The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

22856128“The most successful people in the most impossible situations are the ones who are sure they’re gonna get out of it, and they go on thinking that, even if they die trying.”

Another survival story to love, if you are a fan of survival stories, like I am. Another Lori Lansens novel to love, if you are a fan of Rush Home Road, like I am.

The Mountain Story starts, and ends, with a letter from Wolf to his son. In the letter, Wolf tells his son the full story of what happened on the mountain when he was 18. He had gone up the mountain to die, but, instead got lost with 3 women. Fighting for his survival, and theirs, gave him a reason to live.

The best thing about this book is that, from the very beginning, we know that there are 4 lost hikers and only 3 survivors. Even though this seems like a spoiler, it actually helps heighten the suspense. The whole time I was reading about them lost on the mountain, I was on the edge of my seat, anticipating the death of one of the hikers; imagining it coming around every corner; wondering if was going to be now. But, in the end, what happened was something that I didn’t see coming. There are a few twists in this story, some I saw coming, and some I did not.

When you’re lost in the wilderness, minutes pass like hours and days like years, or in a split second your whole world could be spun on its axis.

Sure you think about regrets, but it’s not regret for the things you’ve done that occupy you, as much as it is a longing for the things you’ll never have the chance to do.

22609342The Mountain Story is just, plain and simple, a good story. Is everything that happens believable? I don’t know; I’ve never been in that situation, but nothing struck me as unbelievable.

It is not just a story about getting lost on the mountain. It is also the story of how Wolf came to be there in the first place; Wolf’s past, his relationship with his father, and the loss of his friend Byrd.  As Ann-Marie MacDonald says on the cover of the book, it is “equal parts poignant drama and palm-sweaty suspense“.

A few might say that the end is corny, but I liked it that way. After everything they went through on the mountain, I say, ‘Let there be corn!’. And, like a true cornball, I cried.

Visit Lori Lansens’s site to check out all of her books (I highly recommend Rush Home Road), bio, and blog. This blog post talks about her own experience with mountain climbing.

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


26 thoughts on “The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

  1. whatmeread says:

    I was looking for your review of the other Lansens book but didn’t find it. I guess you read it before you started your blog. This one doesn’t sound much like me, but I’ll check into the other one.

    • Naomi says:

      Yes, I read it not long before I started my blog. There are some books I would like to re-read just so that I could include them on my blog. It feels incomplete without them. Maybe that will be my next challenge!
      This book was more fun, because of the suspense, but I think Rush Home Road is a better book, and I would be more likely to recommend it. I also think you’re right about it being a better book for you.

  2. ebookclassics says:

    Ooh, I like the sounds of this book. I’m totally okay with corn. Is this a newly published book? It sounds like it could make a good movie.

    • Naomi says:

      Yes, it’s new! I never think to write that in my reviews. I like it when other people provide the publishing date, but then I never do it. Maybe I will start…

      I think it would make a great movie, and I also think that you would like it (especially if you are okay with corn). 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      Good! I’m glad to hear I am not the only one okay with a little corn these days. 🙂

      I’m a sucker for anything to do with survival. I don’t know why. Maybe I am preparing for the worst. By the time anything happens to me, I will have covered all disaster possibilities. Or maybe I am just fascinated by how people react in a crisis.

  3. Cecilia says:

    This sounds like a great story! As someone who doesn’t enjoy survival stories that much (too frightening to contemplate), it’s interesting to read about what draws you to them. (Somehow I did sit through and love the entire Lost series, but maybe because it was all so fantastical…)

    • Naomi says:

      It’s funny – what you don’t like about survival stories, is what I like about them. I like to read about the unimaginable; the situations I hope never to be in (but maybe if I am, I will know what to do, or at least what not to do). 🙂

      • Cecilia says:

        Which is very smart! My husband was reading a big thick book of survival tactics for every imaginable situation (if you were bit by a snake, lost at sea, etc.) and the book just made me nervous, ha ha. (I need to get over this though.)

      • Naomi says:

        That sounds like a book my husband would love! (I assume it’s non-fiction.) You’ve given me a great idea for his next book!

  4. Buried In Print says:

    Rush Home Road is still on my shelf but I’ve been seriously tempted a couple of times this year. I tend to find that I don’t feel terribly attached to her characters/narrators (I’ve read The WIfe’s Tale and The Girls) but somewhere around the 2/3 or 3/4 mark, an investment creeps up on me and I realize that my emotions have been pulled in far more than I recognized. I’ll have to nudge RRH towards the top of the stacks: thanks.

    • Naomi says:

      I loved Rush Home Road. I think it’s her best book (although, I have to admit I haven’t read The Wife’s Tale). I tried reading The Girls after reading RHR, but I didn’t even finish it – that’s how much better I think RHR is. I’d love to hear what you think about it, especially since you have read her other two already!

  5. Karen @ One More Page... says:

    I loved this story, and like you, I didn’t mind the ending at all! Sure, it was a little corny, but I didn’t have a problem with that. I was shocked when we found out who the casualty was. I can’t think of a better resolution (as weird as that sounds).

  6. The Cue Card says:

    Yes Yes. I must get & read this one pronto. I know all about the Tram in Palm Springs. As a kid I was frightened to death of going on it (terrible with heights!) but once I finally got to the top — we had a very fun day of sledding up there which they used to offer — but no longer do. It’s quite an amazing mountain.

    • Naomi says:

      I have never gone up a mountain on a tram before – I wonder what I would think of it. Heights don’t bother me, but being squished in with other people might. I would love being at the top, though!

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