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When Stone Wings Fly: A Smoky Mountains Novel

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Uncovering a long-lost family story is the only way to bring her grandmother peace Kieran Lucas's grandmother is slipping into dementia, and, when her memory is gone, Kieran's last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, Granny Mac is being tormented by flashbacks of her mother’s death and the loss of their home. In 1931, Rosie McCauley's Smoky Mounta Uncovering a long-lost family story is the only way to bring her grandmother peace Kieran Lucas's grandmother is slipping into dementia, and, when her memory is gone, Kieran's last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, Granny Mac is being tormented by flashbacks of her mother’s death and the loss of their home. In 1931, Rosie McCauley's Smoky Mountains home is threatened by the Tennessee Great Smokies Park Commission as they create a new national park. But Rosie vows the only way they'll get her land is if they haul her out in a pine box. When a compromise offers her and her disabled sister the opportunity to stay for her lifetime, it seems too good to be true. Ornithologist Benton Fuller arrives to conduct a bird survey for the park and the two form a tenuous bond. But their friendship broadens a rift between her and the other mountain folk who are suspicious of any government connections. Then the discovery of an illegal still in the woods near her cabin leads to a violent clash between sides that could destroy them all. Eighty-five years later, Kieran heads back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers to her great-grandmother's mysterious death and bring peace to Granny Mac before it's too late. Park Historian Zach Jensen may be the key to locating both the answers and a precious family heirloom. But just as in the past, Kieran's needs clash with government regulations. Will Zach block her from recovering what she needs and solving this family mystery?


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Uncovering a long-lost family story is the only way to bring her grandmother peace Kieran Lucas's grandmother is slipping into dementia, and, when her memory is gone, Kieran's last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, Granny Mac is being tormented by flashbacks of her mother’s death and the loss of their home. In 1931, Rosie McCauley's Smoky Mounta Uncovering a long-lost family story is the only way to bring her grandmother peace Kieran Lucas's grandmother is slipping into dementia, and, when her memory is gone, Kieran's last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, Granny Mac is being tormented by flashbacks of her mother’s death and the loss of their home. In 1931, Rosie McCauley's Smoky Mountains home is threatened by the Tennessee Great Smokies Park Commission as they create a new national park. But Rosie vows the only way they'll get her land is if they haul her out in a pine box. When a compromise offers her and her disabled sister the opportunity to stay for her lifetime, it seems too good to be true. Ornithologist Benton Fuller arrives to conduct a bird survey for the park and the two form a tenuous bond. But their friendship broadens a rift between her and the other mountain folk who are suspicious of any government connections. Then the discovery of an illegal still in the woods near her cabin leads to a violent clash between sides that could destroy them all. Eighty-five years later, Kieran heads back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers to her great-grandmother's mysterious death and bring peace to Granny Mac before it's too late. Park Historian Zach Jensen may be the key to locating both the answers and a precious family heirloom. But just as in the past, Kieran's needs clash with government regulations. Will Zach block her from recovering what she needs and solving this family mystery?

30 review for When Stone Wings Fly: A Smoky Mountains Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chautona Havig

    I just left the Smokies. I've been clinging to a branch--one rooted deep into rich, rocky, fertile soil that goes back nearly a century. I didn't want to let go, even as the final leaf fell away. Some books do that to you. They beckon you to go out on a limb with them, and then when you do, you're left clinging to the hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows of the lives within the pages. Karen Barnett didn't just write a compelling and heartwrenching and heartwarming story in When Stone Wings Fly. Sh I just left the Smokies. I've been clinging to a branch--one rooted deep into rich, rocky, fertile soil that goes back nearly a century. I didn't want to let go, even as the final leaf fell away. Some books do that to you. They beckon you to go out on a limb with them, and then when you do, you're left clinging to the hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows of the lives within the pages. Karen Barnett didn't just write a compelling and heartwrenching and heartwarming story in When Stone Wings Fly. She told a history of a people--one we often forget or relegate to stereotype. In Rosie and Granny, Lorna, and even Kieran we see the fierce, determined, beauty-loving, loyal-to-the-end mountain folk of the Smokies. In others, we see the not-so-good sides of those same folks. And that's how it is, isn't it? In every group of people, there are those who give the others a bad name. I think Lorna is the most brilliant of all. In her, we see the misguided idea that the people who lived in those hills back in the early 20th century were somehow "simple" or "feebleminded." But Lorna proved to be... well, more. I can't say more without giving her away. All I can say is that I think she's one of the strongest and most admirable characters in the book, which is just as it should be. The same is true of Kieran, Zach, Benton, and the early park officials. They show that the "G-men" weren't all noble... nor were they all evil. Once again, perception and stereotype both fit and don't in that dichotomy that is life. The spiritual lessons in the book give it life and power. Readers can't help but see God's guiding hand even where it feels like He's abandoned them. And the soul rests lightly on that branch because of it. The best part, however, is how Karen shows that actions always have consequences. Always. But the book is over, and I'm still clinging to that branch. I don't want to let go--don't want to say goodbye. It's time, though. There are other stories to read, and I sure hope another one from Karen Barnett is coming soon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sundin

    Gorgeous storytelling, knit together with Karen Barnett‘s signature love of nature and national parks. When Stone Wings Fly is a touching and heart-wrenching story of family and love and of letting go. Rosie and Kieran and Granny Mac are compelling women trying to make it on their own in difficult circumstances and finding strength to do so. I have loved every single one of Karen Barnett’s books, but this one may be her best yet!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    “These mountains will whisper our stories long after we’re gone.” If you’ve been around me for a minute, you already know that the Smoky Mountains are my happy place. I feel at home there, and my soul is always invigorated by even just a few hours spent in the area. One of my very favorite ways to pass the time on a visit to the Smokies has long been a drive through Cades Cove, but it’s only been in recent years that I learned about the history of the park – about why those cabins and churches st “These mountains will whisper our stories long after we’re gone.” If you’ve been around me for a minute, you already know that the Smoky Mountains are my happy place. I feel at home there, and my soul is always invigorated by even just a few hours spent in the area. One of my very favorite ways to pass the time on a visit to the Smokies has long been a drive through Cades Cove, but it’s only been in recent years that I learned about the history of the park – about why those cabins and churches stand abandoned amid the peaceful beauty of sweeping mountain views, roaming wildlife, leafy trees, and babbling brooks. About the days when generational homes were bought up & residents relocated to pave the way for the Great Smoky Mountains to become a national park. It’s against this backdrop that Karen Barnett paints a beautifully poetic picture of strong women, family secrets, and gentle heroes. Rosie, Kieran and Granny Mac each thoroughly captured my heart, one a historical heroine with courageous wisdom, one a contemporary heroine walking in her wake, braver than she realizes … and one that rests poignantly in the gap between. Ben & Zach are swoonworthy and sweet heroes, both a bit on the quieter side, each one assisting his respective heroine with her spiritual journey in unique ways and being indelibly influenced by her in return. Barnett’s word-weaving lilts perfectly with the cadence of Appalachia, immersing readers in both the historical and contemporary timelines with ease. She also effortlessly connects the two – in ways both familial and metaphorical – and I loved watching all the individual pieces come together, even the painful ones. Because without them, the ending wouldn’t have been nearly as sweet… and isn’t that just like our lives in the hands of our Creator? Bottom Line: I loved Barnett’s historical novels that took us vicariously to Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and Yellowstone National Parks, but my heart & my roots lie in the Smokies so I was ecstatic when I learned about When Stone Wings Fly. It was everything I hoped for – and more. Atmospheric. Touching. Heartwarming. Lyrical. I may have even hugged the book when I was done – yes, it’s one of those reads that wraps you up so completely that even the pages themselves become friends. Do not miss this book! It’s Karen Barnett’s best yet! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first reviewed at Reading Is My SuperPower

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is Karen Barnett at her best! With an adept pen, Ms. Barnett has crafted a beautiful tapestry of words, with prose that brings to life the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The two timelines are skillfully connected, bringing a story of family that will tug at ones' heart. Ms. Barnett's expert research skills provided a voice of authenticity to the history of the founding of the park and the struggle between the Appalachian mountain people and the park officials over the land. I absolutely lov This is Karen Barnett at her best! With an adept pen, Ms. Barnett has crafted a beautiful tapestry of words, with prose that brings to life the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The two timelines are skillfully connected, bringing a story of family that will tug at ones' heart. Ms. Barnett's expert research skills provided a voice of authenticity to the history of the founding of the park and the struggle between the Appalachian mountain people and the park officials over the land. I absolutely loved Rosie, a courageous mountain woman who fought hard for family and the home she loved. Decades later, discovery of her family's story will bring peace to Kieran's Granny Mac. This is an incredible story of strong family roots but is also one of letting go, so that one can fly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen Louise

    When Stone Wings Fly is for the National Park enthusiast and historical Christian romance reader alike. A former park ranger and naturalist, Karen Barnett honors park history while being realistic about how the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park unsettled so many families just like Rosie’s. And in perfect split-time form, Karen Barnett gives you just enough hints in the present to prepare you for the past scenes that will break your heart. When Stone Wings Fly digs deep into When Stone Wings Fly is for the National Park enthusiast and historical Christian romance reader alike. A former park ranger and naturalist, Karen Barnett honors park history while being realistic about how the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park unsettled so many families just like Rosie’s. And in perfect split-time form, Karen Barnett gives you just enough hints in the present to prepare you for the past scenes that will break your heart. When Stone Wings Fly digs deep into family secrets, generational issues, and the conflict between justice and sentiment—not to mention the housing problems facing our country’s unemployed and seniors alike. If you’ve ever had a loved one who struggled with dementia, be aware that this book may evoke more emotions than the typical split-time. But for me, the beautiful word pictures and the tribute to family ties were worth the tears.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "When Stone Wings Fly" is a Christian historical romance, a split-time story set in 1932-42 and in present day. When the Tennessee Great Smokies Park Commission starts to forcefully buy up the land to create a national park, Rosie refuses to leave. Her family's roots are in this land, and her simple-minded sister wouldn't handle moving very well. Even when a kind, handsome bird watcher captures her heart, she refuses to leave--he'll have to leave his prime job as a university professor and join "When Stone Wings Fly" is a Christian historical romance, a split-time story set in 1932-42 and in present day. When the Tennessee Great Smokies Park Commission starts to forcefully buy up the land to create a national park, Rosie refuses to leave. Her family's roots are in this land, and her simple-minded sister wouldn't handle moving very well. Even when a kind, handsome bird watcher captures her heart, she refuses to leave--he'll have to leave his prime job as a university professor and join her on her dirt-poor farm if he wants her. Her refusal to loosen her grip and trust that God could provide a good life outside of her land brings about a series of tragic events leading ultimately to her death. In the present day, Kieran's broken family meant that she spent years in foster care, but she's finally found family: Granny Mac. Mac talks about her mother, Rosie, and a stone bird she had, but her memories are muddled due to dementia and being so young when she left Rosie's land. Kieran hopes to find the old homestead and dig up the bird to help Mac (and herself) reconnect with the past. Park historian Zach kindly spends extra effort helping her uncover the past, but digging up the bird is illegal and he's very by-the-rules. Granny warns Kieran that she also holds on to things too tightly (by following her own way to keep happiness). Will Kieran be able to choose a way that will finally break the string of tragedies in her family? In both timelines, the characters were likable, complex, and reacted in realistic ways. Historical details were woven into the story without slowing the pacing. Suspense came from the lurking danger from a growing feud with a neighbor. Both couples became friends before moving into deeper caring and romance. The Christian element was trusting God enough to let go of the things that provide (sometimes false) security. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable historical. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    Endorsement: “Once again, Karen Barnett paints America’s historical landscape with deft skill and steady hand. Her deep-seated love for the Smoky Mountains etches each page like a poem. Pitch-perfect research and incomparable heart paint every corner of When Stone Wing’s Fly’s brilliantly coloured canvas. Readers get ready: your newest split-time fiction experience rests in the hands of a master.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    When Stone Wings Fly is a dual timeline story set in the Smoky Mountains that will keep you turning pages! I sped through this one within a couple of days. The alternating storylines really help with the pacing and suspense as you start to piece together the story of a family shrouded in the mist of time. Kieran Lucas is a young woman without roots--except for her recently discovered Granny Mac, a sweet older lady with a failing memory. As hazy stories seep out from years in the Smoky Mountains, When Stone Wings Fly is a dual timeline story set in the Smoky Mountains that will keep you turning pages! I sped through this one within a couple of days. The alternating storylines really help with the pacing and suspense as you start to piece together the story of a family shrouded in the mist of time. Kieran Lucas is a young woman without roots--except for her recently discovered Granny Mac, a sweet older lady with a failing memory. As hazy stories seep out from years in the Smoky Mountains, Kieran finds herself eager to track down the names and places that shaped previous generations, hoping that it might bring some peace both to Granny Mac and herself. Along the way, she meets handsome historian Zach Jensen. He has access to the resources she needs, and their friendship shows signs of morphing into something deeper. This novel has a lot to say about generational trauma, the importance of oral storytelling and documentation, and the uneasy relationship between the park service and the mountain residents whose land was swallowed up by the national park. There are points where it's a tough read, but it never ceases being compelling. If you're a fan of books like Christy by Catherine Marshall, you'll probably devour this one! Thanks to Kregel Publications and NetGalley for this digital review copy!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really wish Goodreads had half star options for ratings, this one gets a 3.5 rating, rounded up to 4 for Goodreads. There is a lot to like about this story, the Smoky Mountains as a main setting is wonderful, the cast of characters both in the historical timeline and the present-day timeline are likable and fit the story perfectly. The story is compelling, and I enjoyed it. What brought my rating down a notch, was how some of the story was resolved. I realize the way it was resolved was logica I really wish Goodreads had half star options for ratings, this one gets a 3.5 rating, rounded up to 4 for Goodreads. There is a lot to like about this story, the Smoky Mountains as a main setting is wonderful, the cast of characters both in the historical timeline and the present-day timeline are likable and fit the story perfectly. The story is compelling, and I enjoyed it. What brought my rating down a notch, was how some of the story was resolved. I realize the way it was resolved was logical from a legal standpoint, but it just didn't set well with me. There was also a little too much heartbreak and tragedy in the story as well. All in all, a good story and worth a read, especially if you love a good dual time/family generations story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Joy Wilks

    I have really enjoyed Karen Barnett's national park books in the past and so I picked it up at a writer's conference last month and got my copy signed by the author. I was prepared to enjoy the story, but not for how much this author has grown in their story craft. This story is deeper, more complex, and absolutely spellbinding! I was especially impressed with how the author was able to honor both the story of the founding of the Smokey Mountains National Park and their desire to preserve the la I have really enjoyed Karen Barnett's national park books in the past and so I picked it up at a writer's conference last month and got my copy signed by the author. I was prepared to enjoy the story, but not for how much this author has grown in their story craft. This story is deeper, more complex, and absolutely spellbinding! I was especially impressed with how the author was able to honor both the story of the founding of the Smokey Mountains National Park and their desire to preserve the land for all to enjoy as well as honoring the heartbreaking tale of individual landowners who had their property taken by the government against their wishes. This novel is amazing in how it tells both stories with depth and authenticity. So lovely. It was also a compelling read and I couldn't flip pages fast enough. Well done!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Barnett's tale set in the Great Smoky Mountains flows as smooth as wildwood honey. The two timelines are stitched together like alternating blocks of a quilt passed down through the decades, keeping family connected and rooted. I love a good Appalachian tale and Barnett's hits all the right notes from the familiar dialect to the natural beauty of the mountains. I felt utterly at home. Barnett's tale set in the Great Smoky Mountains flows as smooth as wildwood honey. The two timelines are stitched together like alternating blocks of a quilt passed down through the decades, keeping family connected and rooted. I love a good Appalachian tale and Barnett's hits all the right notes from the familiar dialect to the natural beauty of the mountains. I felt utterly at home.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    I've only read one other of this author's books at this point, which was a historical and was a good read, but not one of my favorites. However, having grown up vacationing at the Smokies several years because it was not a great distance and getting a cabin for our family of 6 was a cheaper way to go, I knew I wanted to read this book when it came out. This one is a dual timeline, which is a favorite style of mine as well - I love reading about how the pasts influences the present. And combining I've only read one other of this author's books at this point, which was a historical and was a good read, but not one of my favorites. However, having grown up vacationing at the Smokies several years because it was not a great distance and getting a cabin for our family of 6 was a cheaper way to go, I knew I wanted to read this book when it came out. This one is a dual timeline, which is a favorite style of mine as well - I love reading about how the pasts influences the present. And combining those 2 elements - the favored way of storytelling along with the familiar setting, along with the author's lovely writing style and vast knowledge of national parks in general, this was a stellar read. I enjoyed learning more about the park's history (I had no idea that there had been people who'd lived in the mountains and were displaced by the park) as well as re-viewing it in modern day. This book tells the story of Rosie McCauley in the past timeline, who lives with her mentally handicapped sister in the cabin that their dad built after her parents' deaths. When the park comes in to buy her land, she struggles with the decisions that come her way. Benton Fuller is an ornithologist in Ithaca, NY, and has come to Tennessee on behalf of the park to survey the bird wildlife. He falls in love with both the land and with Rosie. Their story is one fraught with hardships and love conquering all. In the modern timeline, their descendent Kieran who has recently discovered her grandma Mac seeks to find pieces from her Gran's past in order to help her have more lucid moments as dementia slowly claims what's left of Kieran's family. As Kieran travels to the Smokies to hopefully obtain the stone bird that her grandmother keeps asking for, she comes across Zach, who is both rigid in his rules and kind to her. Both story lines have great love and sorrow, a sweet romance and tensions, and a solid faith thread. This book included mysteries in the past that were solved in the present, along with beautiful character growth and development in both timelines. All in all, this was an excellent read that I would recommend to fans of all genres. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    BOOK REVIEW 🦉 "When Stone Wings Fly" by Karen Barnett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+ I have read and loved all of Karen's books but this one might be her best! This book combines my three favorite things - reading (ha, of course), National Parks and stories of God's love and forgiveness. (Plus one of the characters literally has my dream job - a historian for the National Park Service! 😍) Taking place in the Smoky Mountains - the narrative switches between a mountain family who lived in the Smoky Mountains before it w BOOK REVIEW 🦉 "When Stone Wings Fly" by Karen Barnett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+ I have read and loved all of Karen's books but this one might be her best! This book combines my three favorite things - reading (ha, of course), National Parks and stories of God's love and forgiveness. (Plus one of the characters literally has my dream job - a historian for the National Park Service! 😍) Taking place in the Smoky Mountains - the narrative switches between a mountain family who lived in the Smoky Mountains before it was a park (c. 1930) - where life was hard but God's lessons great - and present day Smoky Mountain National Park where the mountain family's ancestor searches for family, connection and meaning. From an historical standpoint I love that this book tackles the messy history between the US government and the lands they took to be national parks. There's no doubt that these places are beautiful and I'm glad they will be protected for years to come but it's necessary to acknowledge their less than honorable acquirement and the deep importance they held to their original occupants. There's no way to wrap what happened in a pretty bow and this book doesn't try to - which in turn shows honor and respect to those who came before us. I also love that this book doesn't shy away from the messiness of family and life. We all have crooked pasts - whether by way of our family or ourselves or, most likely, both. This book helps show that none of these things define us or determine our meaning. All we need is to loosen our grip on our lives and let God lead us to what He has planned. Such a beautiful story. Definitely a must read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    Barnett has such a way with words. The way she describes the surroundings, emotions, thoughts, and well pretty much everything is just amazing. She pulls you right into the novel. You can see the beauty in the surroundings. It’s like being in a time machine going back and forth between Kieran’s story and Rosie’s. I was enchanted by them both. When Stone Wings Fly is a story of faith, emotion, heartache, persistence, love and family. More than once it is mentioned that sometimes a family is yours Barnett has such a way with words. The way she describes the surroundings, emotions, thoughts, and well pretty much everything is just amazing. She pulls you right into the novel. You can see the beauty in the surroundings. It’s like being in a time machine going back and forth between Kieran’s story and Rosie’s. I was enchanted by them both. When Stone Wings Fly is a story of faith, emotion, heartache, persistence, love and family. More than once it is mentioned that sometimes a family is yours by choice and that is so true. On top of that, Barnett happens to discuss some pretty tough topics, both in the past and in present day. I just say, she did so poetically and tenderly. Lorna’s character…… oh man I don’t want to give away any spoilers but she really touched my heart and surprised me in so many ways. Granny Mac’s living in the past brought tears to my eyes, as did so many parts of the story. So many things to love. The birds. The research. The plot. The characters. The list could go on forever. I’ve been waiting for a book from Barnett and boy she did not disappoint. I just hope there’s another in the pipeline!!! **I purchased a copy of this book for myself.**

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    What am incredible story! I was intrigued by Granny Mac from beginning to end. Her story really made sit on the edge of my seat. This story is full of emotions from each of the characters and you will feel their emotions deeply. I loved every minute of it and spent a delightful afternoon in the Smokies without ever leaving the comfort of my home. This will be my favorite one from this author even though it is a dual time line story. She does such a nice job with it. I didn't want the the novel to What am incredible story! I was intrigued by Granny Mac from beginning to end. Her story really made sit on the edge of my seat. This story is full of emotions from each of the characters and you will feel their emotions deeply. I loved every minute of it and spent a delightful afternoon in the Smokies without ever leaving the comfort of my home. This will be my favorite one from this author even though it is a dual time line story. She does such a nice job with it. I didn't want the the novel to end! When they're so good but at least I can savor the story long after it's over. Well done! 5 stars! My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Becca Rae

    Wow, this story was full of so many twists and turns and emotional rollercoasters that I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself in the end! It was unique, unpredictable, and gripped my heart in ways that kept the pages turning while I ignored all of my other adult responsibilities. There's so much that I'd like to say, but this one is a story that needs to be experienced, and I truly don't want to say anything that could be a spoiler of any kind. I will say that the author's appreciation and r Wow, this story was full of so many twists and turns and emotional rollercoasters that I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself in the end! It was unique, unpredictable, and gripped my heart in ways that kept the pages turning while I ignored all of my other adult responsibilities. There's so much that I'd like to say, but this one is a story that needs to be experienced, and I truly don't want to say anything that could be a spoiler of any kind. I will say that the author's appreciation and respect for not only the national parks but their history, is apparent in the creation and development of this family's tale. Sometimes the beautiful places we have to admire today costed others something we know nothing about in the past. This story, although fictional, aims to share a glimpse of that.  Incredibly well written, emotionally captivating, this is one you won't be able to put down easily. Highly, highly recommend it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine Barth

    I feel like every author is trying split time novels these days and it's not always necessary to the story but this one was very well done. It was a great book. I feel like every author is trying split time novels these days and it's not always necessary to the story but this one was very well done. It was a great book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    What a treat! It was very clear that Karen Barnett is a former park ranger, her exquisite details about the Great Smoky Mountains took me there. It felt as if I were exploring and experiencing things alongside her characters. The split-time aspect was well polished and her characters were so authentic, it was as if visiting with family from the deep south. What an enjoyable novel! If you love family bonds, heartfelt scenes, and stunning scenery, make sure to read this novel. I received the book fro What a treat! It was very clear that Karen Barnett is a former park ranger, her exquisite details about the Great Smoky Mountains took me there. It felt as if I were exploring and experiencing things alongside her characters. The split-time aspect was well polished and her characters were so authentic, it was as if visiting with family from the deep south. What an enjoyable novel! If you love family bonds, heartfelt scenes, and stunning scenery, make sure to read this novel. I received the book from the publisher but was under no obligation to post nor write a review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Amazing story. Characters were superb. The stories from both time tables were so riveting and it's amazing how complex they were, just like real life is. Amazing story. Characters were superb. The stories from both time tables were so riveting and it's amazing how complex they were, just like real life is.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Debby Lee

    I absolutely loved the character of Rosie Mccauley, but she endured too much heartache, in my opinion. McCauley Fuller also endured more than her fair share of heartache. That being said, the book was exceptionally written and showed me a slice of Appalachian lifestyle, dialect, and vocabulary, which I really enjoyed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    In Psalm 119, the writer declares, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (v. 28, NIV). Then he cries out for understanding. In this deeply moving story, the past informs the present, and Karen Barnett, a former park ranger, knits together a story of the Smoky Mountains of Appalachia of long ago and of today. Within the sweet embrace of family hides the grief of abandonment, death and loss, which can only be healed by truth, forgiveness and time. As we pursue underst In Psalm 119, the writer declares, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (v. 28, NIV). Then he cries out for understanding. In this deeply moving story, the past informs the present, and Karen Barnett, a former park ranger, knits together a story of the Smoky Mountains of Appalachia of long ago and of today. Within the sweet embrace of family hides the grief of abandonment, death and loss, which can only be healed by truth, forgiveness and time. As we pursue understanding of her fractured past with Kieran Lucas, a uniting thread is a small carved stone bird, clung to and lost by generations of women in her family, a family she only just recently discovered. As she comes upon a family graveyard, she reacts strongly to the casual indifference of the park ranger guiding her: “Zach’s words echoed somewhere in the depths of her soul, like falling down a deep, dark well. ‘These were people who lived real lives, and they’re just lying out here forgotten? These could be my people!’ A lump formed in her throat. Before she’d found Granny Mac, Kieran had felt much like this. Forgotten. Alone. Unwanted.” This tale will walk you through so many viewpoints—the longings of abandoned children, the heartfelt desires of a naturalist to preserve a land as a National Park, the ties of generations to a difficult land and its long-term enmities, the confusion of a man and a woman slipping into a love neither looked for. Flipping from the 1930s and 1940s to the “present day,” around 2016, the back-and-forth views slowly knit together one story, one family, one heart. This is a beautiful story written by a pensive naturalist who loves God and invites us to experience the cadence of family rhythms of repeated love, loss and restoration in the context of a startling mystery.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Psusan

    I would give When Stone Wings Fly by Karen Barnett many more stars than five if I could. It is just that incredible of a story. In the center is Kieran Lucas's grandmother who is also Rosie McCauley's daughter. Effortlessly the writer takes the reader back and forth to the 1930’s Smoky Mountains then to the present. I found the story to be one that kept me turning the pages reading much further into the night than I had planned. Both times were intriguing with me being as eager as Kieran to unc I would give When Stone Wings Fly by Karen Barnett many more stars than five if I could. It is just that incredible of a story. In the center is Kieran Lucas's grandmother who is also Rosie McCauley's daughter. Effortlessly the writer takes the reader back and forth to the 1930’s Smoky Mountains then to the present. I found the story to be one that kept me turning the pages reading much further into the night than I had planned. Both times were intriguing with me being as eager as Kieran to uncover the truth of what had happened eighty years ago to Granny Mac’s mother. More than a story of the mountain people it is a history being insightful into what them tick. Fierce, stubborn, not all good and not all bad people who found themselves in the middle of change. Tied to the land that they were to lose was much like Kieran Lucas's life as she was losing her grandmother. Being adrift was nothing new to Kieran so heading back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers made sense to me. Perhaps finding those answers would help her as well as Granny Mac. In all God’s hand is seen. Rosie, Lorna, Granny and Kieran are unforgettable women. Karen Barnett paints portraits of these women with her words. Then she beautifully paints the Smoky Mountain landscapes as she writes of the place that I have visit several times but never able to describe as she has. This is the first book I have read by this author but by no means the last. The publisher through Net Galley provided a digital ARC. I have voluntarily decided to read and review, giving my personal opinions and thoughts.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Former Park Ranger and Naturalist, Karen Barnett is back with another historical national park novel similar to her prior books: The Road to Paradise (Mount Rainier); Where the Fire Falls (Yosemite) and Ever Faithful (Yellowstone). But, this time the book is set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the book has a modern timeline as well as the historical one, which I really enjoyed. In the early 1930s, Rosie McCauley is caring for disabled sister while eking out an existence in a remot Former Park Ranger and Naturalist, Karen Barnett is back with another historical national park novel similar to her prior books: The Road to Paradise (Mount Rainier); Where the Fire Falls (Yosemite) and Ever Faithful (Yellowstone). But, this time the book is set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the book has a modern timeline as well as the historical one, which I really enjoyed. In the early 1930s, Rosie McCauley is caring for disabled sister while eking out an existence in a remote part of the Smoky Mountains. The new National Park offers her a lifetime lease and critical cash in exchange for giving up her family home after her death. Shortly thereafter, she meets Benton Fuller, a traveling scientist working in the Park who initially she distrusts but grows to love. In the alternative timeline, Kieran Lucas searches for information about her family history from the ambiguous clues shared by her Granny Mac who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. During a visit to the Park, Kieran befriends park ranger Zach in her quest to put together the fragmented pieces of the story told by Granny Mac and find the old homestead and solve the mystery of what happened to Rosie and her sister before time runs out. It is not necessary to read the other books prior to this one as the books all have different characters, but all books are great and worth checking out. The books have a Christian themes that the reader should be aware of going into them. I would give this book 4 stars for a very compelling read. Thank you Net Galley for the advanced review copy in exchange for a honest review of this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marylin

    I wish I could give this book more than a 5-star!! I’ve found I am starting to enjoy time-slip stories. When I first heard about it, I was really intrigued not only because of the time-slip part but because it touches on a topic that is difficult. The author of this book did a wonderful, tender job of portraying individuals and their struggles with mental health issues. Old age and dementia can cause people to struggle with what is true and what is only in the mind. The book also touches on the I wish I could give this book more than a 5-star!! I’ve found I am starting to enjoy time-slip stories. When I first heard about it, I was really intrigued not only because of the time-slip part but because it touches on a topic that is difficult. The author of this book did a wonderful, tender job of portraying individuals and their struggles with mental health issues. Old age and dementia can cause people to struggle with what is true and what is only in the mind. The book also touches on the desire of finding one’s place in a family or even in life in general. The characters in this story were so rich and colorful. I was taken to a time and place I’ve never been. But now I think it would be fun to go see the Great Smoky Mountains. Each part of this book flowed from one moment to the next. I loved the wisdom of Granny Mac and the determination of Rosie. Each of the characters touched a different part of my soul and I think this story will sit in my heart for a long while. Karen Barnett is a very skilled author and I truly feel she has mastered this time-slip endeavor beautifully. However, I shouldn’t be surprised because each of her other National Parks books has also captured me and taken me to another time and place. I highly recommend you pick this book up and enjoy the beauty of learning about God's lasting love and protection.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Haley Resseguie

    I so enjoyed When Stone Wings Fly by Karen Barnett! I loved learning about how the Smoky Mountain National Park came to be. I am embarrassed that I didn't know since I have lived in East Tennessee at the base of the Smokies my whole life! Kieran just connected with her grandmother, Granny Mac, a couple of years ago and is trying to hang on to the one remaining connection to her past. However Granny Mac's mind isn't always in the present. Kieran is trying to piece together her grandmother's past i I so enjoyed When Stone Wings Fly by Karen Barnett! I loved learning about how the Smoky Mountain National Park came to be. I am embarrassed that I didn't know since I have lived in East Tennessee at the base of the Smokies my whole life! Kieran just connected with her grandmother, Granny Mac, a couple of years ago and is trying to hang on to the one remaining connection to her past. However Granny Mac's mind isn't always in the present. Kieran is trying to piece together her grandmother's past in the Smoky Mountains as much as possible. The Smoky Mountains were turned into a National Park while people were still living in the mountains. Granny Mac's mother Rosie did all that she could to stay on her mountain for as long as possible. Kieran and Zach, a curator for the Smokies, unravel the mystery of Rosie and her kin so that Granny Mac can reclaim a bit of her heritage. I always love reading a book that describe places I know and people I can relate to. Rosie and Benton, Kieran and Zach, and Granny Mac were wonderful characters that burrowed into my heart. I especially loved Rosie. Her fierce loyalty to her family and her home, the way she looked after her sister, her love for Benton, and how God showed her that birds can only fly when they let go of the branch. In the same way, Kieran had to learn to let go and not hold onto things so tightly. I love how Karen Barnett takes two very different women separated by generations and geography and weaves their developing characters together so seamlessly. I highly recommend this book for those who love the mountains, history, and a great story!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    I anticipated reading When Stone Wings Fly, and it did not disappoint. Karen Barnett brings us another wonderful book featuring the National Parks. This time we find Rosie McCauley in the midst of the creation of the Great Smoky Mountain’s National Park, with a threat to lose her land. Benton Fuller, researching for the park system, discovers the place his heart has longed for. Two generations later, Kieran Lucas wants more than anything to bring the grandmother she’s longed for a peace in the m I anticipated reading When Stone Wings Fly, and it did not disappoint. Karen Barnett brings us another wonderful book featuring the National Parks. This time we find Rosie McCauley in the midst of the creation of the Great Smoky Mountain’s National Park, with a threat to lose her land. Benton Fuller, researching for the park system, discovers the place his heart has longed for. Two generations later, Kieran Lucas wants more than anything to bring the grandmother she’s longed for a peace in the midst of dementia. As she searches for that peace, she finds Zach, a kind-hearted man troubled by his past. Barnett set up a heart-wrenching, yet hopeful story in the midst of the beautiful Smokies. Grandma Mac’s story weaves together this beautiful tale of determination and love. Realistic, yet romantic, this story touches the heart in so many ways. If you enjoy split-time, historical, or romance, I think you’ll enjoy When Stone Wings Fly. I purchased a copy, and my opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would in a heartbeat. When Stone Wings Fly is so masterfully and seamlessly knit together as a dual-time novel. I love the aura of mystery surrounding the contemporary plot, as well as the romances in both timelines. Every couple is realistically flawed, yet perfect for each other, and seeing how they work together to face those challenges gives this book a solid foundation. Karen Barnett’s writing is engaging, lively, and authentic to the point I fe If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would in a heartbeat. When Stone Wings Fly is so masterfully and seamlessly knit together as a dual-time novel. I love the aura of mystery surrounding the contemporary plot, as well as the romances in both timelines. Every couple is realistically flawed, yet perfect for each other, and seeing how they work together to face those challenges gives this book a solid foundation. Karen Barnett’s writing is engaging, lively, and authentic to the point I felt like I was right there with the characters. As a fellow knitter and owl lover, I deeply appreciate the metaphors and symbolism. Barnett does not shy away from tough themes or topics, but handles them with overflowing grace and hope. From pitch-perfect first line to satisfying conclusion, When Stone Wings Fly deserves a spot on everyone’s shelf. Easily one of my top reads of 2022!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Milinda Yount

    When Stone Wings Fly is a delightful novel that scratches my itch to see a region and part of history that I don’t know well. I was attracted to this book because of the gorgeous cover and I’m happy to report that the story inside is just as beautiful. The present day and historical storylines are both engaging and the stories of found family are so satisfying. This book made me really want to go to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee. And I also want to check out the other boo When Stone Wings Fly is a delightful novel that scratches my itch to see a region and part of history that I don’t know well. I was attracted to this book because of the gorgeous cover and I’m happy to report that the story inside is just as beautiful. The present day and historical storylines are both engaging and the stories of found family are so satisfying. This book made me really want to go to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee. And I also want to check out the other books with national park settings by this author. I would love to see a follow up story that tells us more about the sister in this book during the years that we missed. Thanks to Kregel Publications and NetGalley for the copy to read and review. This book released in June 2022 and is available now.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Sometimes you come across a book with a story to tell that takes your breath away. This is that book for me. I've read all of Ms. Barnett's book, and this is the best yet! To begin with, the cover is gorgeous!! And it's fitting, because this split-time story is so lyrical that it sometimes left me rereading a passage because it was just so beautiful and heartfelt. The author has woven the two time periods together in perfect fashion. Rosie's and Kieran's stories came together into a wonderful har Sometimes you come across a book with a story to tell that takes your breath away. This is that book for me. I've read all of Ms. Barnett's book, and this is the best yet! To begin with, the cover is gorgeous!! And it's fitting, because this split-time story is so lyrical that it sometimes left me rereading a passage because it was just so beautiful and heartfelt. The author has woven the two time periods together in perfect fashion. Rosie's and Kieran's stories came together into a wonderful harmony. Strong threads through the book are family, faith, and a passion for retrieving the legacies of our ancestors. They do have stories to tell and teach us, even when they aren't exactly "storybook perfect".

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janet McHenry

    I absolutely loved this story about finding identity, discovering family roots, and healing generational wounds. Set in 1930s and contemporary times in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it also follows two sweet romances, with each individual faced with the challenges of sacrifice and trust. This is the fourth novel Barnett has written in a national parks setting--her earlier three, another series. By far this is her best and commands attention for those who like a subtle, lyrical read. I I absolutely loved this story about finding identity, discovering family roots, and healing generational wounds. Set in 1930s and contemporary times in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it also follows two sweet romances, with each individual faced with the challenges of sacrifice and trust. This is the fourth novel Barnett has written in a national parks setting--her earlier three, another series. By far this is her best and commands attention for those who like a subtle, lyrical read. I appreciated how she shifted scenes in such a way that allowed me to fill in the blanks. And each of the viewpoint characters is endearing. This is an award winner, and I can't wait for the next one. I recommend this without reservation.

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