Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Review - Ever Faithful


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?


Karen Barnett, author of Mistaken, Out of the Ruins, and Beyond the Ashes, is a former park ranger. She worked as a ranger naturalist and outdoor educator at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Silver Falls State Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. When not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, and public speaking. She lives in Oregon with her family.


This is book three in the Vintage National Parks series. It's a stand-alone book set in Yellowstone during the Great Depression.

Elsie has grown up in Yellowstone with her Park Ranger father and a mother who has health problems. The death of her little sister weighs heavy on her mind and she blames her cousin who accidentally set the fire as a child. We see her wrestle with this dilemma when her parents bring her cousin into the park to work after the death of his parents. This was a very good part of the story and I loved seeing her process forgiveness and what that means as she deals with her cousin, who at times is not very likable.

Nate is a young man from New York who has been told he's dumb all his life by his father and teachers. He can't read and his whole life revolves around protecting his little brother, who is going down a bad path. When a police officer steps in to get Nate into the CCC, it will be a life changing situation for Nate.

I really liked this story and the setting of Yellowstone Park. I also enjoyed learning more about how the CCC program worked and how it helped so many young men who were in need of work. I loved the budding relationship between Nate and Elsie and seeing both of them blossom under the encouragement their relationship brought them.

There was a mystery thread that ran through this story as well and I was amazed at who the culprit was. I kept thinking I knew who it was but I was very wrong and I like a story that keeps me guessing until the end. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. I give it 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah.  I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

Blessings - Julie

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