Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Book Review: The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

The Road to Paradise is a sweet, Christian, historical romance set in the Mt. Rainier National Park in the 1920s.

About the Book

The Road to Paradise (Vintage National Parks #1)
by Karen Barnett

Description from Goodreads:

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?

Book Review

Margie's dream has always been to work at Mt. Rainier National Park, and now she finally has a chance! But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden doesn't know what to do with a female park ranger, and he is especially irritated at how she romanticizes the park. Doesn't she know how dangerous nature can be?

When I first started reading this book, I was in college studying literature and literary periods. And oh, did this book delight me then! The main characters seemed to represent some of the exact things we were studying, romanticism and naturalism, and the author pitted them against each other via the characters' squabbles.

Margie represented the Romantic Period, and as such, she had a Romantic view of nature and spouted off Wordsworth, Thoreau, and other Romantic writers at every opportunity. She was all about how beautiful nature was and the God who created it that way. She romanticized it, putting herself in danger several times when exploring Mt. Rainier.

Ford represented Naturalism, the view of nature following the Romantic period that said that nature just existed (forget the beauty), God was apathetic, and both would just as soon kill you as let you live. This view came from Ford's experiences, namely, his father's death which was caused by nature. And so when he meets Margie, with all of her romanticized ideas of how nature and God are so wonderful, it drives Ford crazy, especially when Margie puts herself in danger because she doesn't have any respect for how deadly nature can be.

I just love that the author put that in the book.

Of course, there was another plot running alongside the one I mentioned. There was a romance, a competition for the ownership and use of the national park, and a dastardly ex-fiance. That part of the story was also done well and was enjoyable. I really enjoyed the sweet romance.

This book was an interesting, clean, Christian romance, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated to write a review.

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