The Road to Paradise (A Vintage National Parks Novel #1)


Title:  The Road to Paradise (A Vintage National Parks Novel #1)

Author:  Karen Barnett

Pages:  344

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Waterbrook

My rating is 5 stars out of 5.

Ashford Brayden, or Ford to most everyone, can’t believe he has to spend his summer babysitting a senator’s daughter who thinks she knows nature!  Ford meets Margie Lane and realizes she has lots of book knowledge, but no practical hands-on experience.  Why must he be saddled with her?  He reluctantly takes her on hikes and tours of the park and slowly realizes her faith guides her life and she sees God at work in every aspect of life.  He is still doubting a God who would take his father’s life in an avalanche that happened two years ago.  Margie’s zest for life begins to impact Ford and he comes to want to spend more time with Margie, but could a park ranger and a wealthy senator’s daughter actually have a successful relationship?

Margie Lane has wanted to be a park ranger since she was a young girl, but in 1927 in Washington state that is unheard of.  She will settle for spending time in her beloved park at the foot of her beloved Mt. Ranier.  She has no desire to climb the mountain as she is afraid of heights, plus women don’t do that sort of thing, right?  She likes Ford and admires his survival skills, but knows she can’t allow a relationship with him as he hasn’t given his life to God.  Also, she has an obsessive ex who wants her to bend to his will, but this would make Margie miserable.  He wants her at all costs and when he threatens her beloved park, Margie has a big decision to make.

This is an absolutely delightful story!  At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Margaret Lane as she seemed very naïve, but the more I read the more I came to her viewpoint and could identify with her love of God.  Every small flower or plant showed God’s unique creation to Margie and she was in awe of her Creator.  She felt nearest to him while in nature.  I came to see how strong Margie’s faith was and how she lived her life full of faith as an example to all around her.  The vivid descriptions of the scenery put me right there on the mountaintop and nearby surroundings.  I can’t wait for more books in this series!  I highly recommend this wonderful story of the early history of our National Parks System along with an added bonus of a romance!

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