Litfuse Blog Tour: Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett (My Review)

Out of the Ruins
The Golden Gate Chronicles, Book 1
by Karen Barnett
Copyright 2014
Abingdon Press
ISBN: 9781426780578
The Story:
Abby’s shattered faith in both God and man is challenged when the terrible earthquake hits 1906 San Francisco.

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?

My Thoughts:
Almost any time you pick up a Christian fiction book, you're pretty much guaranteed some sort of faith message woven into it. Sometimes they are overt and other times it's implied between the lines. Admittedly, I like my books to feature the latter. Often times stories can seem very preachy and those types of books just aren't my style. Out of the Ruins is one of those rare books where the Christian message is woven throughout, with Scripture references peppered in each chapter, but it doesn't seem forced. I actually felt the growth of both Abby Fischer and Dr. Robert King in their faith as natural and authentic.

As romances go, Out of the Ruins is one of my favorite novels of the year. I love it when two characters meet, we see that awkward stage of getting to know one another, and eventually see that friendship turn into something more. I especially enjoy a story where I can smile and laugh out loud on one page and cry when I flip to the next page. The best books (especially romances) allow a reader to feel a full range of emotions while reading. This story had me feeling hopeful, happy, sad, worried, and relieved all within the space of 300 pages.

The connection to the characters, especially Abby, for me, was pretty much immediate. Who wouldn't love a lady who trips over her own feet and literally falls out of a tree into the arms of a dashing doctor? I know I can't resist a story where the sparks fly from the get go! Neither Abby nor the doctor were without faults, but they were still likeable 99 percent of the time.

Did I mention the drama? There's scads of it. Everywhere. We're talking cancer treatments in the early 20th century, the San Francisco earthquake, divided families, and fires. Out of the Ruins certainly pulls at the heartstrings and it doesn't feel like it's "too much" for just under 350 pages.

Out of the Ruins is the first novel I've read by Karen Barnett, but I'll definitely be looking forward to reading more from her soon. If you like Christian fiction with heavy spiritual themes and a little bit of everything, Out of the Ruins is a book you'll want to look into. The Golden Gate Chronicles has all the makings of a great new series.

Read what other reviewers are saying about Out of the Ruins.

~ My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~

*I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*


OUT OF THE RUINS BY @KarenBarnettAuthor | Enter to win a Kindle HDX & RSVP for 6/19 Facebook Party!

Don't miss the debut book, Out of the Ruins, in Karen Barnett's new series, The Golden Gate Chronicles. Set against the backdrop of early 20th century San Francisco, Out of the Ruins will remind readers that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, God is still as close to us as our next breath.

Karen is celebrating with a fun giveaway and Facebook author chat party.


  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 19th. Winner will be announced at the Out of the Ruins Facebook author chat party on June 19th. Connect with Karen for an evening of fun book chat, games, and prizes. Karen will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series!
So grab your copy of Out of the Ruins and join Karen on the evening of June 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Happy Reading!


  1. Great review, Renee. I really liked this one, too and since you did also, READ Mistaken. It's gorgeous - plus it was so interesting to me because I adore the time period. :)

    I love that you talk about the faith in the book. That is what I admired most about this novel. Karen did a beautiful job with that - I appreciate how God is referenced, and while I cannot recall it just now, there was line in this book that made me want to shout, "yes!"

    1. The fact that you enjoyed Mistaken makes me want to read it more! I know you have the best taste in books, so I'm definitely adding it to my TBR list! Thanks so much for checking out my review. :-)


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