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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Where the Fire Falls: A Vintage National Parks Novel is a Christian historical romance written by Karen Barnett. Olivia Rutherford was stunned when she was actually introduced to Marcus Vanderbilt during her showing in the art gallery. He was renowned as an art collector and philanthropist, and she figured his patronage would go a long way toward helping her put her two younger sisters through school. Before she knew it, her art dealer and agent, Frank Robinson, had arranged for her and the Vanderbilts to spend a month together while she painted Mrs. Vanderbilt’s portrait as part of a commissioned series. Olivia wondered where in the world Scenic Magazine would be sending them for this assignment. Her musings quickly plummeted back to earth when Frank told her that they would be staying in Yosemite National Park. She knew that she couldn’t do that. Images of the horrific night that had changed her family’s life forever rushed through her mind. Yosemite was the last place on earth she would want to be.
Karen Barnett’s Christian historical romance, Where the Fire Falls, transports the reader back to July of 1929, during those heady times when young women wore beaded dresses, had bobbed hair and were referred to as flappers -- and the Great Depression was still a few blissful months away. I was initially drawn to this book because of my love for Yosemite and the National Parks, and I had a grand time discovering what Yosemite was like back in those days. Barnett’s plot also works so well on a number of levels, and her characters, especially Olivia and Clark, quickly begin to feel like people you know. The author demonstrates how water-colorists work, which makes following Olivia as she paints so realistic, and her research into Yosemite’s history makes the historical aspects of this book shine brilliantly. Barnett’s plot is exciting and suspenseful and the romance between Olivia and Clark is sweet. Where the Fire Falls: A Vintage National Parks Novel is most highly recommended.