On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley, knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight, and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness - one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.
Ben, who has broken ribs and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot's dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive. Fortunately, Ben is a medical professional and avid climber. With little hope for rescue, he must nurse Ashley back to health and figure out how they are going to get off the mountain, where the temperature hovers in the teens.
Meanwhile, Ashley soon realizes that the very private Ben has some serious emotional wounds to heal as well. He explains to Ashley that he is separated from his beloved wife, but in a long standing tradition, he faithfully records messages for her on his voice recorder, reflecting on their love affair. As Ashley eavesdrops on Ben's tender words to his estranged wife she comes to fear that when it comes to her own love story, she's just settling. And what's more: she begins to realize that the man she is really attracted to, the man she may love, is Ben.
©2010 Charles Martin (P)2010 Random House
I usually listen to audio books when I walk and jog, but I couldn't put this away. I loved, loved, loved this story. The blend of humor and tenderness was perfect and I wanted to know these characters, to spend time with them. The narrator's voice was perfect, never distracting, he really enhanced the story. There was no cliffhanger ending, it satisfied, but I wish I could visit these people again... that's a great book for me. I'll definitely listen to more from this author.
**ATTENTION ALL MEN** This book may sound like an adventure story from the description, it is not, it is a mushy love story, this book is a literary chick flick. Now we all know that sometimes we have to let the women in our lives pick the movie, and we sit through a movie we would not have picked in a million years, yes and if we admit it, we even like said movie, but more important, we like to see the partner we are with happy, and if she is touched by the sappy story, then we get caught up in it too - nothing wrong with that. If you are picking a book to listen to with your wife or girlfriend on a long trip or something then this would be a good pick. If you are going to be driving your pick-up to the range, or work and it is going to be you and this book - think long and hard about this pick.
Back to the actual story, it moves at a snails pace, has a number of twists and turns and as much as I would like to say they are surprises mostly they are as predictable as the ending. Nothing much happens in this book you cannot see coming a mile off. The description of conditions and what the couple have to do to get out of their situation is not bad, the author has some familiarity with outdoor pursuits and can write about them with a degree of skill, but since this is mostly a love story not much of the actual book is about that stuff. The ending is drawn out and makes an attempt to be deep, I was just glad it was over and it did not work on me, maybe it will for you.
As far as a recommendation goes, I would refer you to the first paragraph, I would not consider this a top pick by any stretch, if you are looking for a mushy love story with some outdoor survival in the mix - a pretty narrow field - this would be a pick for you. If you are looking for a book about outdoor survival - not recommended.
I enjoyed this book very much in spite of its being classified as Inspirational. Charles Martin is a competent writer and a first rate story teller. Both of which are rare for Inspirational books.
I had to suspend my disbelief a time or two but hey, this is fiction and implausible situations are allowed as long as the story is good. And this story was very good. It kept me listening with my full attention all the way to the very end and there was no way I could have shut if off until I learned how it came out. And it satisfied my urge to read a Romance novel although this was not exactly one. It's more of an adventure that accidentally ends up being a love story.
Characters, characters, characters
This is not a fast moving adventure. It's about character development. Charles Martin creates dialog between characters and within each character which I find remarkable. About half way through the book I'm thinking, "not much is really happening here, yet I can't wait to see what the two main characters will think and feel next." By the end of the book, I knew who they were as people. To me that made the listen fulfilling.
Charles Martin is a good writer but I could have condensed this book by about half. In fact I skipped over probably 2/3 of this book. I enjoyed his other book Chasing Fireflies much more than this. It's hard to stay interested when you basically only have 2 characters in the same setting the entire time. I wanted to like it more but I just couldn't get into it.
From the very 1st line of this book to the last, I was captivated. Pulled in, hooked, engrossed. " Totally exciting and on the edge of your seat" reading. I had read some reviews on this book and had seen it in a couple of my magazines as a "must read". Now I understand why!!! I was so engrossed in this book that I could not put it down.....I had to know what was going to happen next! I am not a fast reader because I have problems with my eyes. But, I read this book in 1 1/2 days!!! For me, that is WAAAY fast. I would read till things were blurry and stop and rest my eyes and then read again. I loved the book so much that I bought the Audible version because this is one I will read/listen to again!!! I cannot imagine going through all these 2 people go through......you think "it can't get any worse" and then,..... there it is, something worse!!! I loved the way he wrote this book and the charactors are so real that you instantly fall in love with them. I laughed and I cried, I got mad and sad, a mark of a great book for me!!! You will not be sorry you got this book. It is a must have for any library, whether book library or audible library. I have it in both places!!! This book is full of intrigue, it's fast paced, and emotional. Imagine you,1 other person and a dog, alone, crashed on the side of a mountain in the wilderness with no one around, injured and hungry, scared and alone, lost in a vast wilderness refuge and and no one even knows you are gone.......No One Knows You ARE Gone........an awesome book of determination, grit and survival. Hope you don't miss this one!!!
Probably not. I seldom read a book twice.
It is Martin at his best. I just wish it was tighter at the end. He ends it three times.
Good inflection with conversational presentation.
I found myself laughing at times.
I would always recommend Martin for a good read.
A Book holds a house of Gold.
This book was a trek into human love, courage, fear, strength, and coping in the face of a bleak landscape of loss and being lost in the middle of nowhere with no one knowing what a heavy cross fate has just dealt two wonderful people... (and a little spunky dog!).
Ben and Ashley met at the airport and when their flights were cancelled, they ended up together on a small private charter jet to avoid spending another day away from home. Ashley was about to be married and had plans with her bridesmaids the next day. Ben was a surgeon with a few operations awaiting him. They were both anxious to be off before the weather completely closed down the airport.
The pilot, Grover, was a seasoned veteran with a very skilled background and plenty of safety gear and extras on-board.
Everything was looking bright and they settled in with light conversation.
The pilot was relaxed and jovial, but when a suspicious cough started up as he was leveling his airplane off over mountains in a remote area, Dr Ben became concerned.
And then the concern became a nightmare when it was clear that the pilot's heart was failing.
He bravely fought to stabilize and land his craft to save them from a fiery crash.
Experienced skill in the throes of his heart attack saves the lives of Ben and Ashley and the little dog, but sadly Grover lies still in what remains of the plane.
It's a very long and arduous trek fraught with many hardships and dangers and I should stop here to avoid any real spoilers!
Suffice it to say, the read is worth the struggle interspersed with moments of joy and humor peppered lightly in the dialogue.
Mostly, it's about the human heart, the will to live, to love, and to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Once a heart breaks…it doesn’t just grow back. It’s not a lizard’s tail. It’s more like a huge stained glass that shattered into a million pieces, and it’s not going back together. Least not the way it was. You can mush it all into one piece, but that doesn’t make it a window. That makes it a pile of broken colored glass. Shattered hearts don’t mend and they don’t heal. They just don’t work that way.” —
Read it and hug those that you love a little tighter and be gentle with your words...
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but if you want to hurt someone...way down deep, use words.”
The not knowing where the author was going and from whence he came.
Realizing why Mr. Martin wrote story.
Will purchase more of this author's works.
This was a great story. I loved it and loved the ending.. I can't believe that I did not see it coming.I would recommend this and any Charles Martin books. The story lines are all creative, the characters are always those you would like to continue to know more about even when the story ends.. I always love the themes of overcoming suffering, the love of father, tragedy, true character, real friendship that crosses cultural barriers, true love that transcends worldliness, selflessness, I could go on and on.. Oh, and suffering loss of a loved one, too.. I started reading when crickets cry just after the death of my 21 yo. sister.. Listening to Charles Martin's books has lifted my spirits and made me want to be a better mother, wife, friend.. made me want to be more true and authentic.. helped remind me of the beauty in the outdoors.. cherishing things you cannot put a price on. I would read this one and any others.. chasing fireflies, when crickets cry, Thunder and Rain, The dead don't dance and Maggie.. Sadly, i think I only have one left to read.. then Ill have to find another author's work to devour!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!
When he spoke into his recorder at the rehearsal dinner.... when they saw the A frame from afar..
Pieces of Me? But I like the current title just fine :)
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