The Mountain Story: Book summary and reviews of The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

The Mountain Story

A Novel

by Lori Lansens

The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens X
The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2015
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Four lost hikers are about to discover they're capable of something extraordinary.

Nola has gone up the mountain to commemorate her wedding anniversary, the first since her beloved husband passed. Blonde, stick-thin Bridget is training for a triathalon. Vonn is working out her teenage rebellion at eight thousand feet, driven by family obligation and the urge to escape her mistakes. Still reeling from the tragic accident that robbed him of his best friend, Wolf Truly is the only experienced hiker among them, but he has come to the cliffs on his eighteenth birthday without food or supplies because he plans to take his own life.

When a series of missteps strands this unusual group together in the wilderness, they soon realize that their only defense against the brutality of nature is one another. As one day without rescue spirals dramatically into the next, and misadventure turns to nightmare, these four broken souls begin to form an inextricable bond, pushing themselves and one another further than they ever could have dreamed possible. The three who make it home alive will be forever changed by their harrowing days on the mountain.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls, The Mountain Story is a fast-paced, suspenseful adventure and a gorgeous tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. Braving a landscape both unforgivingly harsh and breathtakingly beautiful, Nola, Bridget, Vonn, and Wolf find themselves faced with an impossible question: How much will they sacrifice for a stranger?

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Media Reviews

"Genre readers will also be swept along as the suspense builds in this first-rate character-driven thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"[Lansens] portrays strong, not-soon forgotten characters in this suspenseful, psychologically rich tale." - Booklist

"[Lansens'] newest offering is more than just a survival tale. It is a story of friendship and loss, but also of growth and hope, and of family bonds that can either tie us down or help us soar. A great read for anyone who likes character-driven, coming-of-age stories with exquisitely described natural settings." - Library Journal

"If nature's danger and beauty are extreme here, the characters too seem melodramatically extreme in their sentimental goodness (and evil)." - Kirkus Reviews

"The Mountain Story brims with twists and turns that keep readers turning the pages… Immensely readable, beautifully written and incredibly heart-breaking…it's an extraordinary story of survival, heroism and redemption that will stay with you long after you read the last page." - Associated Press, UK

"Starred Review. A thoroughly delightful reading experience. The Mountain Story is the best kind of binge read: exhilarating, inspiring, and life-affirming." - Quill & Quire

"Like a secret mountain trail, [this novel] twists, turns, and keeps surprising you until the very end…Well-paced and beautifully written, readers will find themselves missing sleep as they read on late into the night." - Winnipeg Free Press

"A harrowing tale becomes an engrossing saga of renewal and redemption. Lori Lansens has written an epic work suffused with raw emotional power and resonance." - Toronto Star

"Poignant and heartbreaking, this book rivets with its examination of what the body and soul need to stay alive." - Maclean's

"A superbly crafted, tension-filled tale." - NOW Magazine

"A breathtaking look at how the past footholds the future and how even the bleakest terror can find its way to unfathomable beauty." - Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling Author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

"An adventure that pits spectacular danger in the present against the ever-present danger of the past." - Marina Endicott, author of Good to a Fault

"A riveting novel of heartbreak, heroism, and redemption. . .[with] equal measures of high drama and humanity that will keep readers spellbound until the last word." - Carol Shaben, author of Into the Abyss

This information about The Mountain Story shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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a life changing on the mountain
On his eighteen birthday, Wolf takes the tramway to the mountain over Palm Strings, wanting to kill himself. He dos not have anything worth living for, no friends, an awful family, the angst of being 18 and so lonely. He meets three women at the top, 12,000 feet above the California desert, who ask for guidance to the secret lake. Sure, Wolf knows where it is but he wants to be alone. As they won't let him, he reluctantly agrees to show them the way. A slip too low to go back to the proper track, and the four of them get lost. They will spend four days on the mountain, without proper clothing, food or water. As they try to find their way back to the normal world, tortured by thirst, their lives unravel and they tell each other their deepest secrets. Wolf discovers he wants to live, the women, actually three generations of the same family speak about what they've never told and they feel an amazing bond between all of them. Three of them will return to the world of abundance we know. One will die on the mountain.
Lori Lansens, with beautiful concise prose tells us the mountain story. For Wolf, it's a coming of age, for the women, it's a new link between them, the re-creation of a family love forgotten long ago. Through flashbacks and stories they tell each other, you get to know the characters intimately and share their feelings, their goals, their fears, their losses and their hopes.
A great book for any reader, not only for mountain fans.


I am having to read this for school and it is the second most painful book I have had to read in my life, and I’m not exaggerating. The author's way of giving us the backgrounds of Nola, Vonn, and Bridget is having the three of them bicker in a cave for over 45 pages! It was painful! I am very certain that there are better ways of showing how those three characters act around one another. Also there has to be a better delivery of all that information, I pity wolf, not for being stuck on the mountain, but for being stuck with them period.

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Author Information

Lori Lansens Author Biography

Lori Lansens was a successful screenwriter before she burst onto the literary scene in 2002 with her first novel Rush Home Road. Published in eleven countries, it received rave reviews around the world. Her follow-up novel The Girls was an international success as well. Rights were sold in 13 territories and it was a Richard & Judy book club pick in the UK, selling 300,000 copies. Her third novel The Wife's Tale is currently in development as a feature film.

Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, Lori Lansens now makes her home in the Santa Monica Mountains with her husband and two children.

Author Interview
Link to Lori Lansens's Website

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  • The Girls jacket
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