Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Canadian Historical Fiction Review: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout

Publisher: McLelland & Stewart
Pages: 368
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: February 12, 2013 (Originally June 2012)
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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Paris Wife meets Into Thin Air in this breathtaking novel of love and obsession, which tells the story of George Mallory’s legendary attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest – and of the remarkable woman he left behind to await news of his fate.

A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, Above All Things moves seamlessly between the epic story of Mallory’s final expedition and a moving account of a day in the life of his wife, Ruth. Through George’s perspective, and that of the newest member of the climbing team, Sandy Irvine, we get an astonishing picture of the terrible risks taken by the men on the treacherous terrain of the Himalaya. But it is through Ruth’s eyes that a complex portrait of a marriage emerges, one forged on the eve of the First World War, shadowed by its losses, and haunted by the ever-present possibility that George might not come home. Drawing on years of research, this powerful and beautifully written novel is a timeless story of desire, redemption, and the lengths we are willing to go for honour, glory, and love.

My Review:

What a story Tanis has given readers with ABOVE ALL THINGS, I really enjoyed where she went with this story, and appreciate the amount of work it must have taken her to research what happened to George Mallory. The way Tanis brought to life the story of George and Ruth was beautiful, enchanting, and very emotional. This is the story of love and the power to be strong being the one left behind.

I really loved how Tanis chose to write the story in many different perspectives, she chose to show how this mountain affected so many different people. Each person has a different thought about what their experiences with this mountain will be like. Readers see how the mountain takes over George's life and how all he thinks about is being able to get to the top so that he can go home and be with his family, without having to think about something that could have been. The we have Sandy Irvine, who is the newest member of the team. He believes that he will be part of history and yet he continually gets left behind while the more experienced climbers trudge ahead.

Ruth's story really affected me during my reading of this book. As much as I know George and Sandy had a difficult journey, so did Ruth. She was the one who had to sit and wait for her husband and explain to her children why he kept leaving again and again. I loved the emotion brought out in this book as we follow Ruth`s struggles to be on her own and watch her husband continually leave to pursue this very difficult task of climbing Mount Everest.

Tanis Rideout has an interesting story, that you can tell as you delve deeper took a lot of time and effort to research everything that happened. Her characters are very realistic and their emotions pour out of the pages of this book, and readers really get to see how not achieving one's goal can really affect their lives. The characters all go after what they believe in and are willing to risk everything for that one taste of success.

1 comment:

  1. Yay it's Historical Fiction month!

    I'm really looking forward to reading this book. It's been on my TBR since it first came out and it sounds wonderful. Glad you enjoyed it!



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