At long last, the sequel to a book adored by many has finally been released! “Out of the Ashes” is book number two in “The Heart of Alaska” series written by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse, and was published by Bethany House at the start of 2018. This delightful novel continues the stories of many characters from the first book (“In the Shadow of Denali”), and also introduces several fascinating new characters who find God’s hope and healing in the beautiful wilderness of Alaska.
A unique feature that I love about this book is the large number of characters who help reveal the story… Just off the top of my head, I can count six different viewpoints the story is told by. Some are more prominent than others, of course, yet this technique really helps the story come to life in a special way, and allows readers to witness what is happening through different eyes.
Themes of faith, trust, redemption, truth, love, and many more adorn the pages of this book, and really gave me some thought-provoking questions to ponder as the characters wrestled and contemplated these issues in their own lives. In some novels the theme of faith can seem like an afterthought – but that is never the case in “Out of the Ashes”. On the contrary, it felt to me as though faith was the foundation of the story, and the plot and characters were built up from that. Of course, this isn’t to say that the people, their stories, and the beautiful setting of Alaska aren’t vivid and lifelike and captivating, because they definitely are, but it feels as though the primary reason for telling this story was to share God’s truth.
The compelling combination of story, theme, setting, and characterization made “Out of the Ashes” very difficult to put down, and almost heartbreaking to finish. I didn’t want to leave the Curry Hotel, or any of my “friends” who reside there! Thankfully we will have one more chance to revisit them in the third installment of “The Heart of Alaska” series, when “Under the Midnight Sun” releases.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”