Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Sometimes you run across a novel that just touches your heart and is one that will be savored and revisited time and time again. Charles Martin's The Mountain Between Us is one such novel for me.

Sometimes the urge to get home can be overwhelming, and for Dr. Ben Payne, being stranded in the Salt Lake City airport with a huge snowstorm coming in was not an option he looked forward to. An orthopedic surgeon, he has patients he has to get home to see about.

So, as flights are cancelled and others are lining up looking for hotel rooms, Ben seeks out a charter flight that might get him out of the impending storm. On a whim, he remembers that fellow passenger Ashley Knox is anxious to get home for her wedding, so he invites her to join him on the flight. When tragedy strikes, it would be a decision both of them would soon regret.

In Charles Martin’s riveting novel, “The Mountain Between Us,” two strangers find themselves struggling to survive after their pilot suffers a fatal heart attack and crash lands their plane in the middle of the mountainous Utah wilderness.

Ben suffers broken ribs in the crash, but Ashley sustains major injuries to her leg, rendering her unable to walk and dependent on Ben for her most basic needs. Fortunately, Ben’s medical training allows him to tend to her the best he can with whatever he can salvage from the wreckage. Also an avid mountain climber, he has his gear with him that gives them a few of basics to work with. But after days with no rescue in sight, they soon decide the only way they will be saved is if they save themselves.

As Ben works tirelessly to find a way out as well as find food to sustain them, Ashley begins to realize there is more to this handsome young doctor than meets the eye. She listens as every night he tapes a message to his wife, Rachel, from whom he is separated, and it’s through his loving words that Ashley finds herself questioning her own relationship with her fiancĂ©e and wonders if she is just settling for friendship and companionship instead of love.

As Ben and Ashley face huge obstacles to get back to civilization, they slowly find their emotional and physical struggles drawing them together in a surprising way neither one is prepared for.

Charles Martin offers a beautiful, emotion-filled story of survival and redemption with “The Mountain Between Us.” His descriptions of the frigid cold, the frightening unknown, and the sheer strength both characters exhibit are amazingly realistic. The reader is offered a front-row seat to the breath-taking drama which unfolds, and is allowed to observe the powerful and heart-wrenching story of friendship and love which blossoms on the side of a snowy mountaintop.

This book is from my private collection.

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