Mount Rainier has fascinated me since my dad hiked the Wonderland Trail a few years ago. I had no idea how beautiful it was until those pictures were brought back. And then, it became a place I would love to visit. Which is why The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett appealed to me so much.
This is a vintage national parks novel, meaning the setting is back at the beginning of the national park. This particular novel takes place at Mount Rainier National Park in 1927.
Margie Lane, an excited and knowledgeable naturalist, is joining the staff at Mount Rainier. She is going to work alongside the staff, particularly the rangers, at the park but not everyone is excited about her being there. Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is less than enthusiastic about a lady on staff, feeling like he will have to watch over her and protect her. And while that may just end up being true, it isn’t due to her ineptitude or lack of knowledge but rather due to a former fiance who feels it is his right to order people (in this case Margie and anyone around her) to do what he says.
Margie had hoped to escape from his sight by going to Mount Rainier but he was able to follow her path and now, even the park may be in danger of this man who plows over and through anything in his way. Can Margie stand up to him and come out safely on the other side?
About the Author:
Karen Barnett is definitely the right person for the job of writing about the national parks. As a former ranger naturalist and outdoor educator , she worked at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Silver Falls State Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. She enjoys hiking, photography, and public speaking when she is not writing. She lives in Oregon.
This was a fun book to read, to get an idea of what the park might have been like in its infancy, before it was so swamped with people that you have to stand in line to get to walk on its trails. Mount Rainier provided a perfect backdrop of beauty and mystery. The treachery of the people is so perfectly mirrored in the treachery of the mountain and it all pulls together well in the story line of The Road To Paradise by Karen Barnett.