Review: Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett (Litfuse Blog Tour & Giveaway)

June 10, 2014

Title: Out of the Ruins
Author: Karen Barnett
Publisher: Abingdon
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1-4267-8057-8
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014

Abby’s shattered faith in both God and man is challenged when the terrible earthquake hits 1906 San Francisco.
While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.

As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?
I love historical fiction novels that offer a look into a time that isn't emphasized much. Out of the Ruins offered a wonderful glimpse into the beginning of the 20th century in San Fransisco where the world is starting to morph into the modern era that it is today.

Out of the Ruins seemed like it was two books in one. Part one focuses on the new medical technology of the time. Dr. Robert King and his mentor Dr. Gerald Larkspur have been working with radiation from the newly discovered X-ray technology to help battle cancers. It was interesting to see how this started the path to cancer treatments today, but reading how the radiation scales were tested on the doctor's themselves made me cringe. We know so much more about radiation now, but back then it was so new and unknown.

It was in this first part of the book we really get to know Abby. She is battling so much. She has a very weak faith and then she is handed her sisters diagnosis of leukemia, and she is forced to relocate so her sister can get the treatment she needs. As time goes on, she loses the only home she ever knew due to the medical bills her family has received. And finally, after much heartache and change, the great quake strikes the city and a massive fire sweeps through. She is lost.

The second part of the story is a story of survival and finding faith through the darkest of times. We see in this part of the story the quake and how quickly the fire decimates the city that has lost it's water supply. It a horrifying time for everyone there. I did kind of wish that the quake was shown in a little greater scale here, but the destruction that it produced started to unfurl as Abby made her way through the city.

I enjoyed how this story wasn't strictly a love story between Abby and Robert, I enjoyed that this is a story of finding faith. Everyone, I believe, has been in a place similar to Abby. The feeling of being alone, with no one who cares to watch out for you as you are thrown one hard ball after another. However, when offered a life raft for her pain through a journal from her aunt, she takes it and Abby starts to learn and grow.

I enjoyed the the background history and the main story of this book. I'm looking forward to the rest of The Golden Gate Chronicles.

Too Read
4 out of 5

About the Author:
Karen Barnett is the author of "Mistaken" and several articles that have been published by "Guideposts" and other national magazines. She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and three cats. @KarenMBarnett

Don't miss the debut book, Out of the Ruins, in Karen Barnett's new series, The Golden Gate Chronicles. Set against the backdrop of early 20th century San Francisco, Out of the Ruins will remind readers that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, God is still as close to us as our next breath.

Karen is celebrating with a fun giveaway and Facebook author chat party.

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 19th. Winner will be announced at the Out of the Ruins Facebook author chat party on June 19th. Connect with Karen for an evening of fun book chat, games, and prizes. Karen will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series!
So grab your copy of Out of the Ruins and join Karen on the evening of June 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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