Today's review is on The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett.
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 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."
I enjoyed this book, it had a sweet romance and I liked how Margie had to fight against her ex-fiance. I liked learning more about the early days of the national parks system and how they struggled with finances and getting support from people in order to keep them running. There were also moments throughout this novel that took me by surprise even though some of it was predictable.
I loved the character of Margie and even though she had a privileged upbringing she was willing to get her hands dirty in order to enjoy working in God's creation and sharing that beauty with others. However, I found Ford to be kind of annoying and off-putting because he is so focused on the events that happened several years before the novel took place. But I also liked how his realistic view on life and the park balanced out Margie's idealistic views and I do like how their relationship starts to blossom. I liked the antagonist of the story because he was realistic and that there are people like him in the world today. I loved the side characters in this novel and their interactions with the main characters.
Overall, I enjoyed this book even though some of it was predictable. I loved the backdrop and the characters and I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 4/5 Stars.
I would like to thank the author and the publisher, Waterbrook Press, for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
Janelle L. C.
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