Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beyond the Ashes {a Lifuse Book Tour review}

I read the first book in The Golden Gate Chronicles a few months ago, and really enjoyed it.  So I was looking forward to reading Karen Barnett's Beyond the Ashes as well.

The first book in the series, Out of the Ruins, involves a young woman in San Francisco to help get some risky, experimental treatment for her dying sister.  In the midst of everything, the big earthquake occurs.

I really enjoyed Abby, the main character in that story, so I was looking forward to book #2.

From the publisher:
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?

My thoughts:

This book was even more fun.  Abby and Robert continue to be a major part of the story.  But Robert's widowed sister, Ruby showing up to help her poor bachelor brother is a great addition.  She's a bit shocked to discover that her brother is engaged, as he hasn't told the family at all.  She's also a bit overwhelmed at just how much damage there still is from the earthquake.

I think what I enjoyed the most about this story was the descriptions of the camps and the ongoing relief efforts.  Everything was told in a way that made it seem fairly accurate, though I have to confess, I know next to nothing about what things were like in San Francisco in 1906.  It just "felt" realistic.

And since I'm in the midst of teaching teens to drive, a highlight for me was Ruby's driving lessons.  How much things have changed! 

The religious aspect of the story is just there, not something that feels forced or pounded into you.  I don't like reading books that preach to me, but I do enjoy stories where flawed people are struggling with real problems, doubts and fears.

You can see what others had to say about the book at the Litfuse Blog Tour page!

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

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