Beyond the Ashes

Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett is a 320 page novel in the Christian historical romance genre. It is the second book in The Golden Gate Chronicles but can be read as a stand alone. Beyond the Ashes is published by Abingdon Press Publishers and was released on June 16, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.


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?

My Two Cents

Beyond the Ashes was my first experience with Karen Barnett’s writing and I was not disappointed.  Taking place right after the earthquake and great fire in San Fran, Beyond the Ashes brings to light the frivolity of our lives and reminds us to focus on what is important. Many of the characters have suffered loss and appreciate the time they have been given with each other realizing each day is never guaranteed.

Beyond the Ashes was well-written and was captivating from the beginning.  I was particularly impressed with the research she has completed both with the history that is reflected in the novel as well as the medical knowledge she displayed. This makes the book feel very authentic.

Many of us suffer loss -devastating loss- in our lifetime. Sometimes this makes us question God and His sovereignty.  Loss can also make us question our faith and take what we think is the easy, safest path in life.  Barnett marvelously weaves these issues into Beyond the Ashes to encourage us to remember that our faith and our hope is in the Lord.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I could not put this book down! You will be greatly encouraged by this book.  It is a definate must for your TBR list.

Thank you to the LitFuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all view expressed are my own.

About the Author

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 she’s not writing novels, she loves speaking at women’s events, libraries, and book clubs. You can learn more at