Beyond the Ashes, Golden Gate Chronicles Series #2   -     By: Karen Barnett
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Beyond the Ashes, Golden Gate Chronicles Series #2

Abingdon Press / 2015 / Paperback

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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 that 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's 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.

Rudy 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 with a second chance at love when time might be short?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1426781415
ISBN-13: 9781426781414
Availability: In Stock
Series: Golden Gate Chronicles

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Publisher's Description

"Tis better to have loved and lost…," but can Ruby Marshall risk her heart a second time?

Author Bio

Karen Barnett is the author of Beyond the Ashes, Out of the Ruins, and Mistaken. Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When shes not writing novels, she loves speaking at womens events, libraries, and book clubs. You can learn more at KarenBarnettBooks.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. Frederick, MD
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beyoind the Ashes by Karen Barnett
    July 1, 2015
    MrsTina
    Frederick, MD
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Beyond The Ashes,***** book 2, Golden Gate Chronicles by Karen BarnettARC from author and Netgalley

    A devastating earthquake has hit 1906 San Francisco, leaving destruction all across town. Bachelor Dr. Gerald Larkspur had dreams of someday filling his home with a wife and children. Since his home was not damaged by the earthquake, his home now overflows with his extended family and friends until their own homes can be rebuilt.

    Nurse Ruby Marshall is a young widow grieving the loss of her husband. Her doctor brother Robert invites her to move to San Francisco and stay with him. She is hoping to discover a new purpose by assisting Robert with his cancer research. However, she did not know that she would be staying with Robert in his partner's home, not their own apartment.

    As San Francisco is being rebuilt, many are living on the streets in tents until shelter is built to hold them. As with any disaster of this kind, the risk of disease is a great threat to all. An outbreak of a potentially deadly disease breaks out in the tent community. Ruby and the doctors must find enough medicine to treat those who have contracted the disease before more die. Keeping the sick quarantined in such conditions is a great challenge.

    Romance blooms even in these trying conditions. Ruby fights her feelings for Gerald, as she had vowed never to fall in love again and suffer more heartache. But her heart decides otherwise. When Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease he and Robert hope to cure, he makes Robert promise not to tell his family or Ruby. His secret doesn't stay a secret long. Should Gerald and Ruby dare to hope for a cure and do they take a chance at love despite the uncertain outcome?

    There is much to like about this story. Each of the secondary characters brought added depth to the story line. Ruby's pain and grief of her husbands death was clearly shown. Her moving so far from all she was used to took courage and strength. I like that she didn't shy away from the challenges she faced. Gerald and Robert made a good team in their search to treat and cure cancer. Their heartache was felt when their patient's died as was their determination to find a cure. Being a retired Oncology RN, I enjoyed reading about the medicines of 1906. I found the struggles the doctors' faced, the research and early beginning treatments of cancer to be interesting. Along with struggles and disappointments they each face, the value and importance of friendships and families is evident, hardships, trials, humor, joy, forgiveness, faith and love is woven through the story in a believable way. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

    ~~I received an e-book ARC (advanced readers copy) of this book from the author through Netgalley for my honest review~~
  2. Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    There is true beauty to be found in the ashes of what we believe is the end of our life!
    July 1, 2015
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In evolution of the medical field has always fascinated me and I love how we can see just how far we have come from such times as the early 1900s when a cure for cancer was still being sought after in a variety of ways. In the Golden Gate Chronicles by Karen Barnett, Beyond the Ashes is the second novel to debut in this series.

    Dr. Gerald Larkspur is working diligently with Robert King to find a way to save those who are succumbing to the effects of cancer. Trying their hand at the merits of radiation, they have had some success are the prolonging of their patients lives, but unfortunately not saving them without the barbaric practice of limb and organ removal in an attempt to save them. Now they face the challenge of either proving their successes or risk losing the funding the hospital board has been providing.

    Robert is engaged to Abby, Gerald's cousin and while preparing for their upcoming wedding, he has invited his sister Ruby Marshall to come stay with them. While still undergoing to rebuilding efforts since the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco has many places they can use Ruby's nursing skills including working at the hospital with them. She is still recovering for the loss of her husband who faced an accident with a horse and automobile that took his life before they could start a family of their own. Now looking for a potential fresh start, she is hoping a change of location might do her so good as well as reuniting with her brother in San Francisco. She is not looking to lose her heart again.

    I received Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review outside of a free copy of the novel and the opinions contained here are my strictly my own personal opinions. I absolutely loved being back in San Francisco during the rebuilding of the city's massive earthquake. The sense of realism you gain from Karen's research is amazing, from the unsanitary conditions from the evacuation camps that are prevalent within the city, to the rarely understood effects of using X-rays to combat cancer treatments. For me, this took me back to the BBC series, London Hospital, where you can see the early stages of medical treatments, as the impact of those experimenting with radiation and perfecting X-Ray usage. I absolutely love when a novel can take you back in time, and not only enjoy an amazing story but learn a bit about history at the same time and thus the reason for my 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait for the sequel, Through The Shadows which readers get a sneak peek at in this novel as well as Discussion Guide questions, perfect for book clubs!
  3. New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Different
    June 30, 2015
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    here were a lot of things I liked about Beyond the Ashes. Gerald, Ruby and Patrick all came alive on the page as well-developed characters with real hopes, dreams, and fears. None of them were perfect people (although Patrick came close!). Instead, they had faults and foibles just like we all do, with Gerald being uncertain about his cancer research, and Ruby not wanting to risk her heart again. They were backed up by strong secondary characters, including Robert and Abby from Out of the Ruins. The main characters and the minor characters were all excellent, and I hope we see more of them in future books (especially Patrick).

    The writing was good, showing a depth of research and familiarity with early 20th Century medicine and the post-quake rebuilding of San Francisco, but without being intrusive. There were welcome flashes of humor and some seriously thought-provoking lines. I like that, when I have to stop and reread a line simply because the character says something clever or profound, like: God doesnt owe me answers. My job is to trust. Indeed. Somewhere along the line, I discovered marriage isnt about the dress. Its about the people. Something too many people (and romance novels?) seem to forget. Cutting was always the most frightening part of sewingno going back. I can relate to that!

    I was fascinated by the use of x-rays as a method of treating cancer, although that was a bittersweet fascination: time has shown us how dangerous x-rays and other forms of radiation can be, and we still dont have a cure for cancer over a hundred years later. And cigarettes to cure asthma? The mind boggles. I was also interested by Gerald and Robert using Novocaine: who knew it had been around for so long?

    The plot, however, was a little uneven. Ruby originally came to San Francisco to watch out for her younger brother, and to work in the hospital. However, she seemed to spend less and less time in the hospital as her relationship with Gerald progressed, which didnt seem like responsible nurse (or doctor) behavior. The pace slowed in the middle, then increased rapidly before reaching an abrupt endperhaps too abrupt. It felt like Id missed something.

    There was a minor subplot about Abby and an old friend, and I wondered why that had been includedI thought the word count could have been used more profitably in showing Rubys inner journey, or ironing out the pacing issues. For example, there were two points where references were made to weeks or months having passed with the problem (first spiritual, then romantic) having been resolved in the time skipped over, which left me feeling as though there were missing pages detailing the resolution. I like to see the character transformation, especially when its the spiritual transformation. If a character comes to personal faith in God, I want to see the external events or inner journey which prompted that change. That, to me, is one of the strengths of Christian fiction, and I feel a little cheated if its skipped over.

    Despite all that, I did enjoy Beyond the Ashes. It has excellent characters, solid writing, a strong Christian thread, plenty of conflict, and oodles of romantic tension. Its made all the more tense because Ruby is a widow and so knows all about passion in marriage, though that never steps over the line into being inappropriate (although there are a couple of potentially awkward/inappropriate scenes as Ruby is living in Geralds house with his mother, his cousin, and her brother).

    While Beyond the Ashes is a sequel, it can easily be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction.

    Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
  4. ME
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Who is in charge of your future?
    June 14, 2015
    ConnieR
    ME
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Beyond the Ashes is Book #2 in the Golden Gate Chronicles by Karen Barnett. Set in the early 1900's, this book is just past the 'quake and details some of the infant steps of rebirth. We're again with Dr. Gerald Larkspur, and his friend and associate Dr. Robert King. In this book, Gerald and Robert's practice and research collide in their own lives. Without spoiling the story for others, I can say that one of the themes of the book is relevant to everyone; finding God's will for life rather than your own plans and hopes, and allowing God to be God of your future.

    I enjoy Karen's writing style. She has brought this era to life for me. I look forward to the next book in the series.
  5. Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Must Read Series!
    May 25, 2015
    jenilee220
    Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I truly love this series. This is book 2 in the Golden Gate Chronicles series and I'm so thankful for the historical significance coming to light from these books!

    Written in the setting of California after the great earthquake and in the time of the beginning of cancer research, the books are fertile ground for great discussion, good writing and difficult topics. I've enjoyed digging into the history of x-rays, cancer research, the doctors who forged new paths in science and the people, the nurses, the families and the patients who literally gave their lives for medical discoveries.

    This is a must read series! Everything from the characters to the story line to the romance to the history, you will love each page!
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