Having read this author’s Golden Gate Chronicles and her stand-alone novel “Mistaken”, I was eager to read the first book in her Vintage National Parks series. The fact that my daughter and her husband are currently working as traveling Physical Therapy Assistants in the Pacific Northwest and who also are making it a point to visit as many national parks as possible during their travels upped its interest level for me at least tenfold. And yes, they have already visited Mt. Rainer National Park.

I loved that the story was written about the early days of the park before it became such a popular tourist attraction. It was fun and interesting to read about the unspoiled wilderness that was present during that time as well as the fight to keep it that way. Strong characters and the combination of danger, adventure, romance, faith, and a touch of intrigue worktogether to make this book a real page-turner.

Although traits of the primary characters are not exactly unique (strong but emotionally wounded hero and independent rich girl resisting the restraints of her sheltered life), they work together well in “The Road to Paradise”. Ford’s losses have definitely affected him but his strength and integrity shine through. Margie is adorably quirky and a bit clumsy but her resilience and love for nature and others makes her the perfect heroine.

I thoroughly enjoyed “The Road to Paradise” and am impatiently waiting for the next installment.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Waterbrook Multnomah.
A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainer 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.”


KAREN BARNETT is an award winning author of four 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 and two children.

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