Tag Archives: dates

The Mountain Between Us: Review

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?

Keeping it Fun

So, I have been married to the most amazing man for 2 years, 3 months, and 13 days. That’s pretty cool. The last two years, both Jeremy and I have worked or attended the same University. This year is the first school year of our marriage where we have obligations that keep us in different places. As ironic as it sounds, I’m loving it. I love coming home and having different stories to share. I love coming home to a big hug. I love remembering why I married this man, and just sitting and having conversations about things we’re learning or did during the day.

Something that’s been on my mind recently is the importance of making him important. I know that should sound really obvious, but when we are living together, sometimes it is easy to take the other for granted. I don’t ever want to do that. And sometimes, I really fail. But, it is my goal to make him feel like he means the world to me, because he does. Sometimes, I’m not very good at stopping and listening, but it is worth it! The joy of our relationship is so much more evident when we take the time to know each other.

Anyway . . . that’s not what this whole post is about. I just thought I’d share an idea with you that we just did. I really had fun, though I will admit, I might have pouted and ranted just a little (that’s one thing he likes about me, right?) Anyways, this weekend I had a meeting on Saturday for about 4 hours at my school, and then a ton of schoolwork to do for my class. So . . . I wanted to make sure that we spent some time together doing something fun. So, this is what we did:

I chose several different wii games that we have, and assigned them point values. I put lines for the winner under each competition. Next, I had Jeremy choose the stakes. We ended up with CSI: NY, Coke, and Chocolate Chip Cookies if he won, and Gilmore Girls, a massage, and ice cream if I won. Let’s just say I just took the last of the cookies out of the oven.

So, throughout the day I would spend time working on my class, then we’d set a time and play for a while. Jeremy had a meeting this afternoon, so I was able to work some more, and then after he came back, we played some more. It did take us several hours, but we split up the work and the play, and it was really fun. I think we might be doing it again sometime, but I just might have to adjust which games we play. 🙂

Well, I hope that this might possibly encourage you to appreciate the person (or people) you share your home with. What a blessing and gift that we don’t have to live life as lonely people! Enjoy your week! Make the most of the time you have with those you love!

My Week in Short Stories

Ahhhhhhhhhh . . . it is 6:40 on Sunday evening, and I feel the weekend is beginning. Just kidding . . . but I did just finish up my weekly coursework for my master’s class, so now I have a few hours for beating my husband at about 6 more games on the wii, making dinner, lesson planning, and a little bit of blogging. 🙂

Anyways, as you already know, I’ve been teaching this week – definitely a learning and growing experience. And I’ve also been learning this week. My master’s classes has some AWESOME topics and discussions, so it’s not that bad, as long as I can stay awake enough to understand what I am reading! So far we’ve been discussion things like culture, and how culture is taught in the classroom, and whether or not new inflectional affixes and function words can develop in a language. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Well, there are a few other things that have been going on this week . . . so I thought I’d update you.

The Poor Bird:

This is really a sad, but kind of chuckly story. The other night, Jeremy and I discovered a bird on our pump-fake balcony (that being when you have a rail and a door that opens that looks like it should be a balcony, but there is no actual balcony.) Well, we went and said hello to the little fellow and then went back to our activities. We had heard several interesting sounds during the night, and in the morning little fellow was still there. Turns out he was stuck because the pump-fake is too narrow for it to take off, and the railing kind of boxed him in. He had spent most of the time walking up and down asking the two other birds in the door and the balcony glass how to get out. We did finally rescue him with our swiffer in the morning. I think he has made a full recovery.

Date Night!

Date night this week was really great. We went to the mall and played arcade games, had a great dinner of iskender, shopped a little, then came home and watched a finale of the Amazing Race. I love my husband. This week was a great week of learning to listen and spend time with him. He is supportive and takes care of me, and I really respect him for that. Oh, and he got me this sweet shatter nail polish. I’ve been wanting to try some . . . isn’t it pretty cool?

DIY:

Someone recently requested more DIY posts. Well, most of my DIY projects are inspired by others, and I don’t have great pictures for this weeks DIYs, so here they are along with links. 🙂 I decided to see what all I could do with a cheap t-shirt. I picked up a t-shirt for about $3.50, and so far I have gotten these three projects out of it.

Here are the links where you can find these as well as my comments:

#1 Scarf/Necklace
So, I’m not totally thrilled with how this turned out for me. It certainly doesn’t look as nice as the one in the picture. But, I was making it up, because there is no tutorial! I just cut 6 about 1/2-1″ strips of t-shirt, glued them together at the end, then braided them for a few inches and then knotted it closed. It’s okay. I need to add a colored flower or some beads or something!

#2 T-Shirt Flower (my favorite!)
I really like this one! If you go to the site, you’ll see that the author used it on a t-shirt scarf (which I also want to make!) However, I put my flower on a little piece of cardboard, and then attached it to a bobby-pin. I’ve been wanting a flower for my hair, so now I have one! I really like it too. The author also uses a button for the center of the flower. Well, I couldn’t find a button, but I had a pearl that had fallen off of a ring recently . . . so, hey it works!

#3 Rosette
Okay, so I don’t like exactly how MINE turned out, but I do really like these! I don’t like mine mostly because the glue shows up too much. But, the tutorial is pretty easy to follow, so head on over and check them out!

What have you been up to this week?