Reviewed by Casey Kellogg
‘Ever Faithful’ by Karen Barnett
If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone National Park, you know that mere words can never describe its wonders. Or at least that’s what I believed before reading Karen Barnett’s “Ever Faithful.”
The story is set during the 1930s, when the U.S. government employed more than 2.5 million men as Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers across the country. For Nate Webber, a poor New Yorker trying to care for his parents and siblings, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. When he is shipped with a group of young men to Yellowstone with the promise of work, he quickly falls in love with the “wonderland” he finds there. But for all his strength and determination, Nate is illiterate, a setback he is convinced he will never overcome.
Elsie, on the other hand, as a ranger’s daughter, has lived in the park as long as she can remember. While she thrives there amidst the geysers and wildlife, she dreams of college and a teaching career.
When the two collide, a bond slowly develops between them despite their differences. As each wrestles with the pain of their past and their own feelings of inadequacy, Elsie and Nate find themselves drawn to each other in a romance that will change their lives.
I have to be honest – this book was slow for me at times. That being said, it was also a fun and educational read. But while the characters are likeable and the plot somewhat engaging, it was the setting that intrigued me most. The author’s background as a former park ranger makes Yellowstone come alive on every page. Barnett gave me the chance to experience the park from the comfort of my couch.
Whether you’ve been out West or have only dreamed of it, you’ll love getting lost in the beauty of Yellowstone in “Ever Faithful.”
Casey Kellogg is an intern at Mississippi Christian Living and a sophomore at Mississippi College, where she is studying English writing with a minor in literature. She hails from Nesbit and enjoys listening to musicals and spending time with her cat, Wishes.