Lori Lansens is one of my favourite authors. Each of her previous three books has been a very different story, but each of them celebrates the fortitude of the human spirit.
Her newest novel, The Mountain Story, continues that concept.
Four people - three of them know each other, the fourth was alone - are stranded on a mountain with no food, no water and no shelter for five days. Three make it down the mountain. And one of the survivors tells the tale....
"A person has to have lived a little to appreciate a survival story. That's what I've always said and I promised that when you were old enough, I'd tell you mine .... What happened up there changed my life, Danny. Hearing the story is going to change yours."
Wolf Truly is our narrator. He brings to life his fractured upbringing..."In those dangerous narrows grew children who knew too much too young, but sadly, always seemed to learn too little too late."
And the story of the mountain. I felt like I was sitting with Danny, reading the letter Wolf has written. Lansens has a way of drawing the reader in, making them feel like they are part of the story as well.
Lansens captures the physicality of Wolf's life and his time on the mountain in both good and bad times. Her descriptions painted vivid pictures in my mind as I read. But, The Mountain Story is more than a story of survival. (Even though we know there are survivors, the question of who dies and the fight to make it through another day does not lessen the tension)
Where Lansens excels for me is in her characters - their lives, their thoughts and their interactions. The Mountain Story is a coming of age story, an exploration of parent and child relationships, friendships, a questioning of a higher power, loss, love and redemption. And always - the strength of the human spirit. Life is a bumpy road. As Wolf says "There will be sway."
Absolutely, positively recommended. Read an excerpt of The Mountain. You can connect with Lori Lansens on Twitter and on Facebook.