• In Sight of the Mountain

  • By: Jamie McGillen
  • Narrated by: Sarah Brands
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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In Sight of the Mountain  By  cover art

In Sight of the Mountain

By: Jamie McGillen
Narrated by: Sarah Brands
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Publisher's summary

"An engaging escapade with a feisty female lead." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A beautifully written story. A must-read for those who are striving to fulfill their dreams..." (Seattle Book Review)

"An epic and gripping work of historical fiction... the perfect historical read for fans of pioneering heroes and tales of triumph over discrimination." (Reader's Favorite 5-Star Review)

In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, 19-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon. But she has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house. She wants to be the first woman to summit Mount Rainier.

Anna's grandfather couldn't disapprove more. And after he discovers that she's befriended a Duwamish woman in the forest, he threatens to disown her completely.

Still, her resolve to summit doesn't waver until she meets a fisherman who seems to love adventure as much as she does. He's not the kind of high society gentleman who could save their family's finances after the fire, but he adores her and treats her like an equal.

Mountaineering through glaciers, avalanches, and frozen temperatures might cause Anna's family to disown her forever. It might even ruin any future marriage prospects. But if she succeeds in reaching the icy peak, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers, and create a new identify for herself, something she's been longing for her whole life.

Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th century who dared to summit Mount Rainier, In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader's gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women's far-too-narrow options.

©2019 Jamie McGillen (P)2020 Jamie McGillen

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What listeners say about In Sight of the Mountain

Average customer ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars

Obviously Researched and Beautifully Executed Historical Novel

Jamie McGillen wrote a beautiful story of a strong, independent woman and addressed head on some of the political, gender, and race issues faced at the time. The second of the series just came out, and I really look forward to reading another novel set in the beautiful state of WA, that I call home. A very quick read with a love story laced throughout - but this time the girl finds a man that lifts her up and supports her even when she goes against the grain.

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Beautifully Written

This is a beautifully written story of the mountain that brings me joy to see every morning. Raising a daughter, I only hope that she is able to be as adventurous and calm as Anna. I loved the tidbits of history intertwined in the story that made it so much more. I can’t imagine being a woman climbing Mount Rainer for the first time EVER. It still marvels me how both men and women alone navigate through her beauty.

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Great positive story with Historical insight

This is the first book i have read/listened to by this author and I would gladly listen to another. The historical basis of this book is good. It brings out the discrimination against the natives and women. It takes place at a time when some women are starting to come into their own. Not only is the main character Anna braving the heights of a mountain where relatively few had travelled, with minimal equipment that was not nearly suitable, but she was also braving going against social norms. Between befriending some natives, to wanting to live for herself and not marry for the aid of her family, she has many challenges to overcome.

This is the first book I have listened to by this narrator ( Sarah Brands ) and I would definitely listen to another. She has subtly distinct character voices. She has good cadence and therefore performs more than reads the story.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Bookstore, mountain, determination

In Sight of the Mountain carried me away into an adventure. Set during late 1800s, Washington isn’t a state yet, women don’t have the right to vote, and Native Americans are shunned by most aspects of society. This tale did a great job of showing the relatively tame small town Seattle versus the wilds of mountaineering. Anna is on the cusp of womanhood, working at her grandfather’s book store. Her family is hopeful that she will marry soon, but so far she hasn’t been impressed with any candidates. She dreams of travel and adventure, and especially of climbing Mount Rainier. However, everyone tells her she can’t because she’s female. Yet she perseveres.

I loved how this tale it told from the ladies’s points of views. The men are still a part of the story, and important at some points, yet it’s the ladies that really shine in this story. Of course I really loved Anna. She kinda reminded me a bit of Anne of Green Gables. She has an inner spark and a set determination, yet isn’t as precocious as Anne.

Then there’s Anna’s friends, such as June and Heather. June is a local prostitute and while some aspects of society shun this profession (at least by the light of the day), the prostitutes are an acknowledged part of society. I found it interesting that local government officials get a steep discount. June provides some straight forward talk to Anna about men and what goes on in the bedroom. While Anna admires June and her independence, she’s pretty sure that’s not the life for her.

It was also nice to see Heather and her baby, both of the local Duwamish tribe. Heather is kind of a mentor to Anna in wilderness living. Also Heather gave Anna a book she found, Anna Karenina. It’s all in Russian but there is a dedication in English which is something of a riddle. It spurs Anna on as she wants to be the one to figure out this riddle and find this small treasure.

Since Anna and her grandpa work at a bookstore, there’s plenty of references to some (now) classical literature – so that was cool. I liked that some of these classics that everyone has at least heard of are mentioned as new and by an unheard of author. All together, it was an interesting peek into Washington and mountaineering in the late 1800s. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Sarah Brands had the perfect voice for young Anna. I loved how she captured the strength, emotions, and determination of this central character. Brands had good male voices too and each of her characters were unique. I was hoping for a believable accent for Heather, the Duwamish woman. The pacing was good and there were no technical issues. 4.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jamie McGillen. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Deliciously Descriptive

This is an empowering story of a 19yo woman in 1889 facing pressure to marry well after the family’s financial losses in the Great Seattle Fire. But she puts aside her family’s pressures of marriage for her own dreams and destiny of becoming the first woman to climb Mount Rainier. Her ambitions may lose her inheritance and possible suitors, but she could pioneer the way for other female mountaineers and make a name for herself.

This audiobook was such an easy listen for me! McGillen’s writing is so deliciously descriptive and the story is powerful and inspirational. The narrator of this audiobook does an amazing job easing the listener through this journey, and her various accents are subtle but distinguished. I was completely immersed in the writing: I could taste the smoke in my throat, feel the wind in my hair, and imagine her journey. McGillen shows off not only her creative writing, but her imaginative poetry skills as well.

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Permission to be capable, competent, have heart

Neatly captures the female struggle to believe self worth is okay, and to be recognized and heard by others. It is a visceral experience of finding the spaces and actions which are true to one's personal inspiration. The romantic desire to be cherished strikes a captivating tension between who a person fundamentally is and what a person socially is.

The reader is great. Occasionally her lack of familiarity shows in mispronounced words, but the expression, pacing, and tone do the writing justice.

The story is a page turner, so to speak. I had a hard time putting it down to go to sleep!

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