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Review: Ever Faithful

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Review: Ever Faithful

03 Jul Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Ever Faithful
Review: Ever Faithful

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Waterbrook/Multnomah
Publication Date: June 18, 2019

Elsie Brookes grew up as the daughter of Yellowstone’s head ranger, and takes great pride in her knowledge of geology gained from the park. Her greatest desire, though, is to teach, but even after four years of working as a “pillow puncher” (hotel maid, for those of us who don’t know the Yellowstone Park lingo), she still doesn’t have enough money in her savings for her college tuition. When she is offered an extra stipend to teach the new Civilian Conservation Corps boys, she jumps at the chance. Many of the young men never finished high school and are barely literate. Is she up to the challenge?

Nate Webber has spent his life trying to keep food on his family’s table. When his little brother gets in trouble, Nate takes the blame on his own shoulders. Given the choice of joining the CCC or jail, he chooses to travel to Yellowstone. His father has told him all his life that he is stupid and worthless because he can’t read, but he is willing to work hard if it means he will be able to send money home to his starving family, and hopefully keep his brother out of jail. When Nate’s natural leadership abilities get him a job as foreman, can he keep his inability to read or write from his superiors when they expect weekly written reports from him?

As Elsie gets more acquainted with the new CCC recruits, she is drawn again and again to Nate’s quiet confidence. Sure that he is the best man in the bunch, she is stunned to realize that the secret he’s been keeping is something she may be able to help with. As they work together on his reading, they discover more than a friendship. When random fires break out in the park, threatening the very lives of those entrusted with preserving it, Elsie and Nate work to discover who has been setting them. Burned as a child, Elsie has a more than healthy fear of flames. Can she work past her fears to track down the real culprit?

Well, I now have a “new” place I want to visit. Yellowstone National Park came to life in Ever Faithful in a new, and majestic way as I read Nate and Elsie’s story. The sense of history was enthralling, and the pictures I’ve seen on Facebook of many of the sites from the book made it much easier to picture things as I read them. I can hardly wait to pick up the first two books in this series about the history of some of our National Parks.

Sweet romance readers will love this story. There are actually a couple of romances going on during this story, but Nate and Elsie’s is the main one. There is also a good bit of American history here, mostly from right after the start of the Great Depression, during the tenure of FDR. The CCC was part of his New Deal program, and in this story, most of the men who participated appreciated having work in a time when jobs were scarce. Three squares a day didn’t hurt, nor did the muscles they gained doing the work required. These historical tidbits were fascinating! I would absolutely recommend this book, and look forward to reading the other two. I’m also hoping Ms. Barnett has even more parks she wants to write about!

Rated G: No worries with this one.

Reviewer’s copy was provided by the Publisher. Thank you!


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