I liked this historical novel. While the plot is good, I liked most the information contained in it. This is a good book for readers planning to visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon. When I visited several years ago, I stayed at the El Tovar. I wish I had read this book before my stay. It contains history and insights into the hotel and its origin as well as the surrounding buildings. Reading it would have made my visit much more interesting.
I like how the characters were portrayed. While Emma Grace's father had been rich, she escaped his planning a lucrative contracted marriage. Now she found a rewarding life as a waitress and Harvey Girl. And Ray's father was wealthy but he would rather be taking photos. Both characters had to face their heritage and how it related to their futures.
I really liked the setting and felt there were pretty good descriptions of such an amazing place. The plot was good, including romance in a story about revealing past secrets that could be dangerous. There was some suspense at the end but it seemed to be resolved without our knowing how. And Woodhouse twice does a pet peeve of mine, starting a chapter with a suspenseful scene that turns out to be a dream.
There were several issues explored in this novel, all revolving around money. El Tovar was such a new hotel and in quite a remote location that only the wealthy could visit there. We see from Emma Grace's and Ray's fathers how wealth could taint a person. At one point Emma Grace laments, “Why does money do such awful things to people?” (277)
This is a good novel to read before a visit to the south rim. You'll get some good historical information, a romance, and a very clear presentation of the gospel.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Kimberely Woodhouse is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books. She and her husband have two adult children. You can find out more at www.kimberleywoodhouse.com.
Bethany House, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)