Historical Fiction, Review

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

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The Road to Paradise by Karen BarnettAn 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?

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.”

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My Thoughts

As I was reading The Road to Paradise, I was reminded of the completely awestruck feeling that washed over me at my first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains (an incredibly amazing sight for this Midwestern flatlander). The author provides readers with moving accounts of the experiences and scenery found within the park.

Margie Lane is now a permanent resident of my reader heart. She is brave enough to break out of the grasp of social expectations and so much more. Margie pursued her passion with grace and determination, despite the naysayers. I admire her work ethic, her eagerness to learn, grow, and experience, and her appreciation for the natural beauty of creation. Margie has a heart of gold and enduring spirit.

Ford Brayden is a quintessential mountain man (and y’all KNOW I have a soft spot for rugged heroes)! ???? His dedication to the park is deeply rooted in his identity and his father’s legacy. Ford’s initial Darcy-esque demeanor is easily excused. He has been raised in the wilderness with an extremely high male to female ratio after all. I imagine any man tucked away in the mountains tends to be a bit rough around the edges (aka SWOONY)!

Readers will be filled with wonder and adoration for God’s creation as they are immersed in the grandeur of Mount Rainier. I highly recommend this engaging historical novel, fondly place it among my all time favorites, and eagerly await the next installment of the Vintage National Parks series!

I requested the opportunity to read this book through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.


The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett quote


About the Author

Karen BarnettKaren Barnett is an award-winning author of five 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, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.

When she’s not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her kids through boring history museums.

You might also enjoy following her little buddy, RangerBear on Instagram.

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Also Available

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Comment below then go claim 5 bonus entries in the
Karen Barnett’s author spotlight giveaway!
The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett giveaway on Faithfully BookishEnds July 14!

PLUS there’s also a giveaway over on goodreads for The Road to Paradise!
Ends July 31!

How are your survival skills, reader friends?
Share your wilderness skills!

39 thoughts on “The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett”

  1. Uhm…can I say zero? I doubt I would survive in the wilderness at all. An experienced guide is a must if I were to go on an excursion like that.


  2. My skills were pretty low when I started working for the park service–that served as the inspiration for Margie’s character. Now I’m slightly better, but still no expert!


  3. No survivalist skills but we are prepared with a camp stove, a tent , prepackaged foodstuff, etc. we bought some land in the woods for my son and hubby to hunt on. Son is now building on part of it. We did help with clearing brush, felling trees, getting rid of poison ivy. So we are not totally unfamiliar with camping, etc.


  4. I don’t have any survival skills!! It is a good thing that I don’t plan to go to any wilderness areas to explore isn’t it! Thanks for the review and giveaway.


  5. I love your review! I live in the Pacific Northwest so Mt Rainer is in my neck of the woods. I’ve been to the Olympic National Park up in Washington and love the beauty of God’s creation 🙂 I really want to read this story because of the location.

    As for survival skills, I was a girl scout, does that count? LOL….I’m not sure how I’d survive if I got stranded and I really don’t want the chance to find out either 🙂


  6. Survival skills? I don’t think many of us have those these days, our lives are much too comfortable.
    We camps some as a family when I was a kid but it’s probably been 30 years since I’ve slept without a solid roof over my head.


  7. I do not think I have any survival skills but I love reading about adventures where characters in the books use their survival skills.


  8. Survival tip: if you’re hiking in bear country, alway make sure you can run faster than your hiking partner. 😀 Never hike alone, and always tell someone else where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Always take plenty of water with you and a good book. If you get lost, you’re supposed to stay put, so you might as well have something to read while you’re waiting for rescue.


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