- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: WaterBrook (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735289549
- ISBN-13: 978-0735289543
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Road to Paradise: A Vintage National Parks Novel Paperback – June 6, 2017
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“Don’t miss Karen Barnett’s new release The Road to Paradise. This novel combines endearing characters taking on big challenges, nail-biting moments hoping that the land developer doesn’t win the day, the magnificent setting in the national park at Mount Rainier, and happiness that there will be more books like this one. Keep it up, Karen.”
—Lauraine Snelling, best-selling author of the acclaimed Red River of the North series and many other novels
“A story as invigorating, inspiring, and perilous as Mount Rainier itself! The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett pulled me in with humor and fascinating characters and a delicious romance, then kept me up late as Ford and Margie strive to save the national park that seems determined to kill them. The author’s experiences as a park ranger give this novel both authenticity and passion, and I can’t wait for her next national parks book!”
—Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of When Tides Turn
“Karen Barnett has done it again: held me hostage from the first page and made me like it. This seasoned author takes us to new heights as we encounter stories behind the formation of our national parks. Great characters, precise and fascinating images, a plot that kept me turning pages. The Road to Paradise is a top-notch novel that will remind readers of why we love our national parks and make us want to visit every single one, envisioning where the characters found their faith, friendships, and love. But I don’t plan to climb Mount Rainer…this author already did it for me!”
—Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of This Road We Traveled
“A true delight. With its expertly rendered setting of breathtaking beauty and danger, combined with charming characters and a swiftly moving plot, The Road to Paradise is a journey worth taking more than once!”
—Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of The Mark of the King
“The majesty of Mount Rainier shines in Karen Barnett’s lush novel. The story is both gentle and inviting, with a warmth that meanders its way along every page and a setting that captivates. Barnett’s broad brushstrokes pay homage to a magnificent landscape, yet her gentle sketches draw the reader’s heart to the intricacies of God’s creation—not only in nature itself, but in the human heart.”
—Joanne Bischof, author of The Lady and the Lionheart, RT Book Reviews 5 Star Top Pick!
“As fresh as the northwest woods, The Road to Paradise is just that, a reading adventure replete with romance, suspense, and poetic prose, all wrapped in a gorgeous vintage cover. Having lived and worked in the national parks, I found this novel to ring with authenticity and spirit. Karen Barnett does credit to one of America’s most picturesque historic places. Well done!”
—Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night
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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Top customer reviews
Margaret Lane has made her great escape; leaving a life of social obligation and burrowing herself into life at Mount Rainer National Park, as a result of her father's generosity, she finds herself dubbed a "naturalist" by Chief Ranger Ford Boynton to whom she is assigned. Surrounded by wildlife and flora to her heart's content, Margie's love of the outdoors flourishes, in spite of Ford's initial concerns about her ability to survive in the "wild", "for she saw God in every loving brushstroke of creation".
Ford Boynton has absolutely no intentions of falling under the spell of the senator's daughter, in spite of her admirable determination, talent with their park guests, and lovely appearance. However, when Margie's pompous ex-fiance arrives on the scene with an outlandish land development plan, Ford instinctively comes to her aid, only to discover that their differences run far deeper than family pedigrees, for Ford's heart is still shrouded by bitterness and grief, following the untimely death of his father, leaving him at odds with Margie's enduring faith.
"The Road to Paradise" is an exceptional series opener, full of interesting history with regards to the establishment of our national parks, but's it essentially a love story, and a romance; for "when I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou are mindful of him?"
I found it very interesting to set a novel in a U.S. National Park during the age of Flappers and Prohibition. I really found fascinating the theme of halting “progress” in order to keep nature natural. I do think that in some ways we have gone too far in modernizing everything at the cost of God’s perfect nature. The two main characters, Margie and Ford, work diligently throughout the course of this novel to keep the avant-garde villain from achieving his goals, namely to destroy the natural beauty of Mt. Rainier National Park in order to bring progressive modernization to the mountain. Having been to Seattle and seeing Mt. Rainier from the Seattle Needle, I can honesty say that changing one thing about that monstrous beauty would have been a shame.
The characters in this novel are well written. Margie Lane is young, naive (incredibly so), and optimistic. At the onset of the novel, she is escaping her former fiance and his brutal ways, and ends up at Mt. Rainier National Park asking for a job as a naturalist. Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is not excited to have such a soft, naive girl under his care. He personally knows the dangers and seriousness of the wild — his father died in 1925 in an avalanche as he was hiking on Mt. Rainier — and is positive that Margie will fail. He just hopes her failing doesn’t cause anyone to come to harm…or worse. So, at the beginning of this novel, sparks do fly between the two, but in a more irritated, unromantic way. Although, Margie does concede that Ford looks like an Adonis! LOL!
Over the course of the novel, Margie finds herself in a few troubling places and kind of realizes that maybe she needs to come to her senses about some things she thought she was so sure of. Book-learning knowledge and lofty ideals are not the same thing as real-life experiences. One thing I found hard to grasp in this novel was Margie hiking up Mt. Rainier with almost ZERO training. She had no concept of survival. She believed that God would see her through. I agree that God will always see us through, but I don’t think He wants us to enter into things blindly and proudly. This is one of the character quirks that sort of drove me crazy about Margie. Her faith is rock solid. I loved that about her, but she often goes into things without thinking things through. I didn’t like that about her character…and, if I am honest, I think this character flaw really struck me because I see a lot of myself in Margie’s character.
Ford is a great character. He is manly, rugged, street smart, and protective. He is exactly the kind of person Margie needs in her life to help her grow up a little. What I like so much in this novel is that Margie and Ford genuinely become friends before they become more than friends. I also love that Margie will not, under any circumstances, compromise her morals and standards. Margie will not marry a man who is unequally yoked. Very smart girl! She recognizes feelings and chemistry between her and Ford, but she will not allow those feelings to get in the way of her faith, and she communicates this to Ford. Ford, at the beginning of the novel, is an unbeliever. Watching him go through his emotional turmoil and overcome his issues, and then eventually seeing him come to Jesus, is a really excellent part of this story. I feel his journey to Christ is written in a realistic, understanding, and non-judgmental manner. And, when Margie and Ford do become more than friends, it does feel right because they are both in a good place to begin a relationship.
The villain in this novel, Philip, is well written as well. He is very, very snake-like, and his comeuppance at the end is very satisfying. There were moments in the novel where I wasn’t sure if the outcome would be as favorable as I hoped it would because Philip is such a conniving guy. Philip is underhanded and wants what he wants. He goes to any length to get his way. He is a very sad character, and I actually found myself feeling very sorry for him in the end.
Overall, I did enjoy this novel, and I do recommend the book. I give the novel a 4/5 because I did find that there were some slightly slow moments where I could put the book down. BUT, those slightly slow moments in no way detracts from the story overall. It is engaging and sweet. The characters are well written. And, I will more than likely get book number 2 when it is published.
Most recent customer reviews
Margaret Lane lands the job of her dreams when she gets her job alongside Chief Park Ranger Ford Brayden, in Mount Rainier National Park.Read more
First of all, how gorgeous is that cover? I'm not gonna lie, that's what first caught my attention about this book, but then I read the synopsis and I knew I...Read more