Thursday, December 8, 2016

Beyond the Ashes - The #Friday56 and #BookBeginnings on Friday

     In Beyond the Ashes, Karen Barnett takes her readers to San Francisco after the great earthquake of 1906. The city is rebuilding, and young widow Ruby Marshall decides to leave her home in Sacramento to join her brother in his medical work in San Francisco. She finds more challenges than she expected!
     What I enjoyed most about this novel was the way the author immersed me in the era. Her descriptions of the social expectations, clothing, medical practices, and day-to-day life of that time brought the book to life. She created a vivid, believable character in Ruby Marshall.
     FYI: I met Karen Barnett at the Pierce County (WA) Sumner library during its Write in The Valley event. Karen was one of the authors on the panel. I enjoyed her presentation and her candid answers to the audience's questions. Lucky me, I received a hardback copy of this book as a prize for correctly answering a question. Beyond the Ashes is Book Two in The Golden Gate Chronicles, but it stands alone.

Book Beginning:
Sacramento, California
July 6, 1906
     "I refuse to attend another wedding. I'm through." Ruby King Marshall juggled two glasses of punch in her gloved hand as she shepherded her blind cousin through the overcrowded ballroom. Each doting couple waltzing around the polished floor reminded Ruby of her loss, like a needle thrust into her heart. Widows and weddings - shouldn't it be bad luck?

Friday 56 (from Page 56 in my hardback copy):
"Why must men drive so recklessly? You think you are invincible and nothing can happen. You're all alike."

Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Book Length: 320 Pages (hardback edition)
Amazon Link: Beyond the Ashes
Author Website: Karen Barnett Books

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love. Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed. 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?


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
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Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger


  1. This sounds like a good book. Thanks for mentioning it, and enjoy your current read!

  2. I love a good historical and this sounds like it would be one. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. It's been some time since I read this genre. Used to be my favorite.

    My Friday 56 from Grudging

  4. This sounds like a beautifully descriptive and historically accurate read! That book beginning is so entertaining--it sounds like she's got QUITE the snarky personality, which I adore in my books!

    Thank you so much for sharing! Here's my Friday 56, if you're interested in checking it out--no worries or pressure if you're not, though! Either way, happy book-ing to you in the near future...and happy Friday! <3

  5. I don't read many historical books these days, but earthquakes and SF...I'm interested. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “WHEN ALL THE GIRLS HAVE GONE”

  6. This sounds like a good book! Here is my 56 and BB:

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Sandra! It was nice meeting you in Tacoma. :)

  8. This looks like such a lovely read!

  9. I like the sounds of this one.

  10. You and I are neighbors. I live in Puyallup. I saw the notice about the author visit last summer but didn't go. Glad you enjoyed the book. Is your snow all melted?

  11. Hi, Anne. I enjoyed the presentations by all the authors at the Sumner library. There was a good turnout, and I'll be watching for the next author visit.
    We had a dusting of snow last night but early morning rain melted all of it. I hope you didn't get too much snow and ice.

  12. Haha, that excerpt made me laugh. It sounds like something I'd say. Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Hi Sandra,

    Reading a book is always that much sweeter when it is a win, so many Congratulations!

    I don't tend to read historical fiction which is too 'heavy' or detailed on the history, but something like 'Beyond The Ashes' sounds to have got the balance just right.

    I like the way that men are described as such reckless drivers who think they are invincible. Whilst that might well be true, it seems to me that women drivers of today aren't that much better themselves, especially when my journey always seems to coincide with the school run in the mornings and afternoons. Women then seem to leave all sense and courtesy behind them as they leave the house and the hapless non-child bearing car driver (me) needs to have eyes in the backs of their heads, as well as being a mind reader :)

    Enjoy the rest of the book and thanks for sharing :)


  14. I so admire authors who tackle historical fiction. Sounds like she did a good job recreating the time.

    Congratulations on winning the book.

  15. This sounds like it would be interesting to read through a historical lens. Happy reading!

  16. I love that cover!! Sounds like a fantastic read! Happy weekend!

  17. I like the sound of this historical romance...I haven't really read much about the San Francisco fire of 1906 and should learn more. Thanks for visiting my book beginning and Friday 56 post yesterday

  18. That sounds great! Thanks for sharing, Sandra. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me


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