*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: The Mountain Story
Author: Lori Lansens
Publisher: Knopf Canda
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Five days. Four hikers. Three survivors. From Lori Lansens, author of the national bestsellers Rush Home Road, The Girls and The Wife’s Tale comes a gripping tale of adventure, sacrifice and survival in the unforgiving wilderness of a legendary mountain.
On his 18th birthday, Wolf Truly takes the tramway to the top of the mountain that looms over Palm Springs, intending to jump to his death. Instead he encounters strangers wandering in the mountain wilderness, three women who will change the course of his life. Through a series of missteps he and the women wind up stranded, in view of the city below, but without a way down. They endure five days in freezing temperatures without food or water or shelter, and somehow find the courage to carry on.
Wolf, now a grown man, has never told his son, or anyone, what happened on the mountain during those five days, but he can’t put it off any longer. And in telling the story to his only child, Daniel, he at last explores the nature of the ties that bind and the sacrifices people will make for love. The mountain still has a hold on Wolf, composed of equal parts beauty and terror.
It’s been a while since I’ve read any sort of adventure thriller type story, but this was a great story to reintroduce me to the genre. Lori Lansens has a writing style that sucks you in and puts you right on the mountain with the characters. Her story is full of twists and turns; of heart stopping moments; and of incredible feats of survival. The characters discover unknown wells of strength within themselves. The mountain brings out the best and the worst of each of them, but although it nearly drives them apart, it ultimately brings the group closer than they could have ever imagined.
Wolf has been through so much. He’s a character of incredible mental and emotional strength. He’s a survivor through and through. It’s his experiences, in life and on his many excursions to the mountain that make him a likely leader and guide. But his lack of experience as a person–only just eighteen years old–is thickly perceptible in his outlook on life, his decisions, and his reactions. The Mountain Story is a coming-of-age story for Wolf. He becomes a man on that mountain, discovering more about himself, and about the other people in in life, than he ever thought possible.
You’ll have your heart in your throat reading this one. Lori Lansens writes quite an intense tale. It’s incredibly moving and exposes the truth of humanity: who are we at our best and our absolute worst. How much can the human mind and body really suffer? What does it take to survive. The Mountain Story explores themes of life, death, suicide, loss, anger, poverty, and growing up. Lansens explores memory as well. Our memories haunt us, but they can also inspire us. Wolf is swamped with memories of his past and how they lead to the very moment of this story. As he explores his memory deeper and deeper, he comes to understand himself more and begins to grow.
Overall, a really excellent story. I hope you’ll give Lansens’ new story a try.