Where the Fire Falls (A Vintage National Parks Novel #2)


Title:  Where the Fire Falls (A Vintage National Parks Novel #2)

Author:  Karen Barnett

Pages:  344

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Waterbrook

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Clark Johnson had been a minister at a church until three years ago when he was accused of inappropriate behavior by one of his female parishioners.  He was forced to leave the church.  He ended up working as a trail guide at Yosemite where he grew to love the land God created.  He remained a man of faith, and he could see God’s handiwork every day in the beauty surrounding him.  His contract for guiding tours is about to expire and he must decide if he will take a ranger position at the park where he will enforce rules and not lead tours or find a job somewhere else.  His last tour is scheduled.  As he prepares for departure, he meets a woman artist who will be on his tour.  He thinks she is sophisticated and above his station.  Little does he know she is not who she appears to be.

Olivia Rutherford puts on her makeup and fancy dress to impress future patrons.  Her agent has told her she must obtain the financial support of Marcus Vanderbilt or she will never be rich and famous.  She molds herself into what the rich crowd expects.  She takes the tour and begins to let the real Olivia break through occasionally as Clark observes.  He likes that Olivia very much, and she seems to like him.  But she needs money to support her twin sisters who are currently living with an aunt.  Olivia’s mother died a few years ago and her father is dead according to her aunt, so Olivia is left to support her younger sisters.  Once she has made a name for herself, she can relax as her financial worries will be over.  However, Marcus has more in mind than a financial arrangement.  When Olivia rejects him, she knows he has the power to ruin her career and reputation.  Now, what will she do?

The main character in this story is an artist who tells stories with paintings, and the author of this story is an artist who paints pictures with words.  The descriptions used by the author will have readers in Yosemite, seeing El Capitan or Half Dome.  We are treated to breathtaking accounts of God’s creative hand at work in nature.  While the descriptions of the scenery are captivating, the story moves at a slow pace.  I liked Clark’s dedication to doing the Lord’s will for his life in his job and in his relationships.  He knew what he wanted, but he wanted what God wanted for him more.  Olivia tried to change who she was to achieve financial success, but she had to learn who she was in God’s sight…His child, created by Him to glorify Him.  She had God-given talent as an artist He would use for His purpose.  I enjoyed the Author’s Note where historical facts and information are included about people, places or things used in the story.  It wrapped things up nicely!