Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Mountain Between Us

If you read my devotion, you might assume that any review I write of a Charles Martin book is going to be glowing. That I’m not capable of giving you an unbiased review because I know the author personally. And think he’s pretty great. You may be right; maybe my review should be taken with a half shaker of salt. But read on and decide for yourself - I think I’m pretty fair with this one.

First thing I have to say is: Read this novel TO THE END. Seriously, you have to finish this one or you will have missed the whole thing. Just trust me on this and finish it. All the way. Don’t judge it until you’ve read to the last page.

Second, DRESS WARM when you read it. Here is where I’m totally honest about my good friend’s new novel. I didn’t want to read it until the end. Several times I wanted to put it down, take a hot shower, and never pick it up again.

You see, Charles’ previous novels were set in the south. In fact, he’s known as a talented southern fiction writer, which he is. Charles can paint a southern setting like Renoir paints a dancer. I’ve always felt that the locations in Charles’ novels function like an additional character. You feel them, and they come to life. You get to know their intricacies. Because you’ve read it, you’ve been there.

This novel is no different in that sense. Only Charles set the majority of this story in Utah. Snow-capped Utah. Here’s what he said was the impetus for that, and the plot of  The Mountain.

       Survival Stories from Author Charles Martin on Vimeo.
(BTW, Rick was not the guy with Charles on that NC mountain)

I’m a southern girl, and a cold weather wimp. I do not like feeling cold, and I get cold easy. Rick says in the winter I regularly take his breath away in bed – with my icy feet. Several of my girlfriends also reported this novel making them feel chilly. So climb in a Snuggie, settle in by the fire, and sip a cup of hot cocoa when you read The Mountain Between Us.

Another thing you should know is I’m also a medical wimp. I spent one day after graduation as a dentist’s assistant. One day, y’all.  By the 6th tooth extraction I was on the floor with my head between my knees. I cannot handle needles, broken bones, cuts that need stitching, or even cuts that don’t. I would rather clean every toilet in every bathroom in my neighborhood for a month than watch or hear about medical stuff like that. And one of Charles’ characters gets badly injured - twice. In the snow-capped Utah mountains. (Speaking of bathrooms, they don’t have those in these mountains – can you imagine?!)  Now you understand why I wanted to stop reading.

But I’m so glad I didn’t. Because the ending is touching and unexpected. And worth the forty cups of cocoa I drank.

Rick read the novel in the week he was serving as summer camp counselor to a group of six year-old boys in a cabin with no air-conditioning. In the sweltering North Carolina sun. So he loved the snow-capped mountains. Rick said he also enjoyed reading the main character’s systematic approach to dealing with the crash, the cold and the wounds. Well, he would.

And that’s why I think this novel is perfect for you and your husband both to read. Even if he is a non-believer. Even if he doesn’t tend to read novels. When was the last time you two read the same book and could talk about it over breakfast, or on a date night? I’m betting he will love the adventure/survival story, and you will love the love story. This novel has both running through out.

And I can guarantee you that every married woman on the planet in her right mind would wish for her husband to read pages 231-232. In fact, I think every mother would want her young adult son to read it too. That part will preach, as we say here in the south. Powerful truth there about purity, integrity and faithfulness. This story, as all of Charles’ tend to, subconsciously teaches our hearts about love.

                Themes from Author Charles Martin on Vimeo.

Charles is known for love stories. And female book clubs everywhere adore him! This novel, however, I felt was more of a man’s novel than a woman’s novel if there is such a thing. But that is precisely its strength in my eyes. If Rick hadn’t already read it, I’d be buying him a copy for Christmas and wrapping it up along with a voice recorder gadget.  I’ve already passed my extra copy on to my brother-in-law.

Don’t be thinking you won’t enjoy this novel too because I said your man probably will. Spend some evenings or a weekend finishing this book and I’m willing to bet you won’t soon forget The Mountain Between Us – its setting, its characters or its love story. And that’s my honest review. You can check out 54 other reviews of The Mountain on – from men & women, from believers and some who may not be - they’re all pretty much glowing.

Now pop over to She Reads for more info plus chances to win two copies – and a cashmere scarf to keep you warm while reading, plus several copies of Charles Martin’s other novels!


  1. Sounds like a good winter read to me! I'm already getting settled in my cozy chair with a cup of homemade hot chocolate and a blanket ready to escape in a wonderful book. Can't wait!

  2. Dear Rachel,
    I'm going to write you a humdinger of an experience I had on Facebook. I loved The Mountain Between Us. I read it and shared it with my husband.
    On She Reads, I wanted to add a comment to get in on the book give away draw but it kept coming up as an error. Will try again.

  3. I read "Where the River End" months ago randomly purchasing it at a book store and what a story! I will definitely read "The Mountain Between Us" and all his other stories as he is a fantastic writer.

  4. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing about it. Also, I enjoyed your devotion on the P31 Ministries blog.

  5. Rachel! Funny that you would bring Charles up. I grew up going to summer camp with one of his sisters and she introduced me to his books earlier this year. I have since read just about all of them including The Mountain Between Us. I find Charles to be an extremely moving author with a definite way of drawing me in to his books. I hope that more people discover his books due to what you said. :-)

  6. Aw, such a beautiful post! I'll have to check this book out. THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US sounds like a fantastic read.

    I gave my hubby an Iron Man watch and he really loves it.

    Blessings, Nancy J Locke

  7. I love fiction, I like the escape in it. I read too many "self-help" books. You haven't led me astray, so I will definitely be checking this book out :)

  8. I am looking forward to reading this book as our Book Club pick it for January. Then to see he actually lives here in Jax was cool.


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