Saturday, September 10, 2011
Book Review: The Mountain Between Us
The Mountain Between Us
by Charles Martin
* * * * */ 5
Warm Love Letters and icy wilderness
At the outset, reading the back cover blurb, you would wonder how engaging can a book about 2 stranded people be? Well it's no Robinson Crusoe. The stranded people are 2 good characters, successful male doctor and successful female journalist. On a chartered plane outracing a storm, the doctor - Ben is looking forward to going home and the journalist - Ashley is going to her wedding. But the plane crashes. A brave pilot managed to land them as safely as possible, but on a snowy mountain in a vast stretch of wilderness.
It's not this adventure of survival that is the selling point of this book. So if you are looking for Crusoe and his man Friday then you may not enjoy the novel in its entirety. These two primary protagonists have a choice - lay down and die or fight for a chance to survive. They both are injured but they keep their spirits up. And the pilot's dog who also survived the crash keeps them good company.
There is a good deal of the novel describing their painful efforts to survive in icy wilderness far from any civilization, but that's the less interesting part. What keeps you engaged and entertained is these 2 lives exchanging their history and reciting their intriguing memories.
Dr. Ben has a recorder he uses for medical transcription. Many stranded nights he records messages in it for his estranged wife. These messages read like beautiful love letters. You almost look forward to 'hearing' more of these messages and unfold the brave yet loving and caring character of Dr. Ben. Ashley brings her own background, awaiting her first wedding, anxious and yet hopeful of the concept of everlasting love.
The author Charles Martin must be a die-hard romantic because this is a love story with a bunch of romantics. The pilot had a long lasting love for his old lady. Dr. Ben reminisces his separated wife's young love since school till present. Ashley looks forward to being in eternal love.
Read this not as an adventure novel but as a romance novel and you will be more than satisfied with it. For a moment in the climax I thought it would be a sad ending, but there is a nice twist to the tale and a very surprising and satisfying happy ending.