also enjoy following her little buddy, RangerBear on Instagram.
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Karen Barnett’s author spotlight giveaway!
Ends July 14!
PLUS there’s also a giveaway over on goodreads for The Road to Paradise!
Ends July 31!
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