Another bear lumbered through our campsite. The total number we counted that night was in the double digits, though I can’t remember now if it was still in the teens…
We had been camping as a family in Sequoia National Park. We had a big van but slept under the stars. Why? Because that is just what we did.
It was the first night out. My two sisters, my parents and I slept outside, enjoying the fresh air and the bright stars. Apparently, none of us slept too deeply, because we were all well aware of the bears who came through the camp. They weren’t interested in us at all, just the trash cans and any food they could find.
My sisters and I were actually delighted at our nocturnal visitors. After all, we were still in our single digits and didn’t really think about how dangerous these wild animals could be.
At some point in the night, my dad had enough! Instead of gathering the rest of family to sleep inside, he picked up his sleeping bag, claimed a seat in the van and left the females of the family outside on our own!
Do you have any memories of a trip to a National Park?
by Karen Barnett
Series: Vintage National Parks #3
Published by Waterbrook Press
Publication Date June 18, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Wyoming Great Depression - US - 1929-1939
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more--and the woman who must confront his deception.
A man who can't read will never amount to anything--or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain "requirements." Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well. Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger's daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park's hotels, she still hasn't saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate's secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?
I would like to thank Netgalley, Waterbrook & Multnomah for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
While I’ve heard of the Civilian Conservation Corps, I never really gave them much thought. In fact, I never realized that this program was only for young men. Author Karen Barnett now has me very interested in the CCC and the men who were part of it.
I loved Nate! As an avid reader, it is hard to even imagine how awful it would be to struggle to read and to be labeled stupid and worthless because you can’t. Yet Nate’s response was still to be a man of integrity and to protect his siblings and provide for them in any way he could. Therefore, he was willing to go nearly to the other side of the country to do a job he knew nothing about. His responses to the beauty of Yellowstone were quite natural, especially from one who had never been outside of Brooklyn.
As one who loves to teach, I did relate quite well to Elsie. Her love of knowledge and desire to share what she knew drew me to her. She had her own struggles that made her feel unworthy and unlovable. It was so fun to see her pulled so far out of her comfort zone and yet able to use her gifting in such an important way.
I really enjoyed learning more about Yellowstone and the people who worked there. It was interesting that the maids, porters, laundresses and such were all college students. I also loved reading about the setting though it made me miss the mountains so much!
There was a thread of mystery as a series of fires were started around the park. The author did a great job of clearly providing the right clues and yet misdirecting enough that I wasn’t sure who was starting them until right before it was revealed.
I did feel some of the details didn’t make sense and that something more was going to be shared about one of the characters who was a little “off” yet the author didn’t seem to finish that thread. Perhaps that will be followed up in another story…
Lovers of national parks and lovers of historical fiction are likely to enjoy this fun story!
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