Tuesday, July 16, 2019

EVER FAITHFUL by Karen Barnett, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas and Kim


I’ve loved the Vintage National Park series by Karen Barnett and have been especially excited about Ever Faithful, since it’s about one of my favorite places—Yellowstone National Park. While I wasn’t around during the setting of this book, the 1930s, I vividly remember visiting Yellowstone during the 1950s, so it didn’t take much imagination to find myself caught up in the story. There are so many more visitors to the Park now, that it seems much more commercialized and busier than it was back in my childhood.

Barnett’s careful research, her past experience as a park ranger, and her expertise in creating fascinating, colorful characters bring this book to life and make me want to travel back in time to experience how it was in the 1930s. Of course, I like my creature comforts, so I might not want to stay in that timeframe for long! I enjoyed the sweet relationship between Elsie Brookes, a ranger’s daughter that had lived in Yellowstone many years, and Nate Webber, an impoverished Brooklyn transplant who was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps. They both had deep scars from their past, but through their friendship were able to heal and grow. Powerful themes of overcoming fear, forgiveness, and the healing that only God can provide run through the story and give it added depth. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

I have really enjoyed every story in Karen Barnett’s Vintage National Parks series! Ever Faithful is the third story, but it is a stand alone. After reading Ever Faithful, I feel like I have been to Yellowstone National Park! Karen Barnett does a great job with describing the park and its attractions. I also love how she weaves history throughout her story. Her Park knowledge shines in these stories!

My favorite character from this story is Nate! He’s sent to Yellowstone with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), where he finally, with Elsie’s help, overcomes something he’s been struggling with his entire life. He was so likable and honorable and I loved how his relationship with Elsie evolved. I also really liked Elsie and thought her and Nate were a perfect match!

This story has romance, history, and a bit of a mystery that will keep you turning the pages and guessing until the end, and it all takes place in one of the most beautiful settings ever!

*I was given a copy of this book. 

BackCover Blurb:
Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more--and the woman who must confront his deception.

A man who can't read will never amount to anything--or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain "requirements." Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well. 

Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger's daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park's hotels, she still hasn't saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate's secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:
Buy Ever Faithful at Amazon
Buy Ever Faithful at Christianbook.com

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