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Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Mountain Between Us

Charles Martin’s newest release, The Mountain Between Us, takes readers on a riveting, emotional journey as they follow the story of two strangers who are united in the fight for survival when their chartered plane crashes.

Both Ashley and Ben are committed professionals trying to get home to their families.  Ashley, a writer from Atlanta, is just days away from her wedding.  Ben, a successful orthopedic surgeon, is anxious to return home to his wife and children in Florida.  When their commercial flight is cancelled due to perilous weather, Ben decides to charter a private plane.  At the last minute, in an attempt to get Ashley home in time for her wedding, Ben makes Ashley an offer she can’t refuse - a seat on his private flight.  Even though the plane isn’t technically large enough for two passengers, they decide to make it work and head out into the treacherous weather. Grover, their grizzled maverick pilot, has years of experience and over 20,000 hours of flight time. He is confident he can beat the storm and plans to fly “low and slow”.  Because of the low flight altitude, Grover is not required to file a flight plan.  Not long into the turbulent flight, Grover has a heart attack and the plane crashes in the High Uintas Wilderness.  

As the passengers come to, Ben, Ashley and Grover’s dog Tank, are the only crash survivors.  With life threatening injuries and deadly freezing temperatures, Ben and Ashley find themselves facing a seemingly hopeless situation with challenges they aren’t sure they can overcome. Using his wilderness survival skills in combination with his medical knowledge, Ben manages to set Ashley’s broken leg and get them through the night, even though he is badly injured himself. As one day overlaps the next, Ben faces the grim task of giving Grover a proper burial, foraging for food and trying to stay warm all while the realization that they may never be rescued settles in.

I found myself reading long after my eyes were tired to see what would happen next.  This story is full of suspense and adventure!  Each time I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author managed to surprise me and keep me turning pages faster and faster!  

This story also builds a deep emotional anticipation as Ben’s longing for his wife and children play out.  He’s a man who has made some mistakes and wishes more than anything he could go back and erase them.  Ashley learns just how deeply Ben loves his wife as she overhears messages which he records into a handheld recorder. His commitment and love for his wife cause Ashley to question her marriage plans.  Is she marrying the right man?  Is she settling because she’s tired of waiting for her soul mate who may not even exist?  

Although I started this book thinking it was going to be predictable, I must say that Martin succeeded in surprising me, which made it well worth reading.

Charles Martin is a gifted writer who commands his reader’s attention from the very first page and then keeps the momentum going as the story builds.  As a fan of Charles Martin’s books, I highly recommend him.   

Those who read and enjoy Nicholas Sparks most assuredly will see many similarities in the writing styles of Sparks and Martin – sometimes eerily similar!   

This book was provided free for review by Broadway / Crown Publishing

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