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Out of the Ruins: The Golden Gate Chronicles…
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Out of the Ruins: The Golden Gate Chronicles - Book 1 (Golden Gate…

by Karen Barnett

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I don't know why I couldn't get as enthused about this book as others seem to be, but it just didn't do it for me. It had all the right elements, was very well-written, and I was fascinated by the glimpses of early radiation treatment research. But it just seemed to have so many little subplots that popped up (the orchard, the Chinese, the baby, her mother's strange behavior, etc) & were never really fleshed out - I perpetually felt like I was waiting for all the loose ends to be tied up. Maybe the 2nd book will tie them all together & I will feel better about it :) ( )
  MeezCarrie | Aug 31, 2015 |
Abby is a high spirited young woman who would do anything to save her dying sister. She gets involved with Dr. King and things get all mixed up. Bring on an earthquake with massive destruction and you've got the makings of a great novel.

I liked everything about the book...the plot, characters, events. Well written, fast paced, emotional, story of love, grief, and the will to live.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  JoyAnne | Jun 18, 2014 |
1905, California

The stranger reached up his hand to assist her on the last step to the earth. "I supposed I should apologize for frightening you."
Abby plucked a twig from her apron. "You surprised me." She regretted not taking time to fix her hair before leaving the house. Or put on a hat. What must he think?
A crooked smile crossed the man's face. "Well, then we're even, because no one ever told me girls grew on trees here in California. If I'd known, I might have gone into farming instead of medicine."

That small excerpt was a more light-hearted scene in this book and one of my favorites. One of the most touching scenes was just prior to this one. Abby's sister, Cecelia, is dying and has just asked Abby to pray for her despite her broken relationship with God. Abby agrees and climbs a tree in the orchard to pour her heart out to God. Abby said, "God, save her. I'll do anything--anything you want." There is so much passion in that statement. I closed my eyes and I could imagine Abby's reluctance to speak to a God that seems indifferent but I could also feel her pain and heartbreak at wanting nothing more than for Him to answer her prayer and save her sister. That is a scene that spoke to the very heart of me as a sister. The love of sisters runs deep and it was captured beautifully in this book.

Abby Fischer is a lively young lady that always feels like she pales in comparison to her sister. She dresses in drab clothes because she feels that pretty clothes would be wasted on her and her relationship with God is almost nonexistent. But she is lively and has spunk and determination and I loved her. It's easy to see why she's my favorite character in this book. Dr. Robert King was Abby's cousin's new apprentice. When every doctor gave up on Cecelia, Robert brought hope with a new experimental treatment. And, despite how Abby saw herself in her own eyes, Robert only had eyes for her from the first time they met. The chemistry and budding feelings between the two was beautiful.

Things take a tragic turn and Abby's heart is shattered. She doesn't think her heart can take much more when the San Francisco earthquake destroys the city. Abby has to trust the very One she feels has turned a deaf ear in the past and its something Abby struggles with greatly.

This book was so well written. It's plain to see the amount of research that went into it, from the experimental treatment to the devastation of the earthquake, because it's so rich in historical detail. I love this time period with the newly made automobiles puttering down the streets. San Francisco in 1905 was portrayed so beautifully until the time of the earthquake where the destruction of the city was palpable. It came alive with every stroke of Karen's fingers on the keyboard. It's a story of love, hope, family and faith, a story of reconciliation. It's not often that a story hooks me from the very first page but this one hooked me like a fish. It gives us hope. A hope that, no matter the devastation we are going through, there are brighter days ahead. Beauty amid the ruins of our lives. It will speak to your very soul and leave footprints on your heart. It's pure gold in black and white. I hadn't read anything by Karen Barnett before but she is definitely on my list of favorites now. I'll be looking for future books from her, such as book two in The Golden Gate Chronicles, and waiting impatiently. If you love historical fiction, you'll love Out of the Ruins! I most highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review and no monetary compensation was received. ( )
  Wanda_Barefoot | Jun 15, 2014 |
Out of the Ruins: The Golden Gate Chronicles | Book 1 (Golden Gate Chronicles Series)is a historical romance novel. Having said that, if you like History and time periods this focuses on the 1905-06 San Francisco on the the west coast. The tenacity of the survivors in this book made the reader wish they had born in this time period. Laura, the main character, struggles with God. Her sister dies, leaving Laura to work her way through all stages of grief. She had prayed desperately for her sister’s healing but in the end God said "No" and took her sisters life. This novel addresses the steady path to healing through Laura discovering her own inner strength.It is an easy read and one for beginner's who enjoy faith based novels. ( )
  cewtypye | Jun 10, 2014 |
Title: Out of the Ruins (The Golden Gate Chronicles #1)
Author: Karen Barnett
Pages: 325
Year: 2014
Publisher: Abingdon Press
This first book in the Golden Gate Chronicles is set in San Francisco in 1905. It is a time when horse and buggy via for the road with cars and the telephone is invading homes. Medical science has made strides, but is still limited in treatment options for certain health issues.
Abby Fischer has no friends other than her sister Cecelia. They share a very close sisterly bond. Abby is shy and would rather work with plants and trees than be around people. Abby makes a bargain with God, one of those “If you’ll do this, then I’ll do this” type bargains. Abby pins all her hope on Dr. Robert King, putting him on a pedestal. However, things do not work out the way Abby thinks they should so she stops praying to God, stops going to church and stews in her anger toward Him. She lets the anger take root and turn to bitterness. She is unhappy and miserable by her own choice, even though she thinks God at fault. She keeps Robert at a distance, blaming him for her unhappiness.
Robert King believes in God, but puts his prayer life and faith on the shelf during the week, taking it out only on Sunday at church. The remainder of the week he puts his faith in science. Then, he meets Abby and longs to be her knight in shining armor. Only the task before him is beyond human capability and he fails Abby. He has come to love her, but she wants nothing to do with him.
Disaster strikes soon after in the form of an earthquake with subsequent raging fires that destroy much if not more than the quake. Through the two days of homelessness, danger, hunger, separation and loneliness Abby and Robert each discover they can’t fix things on their own. They are only human and have limits. Will they turn to the One who is limitless in their time of suffering and great need?
I thought the author did a great job of describing the devastation and turmoil after the earthquake. I felt like I was right there on the scene. My favorite character was Aunt Mae. Her words of wisdom were from the heart of her own experiences. I also liked the addition of the Chinese element in the story and hope that will be explored more in the next book in the series, which I plan to read. I think this is a good beginning to an interesting series.
My rating is 4 stars.
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Out-Ruins-Golden-Gate-Chronicles/dp/1426780575/ref=sr_1_1?...

Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/. Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | May 2, 2014 |
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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?… (more)

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