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!!!
I loved the narrator and the story. 4.5. The characters were human and string and the story was page-turning and I couldn't put it down.
We sat on the driveway for the last 20 minutes of this enthralling, emotional story. After a month of drive time listening, we didn't want it to end. Conflicted by two relationships you want Ben to make the right choices. The ending is brilliant. The story gripping. Nothing improbable. Suspenseful. Real life. Real emotions. Real insights. Excellent is too poor an accolade. Charles Martin is an amazing author. Thank you, Charles.
When someone asks me for a book recommendation, I always suggest The Mountain Between Us. I love the story, the development of the characters and interaction between Ben and Ashley, and the unexpected ending. All these add up to a superb novel about what makes us human. And I thought the narrator was excellent.
A book I read years ago called "The Distant Summer" by Sarah Patterson. Another of my all-time favorites.
It makes me cry every time I listen to it -- and I have done so several times.
Read it - or listen to it. You won't regret it.
Amazing story of triumph over extreme hardship and loss. Martin never disappoints! Well-narrated...strong performance. Highly recommend for anyone who enjoys a finely-crafted tale.
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