Out of the Ruins: The Golden Gate Chronicles Book #1

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.

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
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