Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks Series #3)

Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks Series #3)

by Karen Barnett


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Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more—and the woman who must confront his deception.

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735289581
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Series: Vintage National Parks Series , #3
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 205,698
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

April 1933

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Elsie closed her eyes for a moment and breathed in the steamy air, imagining she stood beside Grand Prismatic Spring instead of the massive laundry boiler in the back of the Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge. She tucked a damp curl behind her ear before loading another stack of folded bedsheets and towels onto the molly cart. After pushing it through the swinging doors, she rolled the cart down the wooden ramp, the outside air a welcome respite. Two more summers—three at most. That’s all it would take.

Mary stood waiting, fiddling with the pink kerchief protecting her pale-blond hair. “There you are. If we get these last housekeeping cabins finished in time, we can meet Hal and Bernie at the cafeteria for lunch.” She flashed a smile at Elsie. “You’ll come, won’t you?”

Elsie guided the cart’s wheels through the icy slush on the sidewalk. “You’ve only been back in Yellowstone two days, and you’re already angling for dates? I thought you told me you weren’t seeing pack rats anymore.”

Pack rats, pillow punchers, pearl divers—the concession staff had a language all its own, and it all sounded like more laughs than being boring old porters, maids, and dishwashers. The rangers lumped the lot of them together, calling them all savages. No one could remember how the ridiculous name was chosen, but it had stuck for close to fifty years already.

“Hal’s been promoted to front desk at the hotel—hadn’t you heard? And though he’s hardly the man of my dreams, I don’t see any better choices around here at the moment.” Mary leaned in with a conspiratorial air. “I hear the new gear jammers are coming in a couple of weeks. They always hire the best-looking fellas to drive the tour buses.”

“That’s probably why the jammers are notorious for having a girl at every stop.” Elsie veered left to avoid a puddle. “I’d like to join you for lunch, but I need to run home and check on Mama. I’ll be back right after, and we can fold the rest of the sheets.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask how she is. Your last two letters didn’t sound promising.”

A knot formed in Elsie’s stomach. “She had a few bad spells this winter. The doctor says it’s her heart. He wants her to rest more.”

“Has she had heart problems before?”

“She had rheumatic fever as a child.” Elsie tightened her grip on the cart handle. “But I’ve never seen her like this.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. She’s like a second mother, not just to me, but to all the pillow punchers.” She unlocked the cabin door and pushed it open. “I suppose it was a good thing you were here to help and not off at college with the rest of us.”

Elsie had told herself the same, though it did little to ease the sting of being left behind. “When does Rose arrive, do you know? I’ve missed her.”

“Around the same time as the jammers, I believe.” Mary grabbed Elsie’s hand and squeezed. “I’m glad I came early. We’ll be the three musketeers for at least one more summer. Who knows where Rose and I will go after graduation?” She heaved a sigh that stirred the dusty air in the room. “Oh, my. This cabin looks worse than the last one. How is that possible? Ugh, the smell.”

“That’s what happens when you latch the door and leave it abandoned for months on end.” She understood too well. Elsie reached for the bottle of vinegar and a handful of newspapers. “I’ll start on the glass. You can knock down the cobwebs.”

Mary wrinkled her nose and lifted the broom. “If I find any spiders, it’ll be up to you to dispatch them.”

As Elsie scrubbed the veil of dirt from the panes, sunlight filtered into the tiny space and revealed a fine layer of dust coating the room. It was the maids’ job to refresh the old cabins, just like spring renewed the world each year, and prepare for the visitors to come.

She’d continue making beds and sweeping floors until she had enough money for the teacher program at the University of Montana. She’d dreamed of being a teacher since she was little, and spending her winters helping at the school in Gardiner, just outside the park’s northern boundaries in Montana, had only deepened the desire. Every new student arrived with potential hidden inside, like the seeds sealed up in the cones from the lodgepole pine trees. It was her job to help them find it.

After sweeping and dusting, Mary tucked the crisp white sheets around the mattress and patted the top. “I think we’re almost done here. Are you sure you can’t join us for lunch? Hal’s brother will be odd man out if you don’t come.”

“Bernie is an odd duck, no matter what I do.” Elsie shoved the dresser back in place after cleaning behind it. “Of course, I’m no catch myself.” Her hand went to her collar out of habit, her fingers checking that the blouse was buttoned all the way to the neck.

Mary straightened, her eyes darkening. “Bite your tongue, Elsie Brookes. Any man would count himself lucky to earn your affection. You just don’t grant it easily.” She leaned on the broom. “Maybe this summer we’ll both find nice boys to take us away from all this.”

“Take us away? Why would anyone want to leave?” Elsie glanced out the open door toward the distant springs, the late morning sunshine casting a golden glow over the rising steam. If she could secure a teaching position in Gardiner, she would stay forever.

“You’ve got a classic case of park fever. You should just marry a ranger and get it over with.” Mary dropped her broom and dustpan into the cart. “What about the new fella? He’s a little quiet, but he looks like a movie star. What was his name?”

“Teddy Vaughn.” Elsie managed to speak his name without her voice wobbling. The first time she’d encountered the brown-eyed ranger, she’d somehow lost all ability to string words together or even swallow for a heady moment. But she couldn’t let her heart go there. No one would ever want her in that way. “I’m dedicating my life to education; you know that. I’m not looking to get married.”

“I’ll never understand you.” Her roommate wrinkled her nose. “Why waste time on other people’s children when you can have ones of your own? You and Ranger Vaughn would make beautiful babies.”

Elsie couldn’t help giggling at Mary’s silliness. Just having her friend back in the park made everything brighter. “Why don’t you head off to meet the boys for lunch? I can finish the last cabin.”

Mary brightened. “Really? But what about your mother?”

“I’ll still have time to check in. Go have fun.”

Her friend tore off her kerchief and fluffed her hair. “You’re the best, Els. I’ll give Bernie a peck on the cheek from you.”

“Don’t you dare.”

Elsie made short work of the last cabin and then pointed the molly cart in the direction of the laundry. A small herd of elk grazed on the green lawn surrounding the lodge. A cow elk, heavy with her unborn calf, lifted her head to stare back, chewing leisurely. The animals had over three thousand square miles of park to wander but seemed to prefer it here. And the visitors enjoyed the close proximity to the wildlife.

“There’s my girl. I was looking for you.” Her father strode toward her, the broad-brimmed Stetson casting shadows over his face. “Are you finished for the morning?” He reached for the cart handles.

“You don’t have to do that. I’ve got it.”

“You think I’m too good to haul laundry?” He cast her his usual grin. “How do you think I won your mother’s affections? It wasn’t with my stamp collection. Or my dashing good looks.”

“She said it was your servant’s heart.” Her mother’s true words wrapped around her own heart.

“Yes, indeed. ‘Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’ It’s not just the key to a happy home, Elsie—”

“I know. It’s the key to a happy life.” Only her parents could make the golden rule sound romantic. “And I’ll remember that when I finally get all my pennies saved for college. Then I’ll make you proud.”

“I’ve always been proud. You were meant for bigger things than this place.”

“Bigger than Yellowstone?” The idea rippled through her. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Bigger than being a simple ranger like your old man.”

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Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks Series #3) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
LGHudson 3 hours ago
BEAUTIFUL STORY! EVER FAITHFUL is the latest novel in the Vintage National Park Series by author Karen Barnett. This is set in beautiful Yellowstone when it was still very wild and untamed back in 1933. It surrounds two main characters, Nate and Elise. Their backgrounds differ immensely because she has grown up in Yellowstone (her Dad is a Ranger) & he has grown up in New York. They both share unbelievable broken pasts and hurts and that helps them them form a friendship. Barnett paints a beautiful background for her plot as she describes all the many wonders of Yellowstone. She adds a varied cast of characters including Rangers, workers in the hotels, on the grounds, bus drivers (all with clever nicknames!) and the CCC workers who’ve come to work in the National Park, too. Barnett shows the fortitude and determination that it took for those dedicated people to invest their lives in Yellowstone and in doing so some of them found the the love of their lives. I was provided an ARC of this book by Waterbrook&Multnomah & NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
ConR 1 days ago
I am a fan of Karen Barnett, I won't lie! I've been looking forward to reading this book for so long! One of the first thoughts I had was that though the story involves some past tragedies, it's a gentle and soft story. Not every issue you deal with in life is glaring and loud. I don't really know how to explain it...you'll just have to read the story. I love the setting, both physical and its' place in time. There are so many threads of interest in here as well.....the CCC work in the 30's, the work in the national park, learning problems...lots of tangents you could go off on, and frankly I don't know how Karen chose the "just enough to pique your interest" point! Bottom line, it's a treasure!
amybooksy 1 days ago
I was excited to get my hands on Karen Barnett’s third installment from her Vintage National Parks series. Ever Faithful does not disappoint. I really liked this story. I enjoyed the historical details of Yellowstone. I loved the characters, especially, Elsie. I felt a connection to her from the start. It was fun getting to know her and Nate. I loved them interacting with one another. I give Ever Faithful four and a half stars. I look forward to the next release by Karen Barnett. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
bsnksmom 2 days ago
Elsie Brookes grew up as the daughter of Yellowstone's head ranger, and takes great pride in her knowledge of geology gained from the park. Her greatest desire, though, is to teach, but even after four years of working as a "pillow puncher" (hotel maid, for those of us who don't know the Yellowstone Park lingo), she still doesn't have enough money in her savings for her college tuition. When she is offered an extra stipend to teach the new Civilian Conservation Corps boys, she jumps at the chance. Many of the young men never finished high school and are barely literate. Is she up to the challenge? Nate Webber has spent his life trying to keep food on his family's table. When his little brother gets in trouble, Nate takes the blame on his own shoulders. Given the choice of joining the CCC or jail, he chooses to travel to Yellowstone. His father has told him all his life that he is stupid and worthless because he can't read, but he is willing to work hard if it means he will be able to send money home to his starving family, and hopefully, keep his brother out of jail. When Nate's natural leadership abilities get him a job as foreman, can he keep his inability to read or write from his superiors when they expect weekly written reports from him? As Elsie gets more acquainted with the new CCC recruits, she is drawn again and again to Nate's quiet confidence. Sure that he is the best man in the bunch, she is stunned to realize that the secret he's been keeping is something she may be able to help with. As they work together on his reading, they discover more than a friendship. When random fires break out in the park, threatening the very lives of those entrusted with preserving it, Elsie and Nate work to discover who has been setting them. Burned as a child, Elsie has a more than healthy fear of flames. Can she work past her fears to track down the real culprit? Well, I now have a "new" place I want to visit. Yellowstone National Park came to life in Ever Faithful in a new, and majestic way as I read Nate and Elsie's story. The sense of history was enthralling, and the pictures I've seen on Facebook of many of the sites from the book made it much easier to picture things as I read them. I can hardly wait to pick up the first two books in this series about the history of some of our National Parks. Sweet romance readers will love this story. There are actually a couple of romances going on during this story, but Nate and Elsie's is the main one. There is also a good bit of American history here, mostly from right after the start of the Great Depression, during the tenure of FDR. The CCC was part of his New Deal program, and in this story, most of the men who participated appreciated having work in a time when jobs were scarce. Three squares a day didn't hurt, nor did the muscles they gained doing the work required. These historical tidbits were fascinating! I would absolutely recommend this book, and look forward to reading the other two. I'm also hoping Ms. Barnett has even more parks she wants to write about!
Pattistep 4 days ago
Here’s your fair warning: I am going to gush over how much I love this book. I have been following this “Vintage National Parks” series by Karen Barnett and this book, set in Yellowstone in 1933, is just as fabulous as the other books in this series. Her storylines are always intriguing, with a little touch of mystery/suspense. The research she’s done about the history of the National Parks gives these books an authentic feel, and you feel as if you stepped off the bus right into the time period when the park lodges were new and filled with the wealthy who could afford to visit; or else working alongside the many young people it took to keep the parks and lodges open to the public. The characters of Nate and Elsie give this book its heart. Both have had great obstacles to overcome in their lives. Nate grew up in Brooklyn during the days of the Depression. Having lost his father and older brother, he’s struggled to care for his mother and siblings. Elsie survived a tragedy concerning a fire, and still struggled with a sense of loss. Elsie’s dream is to become a teacher. Nate is desperate to help provide income for his family. When Nate joins the new Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to help his mother and get a new start, he has a secret that he carefully guards in order to retain his position. As Nate and Elsie meet at Yellowstone, Elsie soon realizes that Nate needs her help. Then as tragedy comes to the park, the two must work together for safety and survival, as well as trying to solve a mystery that will save the park from destruction. There’s much both need to learn about forgiveness, trust, and faith. It’s a compelling story that kept me reading far longer than I should have at times. I had a personal reason for connecting to this story. As a young man of 21 years of age, my dad joined the CCC to provide an income for his parents. He worked in the forests in the South, and always credited the CCC for keeping their family from starvation. His memories of that time resembled much of the account of the CCC in this book. I appreciated so much the author giving recognition to those men who worked hard in that program. I highly recommend this book as well as the whole series. Karen Barnett is now one of my favorite authors. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Librarycataloger 4 days ago
Elsie Brookes dreams of being a teacher and for the past four years she has worked as a maid during the tourist season at Yellowstone National Park to save money for her college tuition. It is now 1933 and the Depression has affected everything, including the tourist business, and Elsie fears that she may lose her job. If this happens she knows that this will cause another delay in her goal to become a teacher. And then, a group of young men arrive at Yellowstone as a part of President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. Along with their chance to work and earn money there is also the opportunity to receive educational instruction. Elsie is chosen to teach these men and one of them is a young man from Brooklyn, New York. Nate Webber is a hard worker, very capable, and he shows a promising future but he has a secret. As Elsie teaches him and the others, she realizes that Nate can barely read and write so she decides to tutor him on the side. As they become better acquainted, it is plain that Nate is growing fond of Elsie but she resists any relationship because she has her own secret. Ever Faithful is the story of two people who have each experienced tragedies that have left them scarred emotionally and physically. Elsie's physical scars have caused her to feel unattractive and unappealing; Nate's unfortunate youth and his lack of education make him feel unworthy. It is through their friendship that they learn to see themselves through the other's eyes and they begin to realize their self-worth. This story is a romance but it has so much more. The history of Yellowstone National Park is sprinkled throughout the story and there is also a strong element of faith. The Golden Rule, grace and forgiveness are stressed and we are reminded that God judges the heart and not outward appearances. Karen Barnett is a former Park Ranger and her knowledge of the National Park System is apparent in this book and the two previous books of her Vintage National Parks novels. Barnett offers a glimpse of the parks as they once were and encourages us to get out and enjoy these national treasures as they are today. Ever Faithful is a wonderful read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian romance and historical fiction. I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the author and Waterbrook and all opinions in this review are my own.
3C 4 days ago
Ever Faithful is a very compelling historical set in the spectacular Yellowstone National Park in 1933, with the additional story backdrop of the Great Depression and the CCC workers of Roosevelt's New Deal program. This third novel in the series is just as beautifully descriptive and entertaining as the first. As one who appreciates history and loves to travel to the national parks and mountains, I am very pleased by the depth of the author's historic and topographic research. The tension and friendship she builds between Elsie Brookes and Nate Webber is real and kept me invested in the book. A light element of suspense also presents in the narrative. The descriptive writing brings the tale alive to all the senses. It is a challenge to choose, but I believe this is my favorite book of the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
swissgranny 5 days ago
I’ve loved the Vintage National Park series by Karen Barnett and have been especially excited about Ever Faithful, since it’s about one of my favorite places—Yellowstone National Park. While I wasn’t around during the setting of this book, the 1930s, I vividly remember visiting Yellowstone during the 1950s, so it didn’t take much imagination to find myself caught up in the story. There are so many more visitors to the Park now, that it seems much more commercialized and busier than it was back in my childhood. Barnett’s careful research, her past experience as a park ranger, and her expertise in creating fascinating, colorful characters bring this book to life and make me want to travel back in time to experience how it was in the 1930s. Of course, I like my creature comforts, so I might not want to stay in that timeframe for long! I enjoyed the sweet relationship between Elsie Brookes, a ranger’s daughter that had lived in Yellowstone many years, and Nate Webber, an impoverished Brooklyn transplant who was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps. They both had deep scars from their past, but through their friendship were able to heal and grow. Powerful themes of overcoming fear, forgiveness, and the healing that only God can provide run through the story and give it added depth. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Empm1128 6 days ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I’ve been to Yellowstone and it was lots of fun to read about what it was like in the 1930s when the CCC came to work in the Park. What a great job Barnett did in making Yellowstone come alive to the reader! Both the hero and heroine of the story felt inferior and unworthy. Their journey to finding each other and finding their worth in the eyes of God and each other was beautifully done. I have enjoyed all the Vintage Parks series and would love for the author to come up with another one! (Loved the cover!!)
MelissaF 6 days ago
This is such a unique series. I really enjoyed the first one and was looking forward to this book. It did not let me down. I’ve never been to Yellowstone so it was fun to visit through the eyes of Elsie and Nate. Their romance is a slow burning one (pun intended). With many other obstacles in their way it’s hard for them to find the path to each others hearts. There is one character I was suspicious of from the start and this alone was enough to make me want to keep reading to see what would happen next and how things would play out. A copy of this book was given to me though Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
Tessaboo 6 days ago
I have really enjoyed every story in Karen Barnett’s Vintage National Parks series! Ever Faithful is the third story, but it is a stand alone. After reading Ever Faithful, I feel like I have been to Yellowstone National Park! Karen Barnett does a great job with describing the park and its attractions. I also love how she weaves history throughout her story. Her Park knowledge shines in these stories! My favorite character from this story is Nate! He’s sent to Yellowstone with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), where he finally, with Elsie’s help, overcomes something he’s been struggling with his entire life. He was so likable and honorable and I loved how his relationship with Elsie evolved. I also really liked Elsie and thought her and Nate were a perfect match! This story has romance, history, and a bit of a mystery that will keep you turning the pages and guessing until the end, and it all takes place in one of the most beautiful settings ever!
SarahSundin 7 days ago
Ever Faithful is another gem in the Vintage National Parks series. Karen Barnett, a former ranger herself, uses her love for nature and her amazing research to bring 1933 Yellowstone to life. Nate and Elsie each bear deep scars, but they rise above them in beautiful and inspiring ways. The story is gripping, the romance is compelling, and you can practically smell the pines, the sulfur springs…and the smoke. I adored this book!
Shonda Fischer 8 days ago
Loved reading Ever Faithful! The characters were wonderful so true to life. I loved Elsie’s spirit and her love for Yellowstone. The author brought to life the workers and the park in her description of what jobs were done to keep everything running. I was so excited to read the history that was written into the plot of this book, along with the buildings and descriptions of the park. The romance and danger was just a bonus in this story. A fantastic read for all book lovers! Was given a complimentary copy from WaterBrook through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
A1Reads 8 days ago
A fantastic story set in 1930's Yellowstone! This book invited me in and gave me a unique glimpse of park employees lives. I loved getting to know the Rangers, the "savages" and the CCC crew! I could feel what the characters were feeling, see what they were seeing. It was almost as if I was there with them and they were my friends. (I love when that happens.) Nate Webber hasn't had an easy life, he also has a few secrets but he is such a good guy with a great work ethic and a huge heart. Elsie Brookes is a super sweet girl, working, saving her money, helping care for her mother. She's a good friend and understanding teacher. She too has a few secrets. I loved the relationship that builds between Nate and Elsie. Bottom line: The setting, the rich characters, and great history combined with the romance, and mystery equal a very good book. The excellent narration is a bonus. I will be listening to this again. I highly recommend Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett! * I purchased the audiobook after receiving and reading a paperback ARC from the publisher. A review was not required. All thoughts are entirely my own.
tiggeruoSO 8 days ago
I don’t typically like historical books the language always throws me. However this book was not that way at all sometimes I would even forget I was reading a story from the 1930’s. This book was a super fun read I actually really liked it a lot. I was not a fan of Ranger Vaughn, not sure if the authors intent was to like him or dislike him, but for me he just rubbed me the wrong way all the way around. With Elsie and Nate both facing something in their past and having to over come it was interesting to see how they handled themselves. Oh my goodness in the end of the story, there is a twist and it’s not what you thought, through the whole book. I really genuinely like this book and this group of characters all but one of course. I liked that this book was a good clean read and perfect for all ages, while keeping you drawn into the story the whole time wondering what was going to happen next. This book is a good clean read and suitable for all. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I was under no obligation to post a review and have given my honest opinion
Lattebooks 8 days ago
Oh these national park stories are the BEST! Another one that throws you deep into the Yellowstone park and gives you some great highlights and info you didn’t know while weaving the story of love and friendship in those times. Nate’s struggle is written so well that you just want to hug him and help him out. Elsie wants a career during a time when it wasn’t hugely popular and the way these two have sparks flying is just swoon worthy. So much wonderful history and dialogue that was used by the workers in the parks makes it so fun to read. A fast page turner! I adored the secondary characters and loved the plot twist with the danger and drama. Another bookshelf keeper! I got the book from the publisher. This is my own opinion of this story.
RachsRamblings 8 days ago
Thoroughly enjoyed taking a trip to Yellowstone to “see” the geysers and enjoy a story with such a beautiful setting. The characters are well done, the time in which it takes place as well as the place are quite unique, and an interesting twist to the plot made this all a very intriguing and delightful story. Honestly, I would so like to see this series continue. All the books have been wonderful. It isn’t likely I’ll ever see these beautiful places at the National Parks so I was thrilled to be able to read about them. The author did such a great job of setting the scenery in all three of the novels The 1930’s and the CCC men who were sent to the camp in this story is a little discussed, little known piece of history. The author did a fantastic job in bringing this time period to life. I highly recommend this novel and the series. They have a place on my forever shelves! I received a book from the publisher. All opinions are my own
Julie12 8 days ago
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.
Teadrinker 8 days ago
In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal helped employ young men through the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to give them a hand up through the Great Depression. Nate Weber was one of the recruits in Karen Barnett's historical fiction novel, Ever Faithful. He is one of the older young men in the first group to come to Yellowstone from the cities out East. What a change for these young men in so many ways. Ever Faithful is set in Yellowstone National Park and is the third in her Vintage National Park novel series. (Each of these books is set in a different park and can stand alone.) Elsie Brooks is a ranger's daughter and spent much of her growing up years in Yellowstone. The past few years she has worked in the park's hotels as a maid saving up for her college tuition to become a teacher. In Ever Faithful, Elsie gets some early teaching experience as she teaches the young men in the CCC camp and gets to know Nate. They also work alongside other young people working in the park for the summer. Then tragedy strikes in the park in the form of fires. How are all of these fires starting? Ever Faithful is a novel with a featuring some history of the park as well as the CCC and the Great depressions. There is also a mix of romance and a mystery to solve. I enjoyed Ever Faithful. I previously read the first book in the series and enjoyed it too. However, I don't think Ever Faithful has quite as much scenic and park detail in the story as The Road to Paradise, but Barnett does offer some historical tidbits in the back of the book. I enjoyed the budding romance between Nate and Elsie. I also enjoyed the mystery, although I didn't much care for how it turned out but I don't want to include spoilers so won't say much more. I liked that this book offers hope to those who need it and it is an encouraging read with clean cut characters. The faith aspect of the book is fairly light but it does seem to flow well within the book. I would recommend Ever Faithful to anyone wanting a relaxing read with a historical bent. There is a discussion guide in the back of the book full of good questions for a book club too. I received an ARC of Ever Faithful from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review.
Jdp15 8 days ago
Thank you Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me an ARC of "Ever Faithful: A Vintage National Parks Novel" by Karen Barnett. This book was really good. 5⭐. A nice clean historical romance along with a little mystery/suspense. This book is set in 1933 at Yellowstone National Park. The President's program, The Civilian Conservation Corps, helped a lot of men. This book was a very quick easy read for me. And I really love this cover! I received an ARC from Waterbrook Multnomah and was under no obligation to post a review.
BrittanyMc 8 days ago
Ever Faithful was such an interesting story! The author transported me not only to Yellowstone National Park, but also back in time to the 1930's. Her descriptions of park life and the day to day workings of the park was fascinating. She also did a great job of creating characters who were complex, with difficult decisions weighing on them. Both Nate and Elsie struggled with feelings of inferiority. They each had different reasons for feeling the way they did and both had growing to do within the pages of this book. Romance bloomed for a few characters in Ever Faithful, with plenty of potential obstacles to overcome, as well. This was the first book that I have read by this author and I look forward to reading more by her in the future. I also feel the need to comment on how much I loved this book cover! It really captured the feeling of the story. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
AMHeath 8 days ago
What I Loved: I have adored this entire series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the final book. Barnett is well acquainted with National Parks and it shows in her writing. Not only was her setting vividly detailed, but she shares such knowledge about Yellowstone along the way. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a new note in history for me. There was a light mystery weaved into the story. I’m happy to say that regardless of what I thought I knew, I was surprised in the end. Barnett marries a steady message of faith with a cast of lovable characters. Nate Webber was my favorite. But there were so many from the CCC who were colorful and unique. Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving Ever Faithful 4.5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy historical Christian fiction or those who like nature settings. ~ I received a copy from WaterBrook. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.
WildflowerMom 8 days ago
An engaging story set in magnificent Yellowstone National Park during the 1930's. A group of brand new recruits in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) join up with the staff at Yellowstone for a season of seriously hard work, and personal learning experiences like they've never dreamed. A mystery, adventure, action, and romance with some realistic characters made this a satisfying read clear through to the end. I loved the character of Nate, and how his integrity, humility, sincerity and hard working personality brings out the best in those around him, with a few exceptions. He and Elsie had such different backgrounds, but both had a lot to overcome, and grew in their faith in the process. I would have liked to know more about Red and Teddy's background to understand what made them tick. The variety of ethnicities made the story interesting, wondering how they would work together and develop friendships across cultural barriers. I liked the author's use of nature to add little illustrations of faith, like the example of a pine cone that opens up under the pressure of fire compared to how God can use difficult situations ultimately for good. She knows her stuff too, describing all of the unusual scenery. I felt like I was there, and can't wait to actually see it in person! The historical notes included at the end were informative, especially about the CCC. I've seen many buildings on the west coast in parks that were built by them, but I didn't know they were so young and from cities. It must have been such a shock to be sent to the western plains or desert from the streets of NYC! Addressing the problems of illiteracy or lack of education was an uplifting part of the story that was based in fact, according to the author. It must have helped many young men after their work was finished. Recommend for readers who enjoy historical fiction, with clean romance and inspiration. 4.5 stars (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)
millstreetreader 8 days ago
EVER FAITHFUL is the first Vintage National Parks novel I have read by Karen Barnett. With a gentle pen, she has captured the look and feel of old Yellowstone - the animals, the grand hotels, and the geysers. I have not traveled for real to that magnificent park, but I remember that as a child, I spent hours pouring over my parents' black and white photo album of their trip there, a trip which took place just a few years later than Barnett's book. And Wisconsin's own state parks still showcase the work of CCC camps, work similar to that described in Barnett's book. Barnett's characters are developed with that same detail to authenticity. From Elsie and her summer work friends and her family to the new CCC workers, each seems "at ease" in the book. No one was added for mere plot convenience. I easily settled into the story of the Eastern CCC city boys trying to fit in with the park work crews, grateful that they could help their families survive the depression, but unsure of the hard work ahead. Just as realistic was the summer culture of the hotel/bus workers who returned to Yellowstone season after season. That somewhere among the two groups may be an arsonist only becomes apparent after several small fires happen -- letting the reader figure out something was afoul before the workers and the rangers reached the same conclusion. By then the reader (or least this one) has at least a couple possible culprits in mind. EVER FAITHFUL was an easy, delightful read with messages about following your dreams, working hard, never giving up. I intend to read the other VINTAGE NATIONAL PARKS novels. I was given an e-copy by NETGALLEY and the publisher. All opinions are mine.
BlueJeansAndTeacups 8 days ago
***Kept Me Guessing**************************************************************************************** Yellowstone Natl Park, WY, 1933 This story focuses on the Pack Rats, Pillow Punchers, and Pearl Divers also known as the park’s hotel staff, or Savages (smile) as well as some Rangers, and President Roosevelt’s new Civilian Conservation Corps (the CCC). 22-year old Elsie Brookes has been working summers to save enough money to earn a teaching degree and go to college like her friend’s Mary and Rose. Teddy Vaughn is a new ranger who gives her stomach flutters, but she needs to focus on her job and caring for her ailing mother, not to mention her closely guarded secret. Sweet Scripture Reference: “Yes, indeed. ‘Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” It’s not just the key to a happy home, Elsie-” “I know. It’s the key to a happy life.” Only her parents could make the golden rule sound romantic. Joining the CCC camp are many struggling young men, arriving from New York area, who haven’t seen work or a decent meal in a long while. This is their chance to earn a paycheck to send home, learn a trade and get a free education. But for Nate Webber, it’s his chance to keep his younger brother out of jail. He had never been out of the city and wasn’t sure what to expect. “The sky back home had never looked like this. He could almost touch it, brush his finger against the glittering edges of the distant stars. “God”. He breathed the word, more in reverence than in vain. What other response could a man have in the face of such wonder?” Working out in nature may be just what he needs, plus no one need know about his shameful secret. The park descriptions are lovely: “A small herd of elk grazed on the green lawn surrounding the lodge. A cow elk, heavy with her unborn calf, lifted her head to stare back, chewing leisurely. The animals had over three thousand square miles of park to wander but seemed to prefer it here.” The mystery of the story kept me guessing all the way through. There are several characters that keep the story in interesting. I loved the raccoons! Tea Moment: “Her friend took a sip of her coffee and made a face. “Why do I always think I’m going to like this stuff? I want to be all modern and sophisticated with my black coffee, but I still prefer iced tea.”” Amen Sister!! (haha) NOTE: This is a stand-alone novel available 06/18/2019, and fine to read out of order, as per the author. The first 2 books are “Where the Fire Falls” and “The Road to Paradise” which I both really enjoyed. FREE STUFF – Go to the author’s site Karen Barnett Books dot com to keep up with her news and click FREE STUFF to get a free novelette, vintage style postcards, digital poster and bonus eBook “Women of the National Parks”. Amazing! Thank you to Waterbrook Publishing and NetGalley for a digital edition. My opinion is my own and given freely.