The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

516mT1emWdL.SX316The 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 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?

My Thoughts

Like most books, it was a slow plodding start for me, but once I got into it I enjoyed The Road to Paradise. Margie’s love of nature was something I could identify with and I often find myself taking in little things like wildflowers and trying to identify plants when I’m in the car watching nature pass by. Her propensity for breaking into verse or quotes was as awkward to read as it was for Ford to listen to, though.

Mount Rainer was a perfect backdrop to the story. I love the rugged setting and all the adventures the characters shared while exploring and living on it’s slopes.

Philip, however, was a flawed villain. I found him a little lacking in some way, though I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think a little more detail about his engagement to Margie and why it ended was in order.

I appreciated the Christian elements in the story, too: from the marvel Margie feels at being so close to His majestic creation to her steadfastness in seeking a man who shared her beliefs, a real and very important struggle.

Content: I was a little disappointed that the author made so many mentions of one character noticing the other’s great physical attributes. Though it was always in the sense that they were trying to keep pure thoughts, once was plenty for me and after that it was just tiring. Two characters also find themselves in a compromising situation where they are stranded together overnight, but nothing wrong comes of it.  There was no swearing, however, which is always refreshing in contemporary writing.

Overall, 4 of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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