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The Road to Paradise ~ Review

The Road to Paradise
A Vintage National Parks Novel
By Karen Barnett

Take a step back in time to 1927 and embrace the peace that Margaret, Margie to her friends, Lane has come to experience at Mount Rainier National Park. Not only is this an escape from the world of society in which she has always lived - it is the chance to truly appreciate the creation that God has created.

Unfortunately for Margie, the park rangers, all of whom are men, don't feel that Margie has anything of importance to offer unless she can influence her father into helping to secure federal funds for their work. Ford Brayden is Chief Ranger and he has been tasked with showing Margie around and he is anything but pleased with the assignment. Ford would rather be out doing something than stuck with what he assumes is a pampered senator's daughter who probably can't tell the difference between a skunk and a raccoon.

 But soon Margie and Ford find themselves having to work together in an effort to save the natural beauty and wilderness of the mountain from the man Margie had thought was her friend, the man she thought she would marry. And this fight is one that could cost them everything if they lose.

I really enjoyed The Road to Paradise with explorations of the beauty and wilderness and how Margie found the hand of God in all that she saw.  I also appreciated the ingenious way that Margie and her father dealt with the threat that they were facing. I have to be honest I really wished I could step into the pages of this book and explore the beauty that was brought to life as the story unfolded. I also enjoyed Margie's habit of quoting persons of note and poetry that suited her location.

Those who enjoy early 20th Century American history will want to check-out this book, which I hope is the first of a series that will explore other National Parks. Karen Barnett's writing is enjoyable with no notice drag as she shifts scenes and characters. And her characters are well-developed one adores Margie, empathizes with Ford, and then there is Philip (who deserves whatever he gets).

I was provided a review copy of this book by Blogging for Books with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
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 fiancĂ© 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."

About the Author:
KAREN BARNETT is an award winning author of four 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 and two children.

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