|The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens|
Wow. That's the first thing I want to say about this story! I just finished reading it and I'm a ball of emotions right now. But before we go any further, I should probably tell you what The Mountain Story is about.
On his eighteenth birthday, Wolf Truly made his way to the top of a mountain with every intention of jumping to his death. But when he encounters the three Devine women wandering off-trail, he feel like he has to help them. After a series of events, the four become lost on the mountain with no way down. What follows is an epic tale of survival and love.
The Mountain Story is told from Wolf's perspective; he is now a grown man, relaying the story to his college-age son, whom he feels is now ready to know what happened those fateful five days.
This story shows you how fates become entangled when you're lost in the wilderness. I've heard that when you're with someone (or in this case, someones) in the wilderness (Bear Grylls shows, anyone?), you quickly develop a deep sense of intimacy because your survival is tied to the people you're with. That's very much what happens to Wolf and the Devines - during their many trying times, they draw strength from each other and form a lasting bond.
The characters are wonderfully written and I came to really care for each of them, flaws and all. I found myself rooting for all of them, even though I knew it wouldn't end well for one person.
The way Lori Lansens describes the wonder of the Mountain (and I capitalize it because the Mountain is very much a character in the novel), the imagery of the expanse of wilderness surrounding the characters, is wonderful. She captures how simultaneously dangerous and beautiful nature is. The Mountain could easily have been their undoing but instead, each of the characters becomes stronger.
It sounds strange, but this book has made me want to climb a mountain. I hope it's obvious that I don't want to go through what Wolf and the Devines experienced, but the way Lansens describes not only the view, but the emotional and spiritual aspect of being at the top of a mountain...it's made me want to feel that wonder and awe as well.
The ending wrapped things up beautifully. I love how every hint that was dropped throughout the story tied up; it's easily one of my favourite endings that I've read in the past year. It's bittersweet, but you really get the sense that the outcome of their time on the Mountain has made Wolf and the Devines appreciate the beauty and potential in their lives.
If you find nature and survival stories interesting, or if you like to read about human reactions and interactions in the face of danger, this novel will blow you away.
The Mountain Story is now available in hardcover (see Chapters/Indigo) and as an eBook (see Kobo).
*This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.