The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

Mountain story(Alfred A. Knopf, Canada, 2015)

An adult fiction pick by Jean-Louis

The cover of Canadian writer Lori Lansens’ fourth novel carries these three short phrases: “Five days. Four lost hikers. Three survivors.” The novel is part nail-biting survival story and part gripping family drama. Told as a retrospective, the mountain story takes us on a haphazard adventure onto a mountain outside of Palm Springs, California.

On his eighteenth birthday, Wolf Truly is at a definite low-point in his life and sets out for a familiar mountainside to contemplate his life’s next move. What he has planned is quickly shelved, however, when he meets up with three generations of the Devine family. Nola, Bridget, and Vonn Devine are all on this mountain for their own reasons–though deeper meanings lurk in the background for all of them.

The book is a real page-turner and Lansens has done her homework to make the drama real and grounded in the particulars of this mountain. According to the book jacket, Lansens was a successful screenwriter before she turned to fiction in 2002. Her earlier career shows in her writing as the novel is very cinematic. Enjoy a tightly written story that might bring you to question your own reasons for being!

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