In the worst of times, good intentions go awry. One mistake can ruin a life. One mistake can transform it.
A government forestry camp set deep in the mountainous forests of the Pacific Northwest might not seem the likely place to find redemption, but in 1935, Park Hardesty hopes for just that. Blaming himself for the fiery accident that caused his brother's disfigurement and the death of the bootlegging woman he loved, planting trees, building bridges, and mentoring tough, homesick New Jersey boys brings him both penitence and the renewal of his own self-worth. When he wins the love of Kate Alford, a local naturalist who envisions joining the Forest Service - which allows only men - he also captures the ire of a camp officer who refuses to let her go. Just when he is ready to seek his brother's forgiveness, he is falsely accused of rape. Every aspect of his life he has tried to rebuild is put in jeopardy.
In the end, the only way he can defend himself is to tell the truth about his brother, but he risks being kicked out of the camp. Worse, he could lose Kate's love forever.
©2011 Janet Oakley (P)2014 Janet Oakley
Authentic Historical Fiction
Tree Soldier was a pleasure to listen to. I loved Jim's accent for the Jersey Squad - having grown up out east myself. It was easy to get lost in the story, to feel surrounded by sweeping landscapes, or hang on the hope of characters who came to life and rang true. My only critique is that Janet sometimes tells what's about to happen before it actually does, removing some of the suspense. That being said, I still give this story a strong recommendation. Listeners won't be disappointed!
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