Such an inspirational title, don't you think? "Beyond the Ashes" by Karen Barnett is the second book of The Golden Gate Chronicles. I have yet to read the first book, and it's not necessary to continue with this book. However, after this book, you might become a fan of Ms. Barnett's and decide to catch up on her other novels (just three currently).
Hope does not stop with the title and cover. It continues throughout as the city of San Francisco is rebuilding from the devastating 1906 earthquake. Young widow, Ruby joins her brother, Robert and his partner, Dr. Gerald Larkspur in helping with their research on radiotherapy for carcinoma patients. Ruby came with determination and her own will for a new beginning, which does not include finding love. Gerald doubts that God's plans for him includes a love one by his side since he developed symptoms of the very disease he and Robert is striving to cure. Is there hope for these two? Will love rise above the ashes? Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Aren't these timeless questions that can apply today as it was more than 100 years ago? This is what Ms. Barnett has given us - a story that can relate to 1906 San Francisco, as well as 2015 in any part of the world.
It's also interesting to learn a little about the process of early radiation and cancer treatment, which is the basis of Gerald and Robert's research. Ms. Barnett put a lot of effort in research that I appreciate. All the characters were well thought out. Each one had a reason to be there, either as supporting characters or main. Some were there simply for us to understand more the life Ruby, Gerald and Robert faces as medicine advances.
This is a book that one just can't help but continue reading along. There's hope and there's faith. Faith brought on by hope and hope brought on by faith - depending on who you're talking about. God is good. There are light-hearted stories (also great), and there are meaningful stories. This is one of the latter to evoke a desire to think and feel beyond. It gives you hope, even through sadness. Give this book a try, and you won't be disappointed.
NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the book tour through Litfuse Literary Group and the publisher, Abingdon Press, and for an honest review.