Five days. Four hikers. Three survivors. From Lori Lansens, author of the national bestsellers Rush Home Road, The Girls and The Wife's Tale comes a gripping tale of adventure, sacrifice and survival in the unforgiving wilderness of a legendary mountain.
On his 18th birthday, Wolf Truly takes the tramway to the top of the mountain that looms over Palm Springs, intending to jump to his death. Instead he encounters strangers wandering in the mountain wilderness, three women who will change the course of his life. Through a series of missteps he and the women wind up stranded, in view of the city below, but without a way down. They endure five days in freezing temperatures without food or water or shelter, and somehow find the courage to carry on.
Wolf, now a grown man, has never told his son, or anyone, what happened on the mountain during those five days, but he can't put it off any longer. And in telling the story to his only child, Daniel, he at last explores the nature of the ties that bind and the sacrifices people will make for love. The mountain still has a hold on Wolf, composed of equal parts beauty and terror.
About the author
LORI LANSENS was a successful screenwriter before writing her first novel, Rush Home Road, which was translated into twelve languages and published in fifteen countries. Her follow-up novel, The Girls, was an international success and was a Richard & Judy book-club pick in the UK, selling 300,000 copies. Her next book was The Wife’s Tale, which became a national bestseller, as did her fourth novel, The Mountain Story, described in the Globe and Mail as a “feat of storytelling” of “almost devastating emotional force.” Continuing the remarkable trend, her fifth novel, This Little Light, also became a national bestseller. Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, Lansens now lives in California.
“The Mountain Story is equal parts poignant drama and palm-sweaty suspense; Lori Lansens has delivered a page-turner.”
—Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Fall on Your Knees and Adult Onset
“An expertly crafted novel about how ordinary lives can be changed by an extraordinary mountain. If climbing speaks to how we can find truth and beauty in hardship, Lansens shows that it is also a way to see inside our souls. I loved this novel.”
—Claire Cameron, author of The Bear
“Lori Lansens writes with extravagant heart and vitality. In this vertigo-inducing book, she wrenches us into an adventure that pits spectacular danger in the present against the ever-present danger of the past.”
—Marina Endicott, author of Good to a Fault and The Little Shadows
“It’s an incredible feat to write a harrowing, heart-stopping, brilliantly plotted survival novel. But also to make it moving, meditative, and sometimes even funny? Lori Lansens has done these things and much, much more with The Mountain Story. She is a master of this kind of literary balancing act, that rare writer who can create a great page-turner while effortlessly gracing it with stunning sentences and unforgettable characters. Wolf, Vonn, Bridget and Nola: you are with them on that mountain. And even while you know this book is going to break your heart, it blankets you with unbelievable hope. It’s crazy good.”
—Lisa Gabriele, author of Tempting Faith DiNapoli and The Almost Archer Sisters
“Lori Lansens’ gripping new novel, The Mountain Story, combines the best elements of survival adventure, family drama and coming-of-age narrative. What captured my heart was Wolf’s deep respect for nature: his own, those of the women he tries to protect, and that of the flora, fauna and climate on the mountain. The novel shows us how we can be better in the face of incommensurable grief.”
—Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things
“With The Mountain Story Lori Lansens gives us a riveting novel of heartbreak, heroism and redemption. Lansens writes with breathtaking compassion and insight, creating characters as captivating and unpredictable as the rugged mountain that holds them hostage. Rich, suspenseful and relentless, this book delivers equal measures of high drama and humanity that will keep readers spellbound until the last word.”
—Carol Shaben, author of Into the Abyss
“Like a luge ride—you hop on with three generations of women and don’t breathe until you arrive at the end. A carefully plotted, smart and funny novel about hanging on for dear life.”
—Katherine Govier, author of The Ghost Brush