Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

This is not the type of book I usually read but it got good reviews so I thought I would give it a try.  I'm not sorry I did - though it's hardly deep and meaningful, it was a good, suspenseful story with quirky but likeable characters.  And it was well written.

The tagline for the book is Five days.  Four lost hikers. Three survivors.  And that really is what it is all about - and I was unable to definitively guess who would not survive until it actually happened.  The book is written in the form of a letter from Wolf to his college aged son, telling him the story of what happened those five days in the mountain when he was 18 years old.  So I was pretty sure Wolf survived - though at times I did even wonder whether the book would take an unexpected turn that this was a dream or something and it was Wolf who didn't survive.

Wolf is an 18 year old misfit - his mother died when he was young (we learn the tragic circumstances well into the book); his father is in prison for killing two people while driving drunk (this part is revealed early on); he lives in a trailer park with his father's sister and various of her children and grandchildren; and his best/only friend has been in an accident (again we only learn the details later in the book).  So Wolf ascends the cable car in a mountain outside Palm Springs to kill himself.  Instead, he meets up with Nola, Bridget and Vonn Devine (grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter).  Bridget panics when attacked by a swarm of bees and runs off - the others at her heels.  And they all fall down and cliff and get lost.  Most of the book details how they survive (or not in one case that I will not reveal) the five days lost on a desert mountain.

But, there are flashbacks into Wolf's life which are also very interesting.  We learn less about the past of the Devines though we do get some colour about them too.

In all this was an easy and entertaining read - somewhat disturbing at times but a good suspense story with some character development thrown in for good measure.

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