Book Review: In the Shadow of Denali by Kimberley Woodhouse and Tracie Peterson

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! I had some technical difficulties with my blog, but my hosting company fixed it! I’m very excited to post my review of In the Shadow of Denali by Kimberley Woodhouse and and Tracie Peterson.

(Fun fact: I interviewed Mrs. Woodhouse’s daughter in this post)

Their Future Depends on Unlocking the Secrets the Mountain Holds From the Past

Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel near the foot of Mount McKinley–Denali as it’s still called by the natives. John is the wilderness and exploration guide for the wealthy tourists while Cassidy works in the kitchen as Cook’s assistant. The entire staff buzzes with excitement during the busy days preparing for the President’s imminent visit. His historic trip to dedicate the new national park on his way to driving in the golden spike to officially complete the Alaska Railroad will be the beginning of a new era for all of them and place The Curry at the heart of Alaska.

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide, with hopes of discovering the truth about his father’s death on the mountain years earlier. His father’s business partner blames the guide for Henry Brennan’s untimely death, but Allan cannot be at peace until he knows for sure. 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.

*Book cover image and synopsis taken from the publisher’s website*

There were so many things about this book I really, really enjoyed.

  • Cassidy was a very likable character. In a time where most fictional heroines are cynical and vengeful, Cassidy’s sweet innocence was a refreshing breath of fresh air.
  • Family relationships played a big role which was awesome! We don’t see very many family relationships–especially child-father relationships–in books.
  • Cassidy works in a kitchen and reading about all the desserts she baked definitely made me hungry.
  • I haven’t read a lot of books that take place in Alaska, so that was cool to read.
  • I could tell the authors put a lot of research into make sure the historical setting was accurately portrayed. I love history, particularly American history, so there were some intriguing facts in this book.
  • The Christian message didn’t feel like an after-thought but a seamless part of the story.

There were a few complaints I had, though:

  • The romance developed way too quickly. At just a few chapters in, the main characters were already thinking about how much they liked each other. They had just met, and I didn’t find this totally realistic. Their relationship was sweet, but it developed a little too fast for me.
  • The mystery aspect felt a little…lackluster. I don’t think it was intended to be very suspenseful, but it fell flat to me.

Despite those two complaints, I still really enjoyed In the Shadow of Denali. I liked the characters and themes a lot. While I may not read a lot of historical romance (you know, space travel, corrupt future governments, and castles are more my thing), I thought this was a really sweet book!

*Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a copy!*

Have you read In the Shadow of Denali? What did you think?

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  1. I may not have time to read the book, and think you have good ideas in your comments. I like the History parts that are accurately researched in any book. Many times a little romance and intrigue are necessary for people to read some History—–and get some background. I think James Michener does a great service in depicting History through fiction.

    Keep up the good work.

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