Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beyond the Ashes Karen Barnett 2nd in The Golden Gate Chronicles

Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.
My thoughts ~

  Having been involved in the relief efforts after the catastrophic Joplin Tornado of 2011, I could relate a bit to the aftermath of destruction of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake in which this book was set. In some ways, it seemed realistic. In others, merely an idealized backdrop for a love story.

 The characters are likeable. Ruby's character is strong and a bit defiant at times. I think that many women will identify with her desire to be the captain of her own destiny. Her brother, Robert, is driven and focused on his research work with x-ray machines and on his fiance Abby. Abby is a gentle, giving woman whose heart aches for the pain and suffering of those displaced by the earthquake. Gerald, their benefactor who took them in after the quake, is conflicted by Ruby's presence, by the struggle to cure cancer with x-rays, by guilt over his cousin's death, and by the symptoms of illness he is exhibiting.

 I had some trouble getting started with the book. The initial chapters just didn't grab my interest. I think it may be, in part, because I've been reading a non-fiction book about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The whole setting seemed unrealistic to me. After the first few chapters, I was able to put those thoughts aside and just enjoy the story for what it is. Further in, there were more realistic post earthquake scenes. There were some comical scenes, some intense scenes, and some unexpected scenes. The book did not take the same path that I expected it would.

 By the time I was halfway through, I didn't want to stop reading. Ms. Barnett built to an excellent climax and a satisfying conclusion.

 Faith and trust in God as well as living a life of service to God and man were main themes.

 All in all I think that it's an enjoyable read. This is the second in The Golden Gate Chronicles series. I found that although the first book is referenced, it stands alone. Given the choice, I would read Out of the Ruins first.

Read my review of book one of The Golden Gate ChroniclesOut of the Ruins.

Read what others thought at the Litfuse Blog Tour Page.

~About the Book~ 
by Karen Barnett    
Historical Fiction
Abingdon Press  

"Tis better to have loved and lost...," but can Ruby Marshall risk her heart a second time?
Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed. Ruby and Gerald's fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they're striving to cure. Together they must ask---is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Note: Beyond the Ashes is the second book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series. To find out more about the series and to purchase book one click here.
~ About the Author~
Karen Barnett is the author of Mistaken and several articles that have been published by Guideposts and other national magazines. She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and three cats. Karen's Blog.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Sounds like a very good story, and the cover is GORGEOUS!! I would pick up this book based on the cover alone. :-)

  2. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the review.

  3. I agree about the cover. Sounds like a great read.

  4. I haven't heard of this series before, but it sounds like an interesting read (I grew up near SF)! :] Thanks for sharing your review!

  5. Sounds like a great book. Sweet reading, in a hammock, with raspberry ice tea sounds like summer to me. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Me, Coffee, and Jesus.

  6. You're welcome Happy Cottage Quilter!

    Raspberry iced tea sounds nice!

  7. You might have particular interest Farrah!

  8. She is lovely, Scrappy Quilter.

  9. Good read Laura! I have yet to find time to even start the book you sent me. Hopefully soon! Thanks for sharing with SYC.


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