The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

This is one of those works of fiction that sticks with the reader long after the last page. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it. It is at its heart a survival story, but also a story of love and selflessness. Wolf is finally telling the story of everything that happened up on the mountain to his adult son. The book begins with a letter from Wolf to his son Daniel, which explains why he waited so long to tell the story and why it was so important for him to know. And so the story begins. After his best friend is in a tragic accident and his deadbeat father is finally imprisoned, 18 year old Wolf Truly decides to go to the mountain on his birthday to take his own life. Nola Devine goes to the mountain to celebrate her anniversary by spreading her late husband’s ashes on the mountain where they once came together. Nola’s daughter, Bridget, has come along for support, as well as Bridget’s daughter, Vonn, who is in a stage of teenage rebellion. When Wolf first meets the three women, he doesn’t realize they are related. However, once they become stranded on the mountain, Wolf becomes a guide as well as a sort of fourth family member to the Devine women. Wolf knows the mountain well, as he and his friend Byrd spent so much time there before Byrd’s accident. Nola is trying to find a certain spot on the mountain and becomes lost, so Wolf steps in offering to act as a guide, not letting on that he actually had other plans in mind once he left the mountain tram station. Ever the kind-hearted soul despite his upbringing, Wolf cannot resist helping the clueless group of ill prepared women who will surely die if they do not make it off the mountain. Also, it doesn’t bother him too much that Vonn, who is his age, is beautiful and mysterious. After a few unfortunate turns and falls, the foursome find themselves in Devil’s Canyon where a helicopter rescue is not possible due to the thin atmosphere and weather patterns. As the hours turn to days, and the days turn to nights more and more quickly, the situation becomes dire indeed. The three who make it off the mountain alive are forever bound together and changed by their shared experience. It could be said that Wolf saved their lives, but in reality the Devine women saved his first. I couldn’t put this book down, because I really found myself worried for the group, and I had grown to love the characters. It is beautifully written and the ending is bittersweet. Read it. You won’t be sorry.

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