“Beyond the Ashes” by Karen Barnett

Beyond the Ashes

Head back to 20th-century San Francisco as the city rises from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and Ruby and Gerald face their fears in book two, Beyond the Ashes, of Karen Barnett’s The Golden Gate Chronicles series. 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?

Barnett takes readers on an exciting ride through history in Beyond the AshesSet in San Francisco immediately after the earthquake of 1905, Barnett spins a fascinating story of loss, love, and rebirth.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this unique time period, and Barnett’s clear descriptions highlight the history of the day.

That historical setting made the story for me, but I became friends with Gerald and Ruby, too.  I like the way that Gerald knew what he wanted and went after it.  I appreciated his attentiveness and generosity with the people around him, too, and these traits made the story more exciting when they were directed at Ruby.  She, too, worked hard to overcome past difficulties and to heal former hurts.  Her strength of character and willingness to step outside of her comfort zone make her a slightly unpredictable but extremely likeable main character.

The science involved in the story also makes it stand out.  Gerald and his partner spend their days doing cancer research, sure that they’re on the verge of curing this horrible disease.  Having never thought about the history of cancer treatment, I enjoyed learning about it in such a natural and fascinating way – and the scientific explanations about x-rays and treatments added depth and detail to the story in necessary ways.  This attention to detail made the whole book sharper and more realistic.

This is the first book by Karen Barnett that I’ve read, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more.  Beyond the Ashes is a fantastic historical novel.

I received a free copy of Beyond the Ashes from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

What are your thoughts?

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