In the Shadow of Denali: Book Review

It’s a rainy Monday at my house, so what better weather for reviewing another book, right? I’m sitting here with my cup of coffee while the kids enjoy quiet time in their rooms. Such a nice time of day!

Recently, it seems I have been given the opportunity to learn more about Alaska’s rich history, and now I long to take a trip there! I edited one book on the Alaskan waters, and I have the privilege of reviewing Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse’s book, In the Shadow of Denali.

If you haven’t read any of Tracie Peterson’s books before, then I suggest you head to your local bookstore or library and see what’s available. I have been reading her work for years, and she is very good with the details!

In this first book in The Heart of Alaska series, the history of Denali and its name change is clearly presented, including a detailed visit from President McKinley and his wife. At this time, the name of the mountain is still greatly contested by many who wish to return to its original name of Denali.

Shadow of Denali

Set in the early 1900s, In the Shadow of Denali introduces three men set on conquering Denali. Frank Irving and Henry Brennan are partners in an outdoorsman-type business, and they believe that they can offer more to their customers if they have scaled the treacherous mountain themselves. They hire John Ivanoff, a local guide, who has scaled the mountain already and knows the best way to reach the top. But one of these men has murder on his mind, and a stormy, unpredictable mountain top is the perfect place to get away with murder.

Or at least that’s what Frank Irving thought.

Allan Brennan is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to his father – even if it’s been six years since he went missing. With bitterness and anger in his heart, he decides it’s time to leave the family business in Frank’s capable hands and intern with John Ivanoff, the man he believes is responsible for his father’s disappearance.

But when Allan gets into town, he is amazed to find a godly man who has been humbled by the loss of a man on the mountain. What’s more, Allan can’t help but be drawn to Ivanoff’s daughter, Cassidy, whose smile reaches to the deep recesses of his heart. But how can he fall in love with the daughter of his enemy?

Cassidy Ivanoff has lived a sheltered life with her father until they moved to Curry to work at the Curry Hotel, a key resting stop for the Alaskan railroad. Working as the cook’s assistant, Cassidy wonders how she will ever be able to start a family with no prospects in such a small town. But trusting God to steer her path, Cassidy finds joy in the job she has and the people she works with. When Allan Brennan comes to work for her father, Cassidy begins to wonder if she could really have feelings for such an angry man or if she is simply looking for the first eligible bachelor to come into town.

Can Allan resolve his anger and move on with his life? Will Cassidy find the answers to her dreams? And where is God when tragedy strikes?

While I wouldn’t consider this a deep read, I could recommend this book for someone looking for something to read on vacation. The storyline is rather predictable but does continually point the reader back to the Gospel. However, I truly enjoyed learning some interesting facts about the Alaskan railroad, Denali, and President McKinley.

If you’re looking for something to read over spring break, then this may be a book that would interest you!

*This book was provided to me by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.



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