Book Review: The Mountain Between Us

The Mountain Between Us


Author : Charles Martin, c2010
Date read : July 8,2014
Publisher : Broadway Paperbacks
Hardcover : 336 pp.
ISBN-10 : 0767927028
ISBN-13 : 978-0767927024 / 978-0307888303

Rating : ***** (5 stars)

Review : “Give me all the pieces.”
“There are a lot of them, and I’m not sure they’ll ever go back together again.”
She kissed me. “Let me try.”

Ben Payne, an orthopedic surgeon who’s returning home from a medical conference in Colorado, meets Ashley Knox, a successful Columnist for several women’s magazines who’s an attractive woman in her early 30’s, at the Salt Lake City airport. These two strangers at the airport strike a conversation with each other and Ashley tells Ben that she is trying to fly to Atlanta on time for her wedding. Their flight is cancelled due to the severe weather of a forthcoming storm and disappointed, but determined, Ben Payne hires a private pilot, Grover Roosevelt, to fly him out in time for the scheduled surgeries the following day. Ben invites Ashley to join the flight as well, offering to take her in time for her wedding. Bewildered, if she’ll make it on time for her wedding in less than forty eight hours, Ashley takes up on Ben’s offer and joins the private Charter’s flight with Ben, Grover—and his dog—hoping to get home and carry on her busy life.

But, the flight doesn’t do a normal safe landing as Ben and Ashley hope and instead it crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness—one of the largest remote and uncivilized mountain range—as their elderly pilot, Grover, has a heart-attack midflight and slams his head against the glass and lands the plane against the mountains. The plane spins and then somersaults breaking off its tail and hits the grounds on a snowy mountain top. Ben wakes up a few hours later the plane crash and comes to realize that Ashley has a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder from the impact. Ben also suffers from broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

They are left on the frigid mountaintop over 11,000 feet without anybody knowing they went up in Grover’s flight. The only food that they have is a bag of trail mix and their physical pain of wounds are intensified each minute with the freezing weather. There’s no sign of rescue and Ben Payne realize that he has to take action before they are eaten by wild animals or dies from physical injuries.
The Mountain Between Us is a great book of fiction, a novel, an adventure story, written so passionately using his vivid writing style by the well-known author, Charles Martin. The book tell you about the inspiring story of how an unexpected incident in life could teach us a lesson about surviving—when you least feel like it.

With each chapter, the readers get to learn more about Ben’s wife, Rachel, and their lovely marriage of 15 years as Ben recalls his memory and records voice messages on his voice recorder for Rachel while hopelessly stuck in the Uintas Wilderness. While Ben faithfully records messages for his wife, Ashley begins to question herself and her love life and wonders if she is just settling. Ashley discuss about the situation at hand and also, about their personal lives they lived before the plane crashed and these intimate conversations bring them together as the weeks turn into months on the snowy mountaintop. In order to get home, now, Ben has to take care of not only himself, but also the young bride-to-be, Ashley,—who came and joined the flight upon his offer—and make sure she returns home safe to her life.

The story unfolds further as Ben and Ashley become dependent on each other and try to survive the circumstances of the unexpected plane crash together. The author gives you a deeper meaning about love and marriage with each engaging chapter, as well as, provides an insight about surviving a life-or-death struggle. Will Ben and Ashley survive the wilderness and return home safely to their normal lives? If they do make it, will their experience and bonding change their lives and bring them together again?

This is the first time I read Charles’s Martin’s work—although he has written several other novels which I intend to read this summer—and I find his writing style, tone so deep and touching that between some sentences and dialogues, you’d be in tears. I’m easily moved by the words anyway and this story was so powerful enough that when I put the book down after reading, I felt satisfied and content; the way you feel when the rain finally comes after awaiting for it for months. I was riveted with the unfolding of characters and their struggle to survive and could not put down the book once. The Mountain Between Us is a real page-turner and a thrilling story of how two strangers in a hopeless situation and dilemma. I devoured myself in this book in less than a day and look forward to read other novels of Charles Martin soon.

Have you already read, The Mountain Between Us? If so, comment and share your thoughts below!


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