Title: In the Shadow of Denali (The Heart of Alaska #1)
Author: Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: Jan 3, 2017
Length: 313 Pages
About the Book:
Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel outside Mt. McKinley. While John will be expedition and wilderness exploration guide for the wealthy tourists, Cassidy has signed on as a cook’s assistant. Both are busy as the hotel prepares to welcome the president of the United States on his way to drive in the golden spike to officially complete the railroad.
Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice of a seasoned Alaska mountain guide. Ever since his father’s death climbing Mt. McKinley, he’s worked to earn enough money to make the trek to the Alaska territory himself. His father’s partner blames their guide for the death of his father, but Allan wants to find the truth for himself. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine.
I never thought I’d find myself interested in visiting the frigid state of Alaska but lo and behold I’ve found a book that’s officially peaked my interest! From the big picture to the tiny details, Tracie Peterson and Kim Woodhouse managed to create a vivid and tangible setting you can’t help but want to fall into.
One thing that I absolutely loved about this book was the amount of history that was seamlessly weaved into the fictional storyline. I appreciate that the authors shared some of the fact vs fiction (Yes, this is another push to read the authors’ note at the end!) but I also reveled in the fact that I couldn’t tell what was what as I read. I’m not always a note taker as I read but I found myself jotting down the names of several plants and dinner entrées that were described so that I could check them out later. (I will not share what the images below are of, but I will tell you that they are all described in the book.)
I also cherished how easily the faith element was weaved into this story. It didn’t appear to be added or inserted but rather was breathed out through the lives of the characters and felt completely natural. It was heartwarming for me to see the characters bonding with one another over not only what they were experiencing but how God was working in them through those experiences.
I absolutely loved this novel and can’t wait to get started on Out of the Ashes which is the next book in the series. I highly recommend it to historical fiction fans!