About the book:
Beyond the Ashes (Abingdon Press, June 2015)
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?
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MY REVIEW-Karen Barnett quickly became a favorite of mine after reading her first novel, Out of the Ruins. It dealt with the city of San Francisco and I loved how she made history come alive. So when her second novel in the series came up for review, I jumped at the opportunity to read it! And I am so glad I did. This is definitely going on my keeper shelf:)
This is the second book in a series and I would strongly urge you to read them in order. It will make more sense about who the characters are and what they have all been doing before the book opens. We get to see what has happened to a few old friends as well as meet some new people. Ruby, a widow way before her time, is troubled. Not sure of what she should be doing or if she is just going along with the flow, when she decides to take a trip to San Francisco and help her brother who is alone in his work. Of course when she arrives to find him engaged and living in a house full of people, she isn't sure she made the right decision. Especially after she is asked to ride in a car, the very thing that caused her husband's early death. The only thing that might make her stay worth it is the young doctor who is friends with her brother, Gordon. I found myself falling in love with him from the start, from the moment he saw Ruby's distress over the car and finagled a way to ease her mind.
The characters are intriguing but more than anything I love the history. Karen Barnett makes it come alive in a way that few authors do. I felt like I was there in the rubble of San Francisco as they worked to rebuild their lives, clean the city and be stronger than they were before. The romance is part of the book but again, I love the background of the city and seeing it through the eyes of the characters. An excellent keeper book!
**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**