Being inspired to act can take many forms. For some, it's taking a weekend to volunteer, but for Shannon Galpin, it meant leaving her career, selling her house, launching a nonprofit, and committing her life to advancing education and opportunity for women and girls. Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children. In her lyrical and honest memoir, Galpin describes her first forays into fundraising, her deep desire to help women and girls halfway across the world, and her love for adventure and sports.
During her numerous trips to Afghanistan, Shannon reaches out to politicians and journalists, as well as everyday Afghans, to cross a cultural divide and find common ground. She narrates harrowing encounters, exhilarating bike rides, humorous episodes, and the heartbreak inherent in a country that is still recovering from decades of war and occupation.
Clearly the author has a very nice mission she is attempting to share with the readers and is doing wonderful job in Afghanistan with her advocacy. I could have done without the two chapters focused on the details of her sisters rape and her rape. It was too much and took away from the rest of the book rather than adding value. I understand including the fact it occurred to illustrate her reasons for starting this mission, but a whole chapter dedicated to the explicit details may have been helpful for her to purge it from her essence, but it added nothing to the book.
What made the experience of listening to Mountain to Mountain the most enjoyable?
I am fascinated by the stories of women in countries like Afghanistan that require them as mothers and wive sbut who want them to be hidden away. Shannon Galpin's Mountain to Mountain is a wonderful biography about one woman's organization, team, and self-discovery against the backdrop of Afghanistan.
What other book might you compare Mountain to Mountain to and why?
The Underground Girls of Kabul, in the Land of Invisible Women. There are several parallels between these books, and yet each approaches a traditional culture at a different angle.
What about Emily Woo Zeller’s performance did you like?
I loved her performance; she is an actress with incredible talent. her accents are a bit flat, and dialogue is not her strong suit, but this is minor when compared to the emotional performance she gave.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When Shannon realized she was not as strong as she thought. She wanted a brutal attack not to define her, even as she came to the realization that NOT wanting it to define her defined her more than the attack ever did.
Any additional comments?
A terrific book that peaks into the culture of a war-torn country that is still in the process of rebuilding.