Excited to see what memories this year brings!! I am so thankful for the man that God has given me. He has truly blessed me more than I deserve. I super glad to be doing life with Jeremy Paul.
Anniversary weekend road trip reading! Jeremy and I like to read books together when we have the chance. That hasn’t happened much in the last two years, because it is a little awkward to read aloud on the minibus or tramvay. (We do however share headphones and listen to comedy radio, and that’s not much better!) Anyway, back to the point of this post.
We were road-tripping for our anniversary trip, and we chose this book together to read while we were away. We have read two other books by Charles Martin together before, and we really loved them, so we decided to check out another of his books. So, without further ado, a synopsis and my thoughts . . .
The Mountain Between Us: A Novel by Charles Martin is the story of two people in the middle of their busy lives, one about to get married, one in the middle of a doctoral career, who are trying to beat a storm in the west to make it back to the east coast without ruining any of their plans (including surgeries and a wedding rehearsal). When all of the flights from Salt Lake City are grounded, they get into a charter plane together hoping to make it to Denver before the storm does. But, they don’t make it to Denver. Instead, they crash land in the middle of uninhabited, vehicle-forbidden wilderness with only the supplies from the land and their small charter plane to help them survive.
Their time in the wilderness forces them through many difficult issues in their lives and asks some very hard questions of each of them. The story follows their race against death to make it somewhere where they can get help. But a month with only each other for company and danger constantly following them forges them into a friendship that few others would understand. Ben is an active doctor from Jacksonville who talks very frequently of his wife, Rachel, but won’t give voice to the problems they’re facing. Ashley is a journalist who is excited about the prospect of marriage, but not necessarily her groom. Both have a lot to wrestle with and the reader is allowed a little peek into their thoughts and turmoil as they make their way through the barren landscape in search of help.
Of course I’m not going to tell you the ending, but I will tell you that it doesn’t end the way you expect it to. 🙂
To be completely honest, I was a little disappointed by this book. Not because it was bad, don’t get me wrong! It was a good story, and Charles Martin is very adept at building and developing characters. That is probably his strongest suit in story-telling, and it is a good one to have! The story was well developed, and the characters are deep. But, I was still disappointed by a two things in particular.
Let me address them point by point. The first thing that I was disappointed with was that while Martin still developed the characters well and had deep problems and emotion woven throughout, I felt that the nature of the book led to difficult conversations. When you have two people trapped together for a month with only each other for conversation things can get worn out quickly. The characters were still well developed, but I was disappointed with the dialogue at times. Perhaps the banter and sarcasm might have been realistic, but as a reader I got tired of the same jokes being made. That was the one literary thing that bothered me about the book.
The other thing that bothered me was not so much literary, it was moral. I do not expect to agree with every author that I read, and I am not so close-minded as to reject everyone that does not agree with me on every point. However, that being said, I had previously really appreciated Martin’s morals and worldview in his books and in this book there were two subjects that were came up in which I was disappointed with the outcome. It is not because I expect Martin to agree with me on these points, but it is because they are highly debated and I have strong convictions on both. These two issues are abortion and lying. I was surprised that with the two topics, Martin does not include much dialogue or discussion about the morality of these issues, but simply makes statements and moves on. I was a little jolted in my mind at the brevity which he allotted these issues. It is not that I necessarily disagree with everything that Martin says in his book regarding these issues, I am just surprised that they were not drawn out anymore than they were.
Those are my two critiques of the book, but overall it was an emotional and gripping story. I keep wanted to say that it is action-packed, but it isn’t really. I mean, they are stuck in the snow for a month! But it is an adventure story, and a story of the heart and journeys that the heart has to make. I would recommend this book, because we really did enjoy it and it does raise issues that are important to think through. But if I were choosing now, I would read it before his other books (namely When Crickets Cry and The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Series #1)).
Let me know if you pick it up! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!! It is sometimes hard to write these reviews because I am tentative to share some of the best parts of the book because I don’t want to give ANYTHING away!!
Have you read any books by Charles Martin? Which was your favorite? If not, what are you waiting for?
Rock cliffs rising up. Bright sun shining down. Incredible green encasing us. A fantasy world. A world where the only traveling companions are lazy old cows, elderly flies, and scared frogs. Where the dirt paths wind up and down, and up and down. Where the midday call to prayer rings out loud and clear across the valley between the mountain peaks. Where a wrong turn leads you to a comical collection of old people hanging out their windows and relaxing on the deck, no doubt drinking tea and talking about the good old days. Old people with lisps and exaggerated speech, with excitement in their eyes that someone so foreign could get lost on their road. A world with no noises to interrupt the thoughts, and the midday sweat of hard work running down your face.
Are you imagining yet? Keep walking, it’s a long hike, but it’s so close, and way more than worth it! The ground finally levels out, but is still just crawling with green vegetation. Follow the sound of the water, there it is. The old bridge. The bridge that was made of trees that must have lived before Turkey itself was a country! It’s obvious by the swaying and mangled way the boards lie that others have used this multiple times, but that thought does not entirely put you at ease as you look down at the happily churning blue-green water below and feel the wind carry you left and right in a tremulous rhythm above the rocks. Step by step, don’t hold onto the rails too tightly, because a heavy bird might be the end of them, much less your adrenaline filled, tired, and sweaty hands. Cross carefully! It’d be a shame to end here, you haven’t yet met the frogs or touched the cool swirling water. Once you’ve made it, approach the water. Sink your toes into the muck as it gobbles up your feet and argues with you about giving them back. Watch the frogs dive in to sound the alarm that invaders have arrived. The pool is no longer in solitude!
The water is cold, breath-taking, but refreshing after the long walk, and the hot sun. Get in, feel the rush of the current pulling you. Be careful not to twist your ankle in the bigger rocks. Look around. See the mountains towering high all around you, the beauty of the color of the water rushing past you, the lush green filling up all of the space that is not rock, water, or sky. Notice that there is not the sight, nor sound, of another human anywhere. This pool is yours for these few short hours, and you do not have to share with anyone.
Rejoice in the beauty of the Creator, and joy of love together. Relish the adventure of life. This was Monday afternoon in our Black Sea trip this last week. What an amazing memory . . . I am so thankful!
Let me know a favorite getaway or a favorite anniversary memory in the comments below! Hope you enjoyed a little snippet of our time away!
I’m celebrating three amazing years being married to my best friend!! I am so thankful for the time that God has already given us, and also for the many years and adventures that are to come. I’m still very much in love with this man that has given me his name and then traveled the world with me in pursuit of a better relationship with each other, with God, and in looking for more opportunities to reflect God’s glory in this world. What more could I want? So, in honor of Jeremy, today I’d like to write ten things that I am thankful for that God has blessed me with in Jeremy. 🙂
1. He is so patient with me.
2. He likes to read – and we like to read together and discuss what we’re reading.
3. He listens to me . . . all the time. 🙂
4. He loves God.
5. He likes to do exciting things.
6. He’s laid back and balances my frazzledness really well.
7. He’s intelligent, and he enjoys watching and listening to intellectual things. (I am really thankful for that!)
8. He is sooooo good with other people – talking, listening, helping, encouraging.
9. He praises me and thanks me and generally makes me feel good.
10. He’s committed . . . for life.
Three years ago today was one of the most fun days of my life! Breakfast with my love, getting lost, finding our way, getting ready for the wedding, smiling at everything, riding to the site with my daddy, waiting anxiously in the back room and spying on Jeremy out the window, walking down the aisle and seeing him smile at me, holding his hands and promising my life to him, praying to seal the day, enjoying the time with so many friends and family, and heading out from the wedding to start this adventure of marriage together. It was amazing. I’m so thankful!
Since this is my reading post, I thought that today I would just recommend my favorite marriage book that we have read so far. We have not read scores of them, but a couple. My favorite so far has definitely been When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage. Go check it out, and let me know what you thought if you’ve already read it!