Out of the Ruins

Title:  Out of the Ruins (The Golden Gate Chronicles Book #1)
Author:  Karen Barnett
Pages:  320
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Abingdon
The story begins in the year 1905 with a family of three whose daughter Cecelia is not getting well.  The family reaches out to a cousin who practices medicine in San Francisco.  When Gerald comes along with his young assistant Robert, he confirms the earlier doctor’s grim diagnosis.  However, Robert offers a glimmer of hope when he shares the way x-rays are helping some patients live longer or even heal them.  On the slim chance that Cecelia will even survive the trip, let alone the treatments, Cecelia decides to make the journey for the treatments.
Here is a tale that sets the characters on a journey of finding faith, love and the true meaning of family.  The novel progresses by focusing mainly on Abby as she loses her best friend and sister, even though she begs and makes a promise to God that if He heals her sister she will be faithful to Him and what will happen if He doesn’t.  I think the book represents in a real way how some people react when they are confronted with deep pain and unable to change anything happening around them.  Realizing we aren’t as in control as we think is a hard lesson to learn and relearn as we walk through life.
The young doctor in the story is also becoming aware of how he has placed science above God, which leads him to a place where people think they can do what only God can do.  The doctor also discovers that while God uses science to help bring healing to others, only He brings true healing of the heart.  The family in the book loses more than just their daughter, but their livelihood as well when seeking the treatments.  On top of that, the great earthquake occurs at the same time and causes such a loss of life and more trials for the family even as it brings about for each person a deeper knowing of God and His work in their lives.
The themes of wrestling out one’s faith during deep heartache really touched my heart as well as being angry at God and trying to understand why He allows events to unfold.  There is romance that begins to blossom quickly between Abby and the young doctor, but will it stand through the grief as the city burns around them?  I was reminded again of how the Chinese women were viewed during this period of history along with the brave and compassionate missionary workers who sought to bring them out of slavery here in America.  The faith these young women have in the book is an amazing reminder of redemption from the evil pursuits of others.  I can’t wait for the next installment in this series!
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 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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