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A Change in Altitude

3.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,103 Ratings  ·  1,256 Reviews
Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they ea
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Published September 22nd 2009 by Little, Brown and Company (first published November 5th 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 13, 2010 Suzifla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I always look forward to reading the latest Anita Shreve novel, but this one was totally disappointing--I wouldn't even give it one star. So many of these reviews mentioned a "horrible accident," but I didn't find the accident either believable or horrible, and therefore I was puzzled by the various characters' reaction to it. "Horrible" could be most accurately applied to the character whose rudeness, possessiveness, and lack of any human emotion other than anger made her totally unreal and uns ...more
Nancy Moore
I keep saying I'm going to give up on Anita Shreve, but I keep getting suckered back in. I started with The Pilot's Wife and then Sea Glass and a few others that I thought were really good. But the last 3 or 4 I've read I've felt very unsatisfied with. Honestly, she's a great story-teller; concise, engaging and knowledgeable about many different things. But there is usually a great desire to smack her leading women (for me anyway) in the head. And I always say Shreve is about as depression as Ed ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book totally intrigued me because of its unique approach and subject matter. Shreve has written of a young, newlywed couple, Margaret and Patrick, who have embarked on their new life in Africa, where he, as a physician studied tropical medicine. The author has beautifully melded the interior life of her characters with their surroundings.

This is not about today's Africa.Shreve has woven into this tale the vast differences for the impoverished, struggling native peoples and the wealthy,gener
I'm having a very hard time putting into words how I felt about this novel. I was really looking forward to reading it, I had never read anything by Ms. Shreve, but had heard good things about her writing. I'm not sure if my personal reactions to the book are based in a style of writing that doesn't appeal to me or expectations that could never be met. I had a hard time following where the story was going and I'm still not sure if the feeling of confusion was an intended response to the writing ...more
Laura Rittenhouse
I'm beginning to think I'm a huge Anita Shreve fan. This was a great book. The back of book gives away that there is trouble on the horizon for the couple, but you still get caught up, waiting for the crisis. There was enough suspense in the first third of the book to have kept me turning the pages.

Then the crisis was reached and part 2 began. This shift initially threw me a bit because the pace is totally different. After the crisis, the protagonist muddles about trying to find her feet (and he
Sheila DeChantal

Newly married Patrick and Margaret decide to make a trip to Kenya. Patrick a doctor, is busy with his practice and Margaret a photography novice, finds she has much idle time on her hands. When her car breaks down, Margaret finds herself being helped by an English couple Arthur and Diana. The couples quickly become friends and Arthur and Diana offer Patrick and Margaret a nice cottage to use on their property. In short time it is discovered that Arthur and Diana are planning a trip up Mt Kenya a
Oct 29, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
In this latest effort, Shreve sticks to her general formula- how one moment, one decision can forever change a life. Margaret and Patrick are a young newlyweds living in Africa when a tragic moment on a mountain climb with their landlords causes a rift from which their marriage may never recover. The book covers the year following the actions on the mountain, and traces the efforts Margaret makes to rediscover her life and her love.

The book was well-written, and the flavor of expat life in Afric
Oct 25, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read nearly all of Anita Shreve's novels. She has set a series of them in the same waterfront home--different, unrelated characters with diverse stories and plotlines and story-telling devices. Although she is probably writing for the same audience, she doesn't write the same book over and over again--one of the reasons I will always read her newest: she will generally find something new to write about.

This also means I've had very different reactions to her books. This one felt a lot like
Well, in the end I began this book with more enthusiasm than I ended up. It definitely promised more than it delivered, on all counts: suspense (storyline falls flat half-way through), emotions (we never really get much insight into Patrick's character, for example) and even Kenya. While I quite enjoyed the first half, the 'set up', really able to visualize Kenya, a place I'll likely never visit and which, to be honest, I know little about and have never felt much interest in, after the so-calle ...more
Mar 23, 2013 Deanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I just finished reading this book and I have not read others by this author. I found it very hard to get into. I was still not attached to the characters 100 pages into the book. It was not believable to me. There were not enough details about the climb up Mt. Kenya to make me believe it really happened. I wanted to care about Patrick but he just seemed like a jerk. I wanted to feel with Margaret but she was just defensive and evasive. I kept reading hoping that something would evolve into a tho ...more
Sep 30, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the late 1970's, Margaret and Patrick McCoglan are a young married couple from Massachusetts who decide to spend a year in Africa. Patrick is a doctor who plans to do research on equatorial diseases, and to conduct free clinics around the country for those in need.

In Africa, the couple meets Diana and Arthur a British couple, who convinces them to climb Mount Kenya with them, accompanied by an expert guide. When a tragic accident occurs during the climb, the blame seems to be directed tow
Bookmarks Magazine
As a young woman, Shreve spent three years working as a journalist in Nairobi, Kenya, and her vivid descriptions clearly show an affection for the East African nation. Unfortunately, most critics found the setting to be the novel's only redeeming quality. Shreve, known for crafting complex, multilayered protagonists, ultimately fails here. Critics unanimously expressed their disappointment in Margaret's character and described her as dull, unlikable, and frequently obtuse. The critic from the Lo ...more
Oct 09, 2009 Su rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with this story. It begins and ends with a trek up a mountain in Kenya. At the beginning of the story, the six people trying to climb the mountain have so little experience that it is unbelievable to me that they would even attempt it. Then when things go bad during their climb, the main couples' marriage begins to crumble. They make another attempt a year later and when the wife makes the summit, the story ends. Abruptly. With little closure for the reader. I really couldn't ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Anita Shreve espelha neste livro fantástico a fragilidade de uma relação quando é abalada por uma tragédia.
Juntos há dois anos, mas casados há apenas cinco meses, Margaret e Philip decidem partir para África em busca da realização profissional de Philip. No entanto, Margaret não se adapta tão bem como gostaria ao Quénia, e passa os dias aborrecida em casa.
Opinião completa em:
Oct 27, 2010 Guera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book. I think this is my final verdict. I was torn between it being exceptionally good but lacking the "ting" factor. There was just something off. It is one of those books that leaves you thinking about the message long after you put it down.

It is the story about a newly married young couple. He is a doctor working in Kenya doing research in tropical diseases. She worked for a newspaper before as photographer. Not working now in Kenya she needs something to do and eventually end
Aug 25, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you (like me) are a fan of Anita Shreve, then you are probably salivating over her new release, A Change in Altitude. And after Testimony, who wouldn’t be a fan? Shreve seems to be getting better and better. This novel centers on a late twenties newlywed, Margaret, who jumped at the chance to follow her husband to Kenya where he is doing medical research. One day Patrick announces that they are going to climb Mt. Kenya with their land lords and another couple. The climb is an arduous several ...more
Bree T
Aug 18, 2010 Bree T rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittany Jedrzejewski
“The Ascent of Drama”

Anita Shreve, author of A Change in Altitude is one of my all time favorite authors. This captivating novel is about an American couple whose lives dramatically change when they move to Nairobi, and in particular during their ascent to Mount Kenya.

While I did not like that the novel was told entirely in the third person, the plot was fluid and intriguing and the language and descriptions were excellent. For example, when describing an antique typewriter she writes, “She’d t
Katherine Beaver
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve lovell
Anita Shreve is, in all senses of the word, an attractive writer.From way back she has been a constant in my reading life, churning out books at approximately one per year. She can always be relied on to produce a good yarn without pretensions to great literary merit.The machinations of human relationships are her constant, set to variations in time and location. Her novels are never less than eminently readable, and on odd occasions somewhat more. This effort though does not fall into the latte ...more
Mary Robinson
Anita Shreve deals with some interesting interpersonal relationships and plot lines, but the writing in many of her books, including this one, just can leave me cold. I was interested in the social and political ground she covered in this book set in Kenya, but the relationship between the main characters, a photojournalist and her doctor, was just too dry and colorless to engage me. I also miss there being even a shred of humor anywhere in the book (plot, dialog, anything). The guiding theme an ...more
Jan 24, 2010 Cynthia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In a word - shallow. Shallow plot, shallow character development, shallow writing. It's as though the author traveled to Africa and was required by her publisher to incorporate that experience into a new novel as quickly as possible. I generally enjoy this author's stories, with particular nods to The Weight of Water and The Pilot's Wife, but I can honestly say that this was one of the worst books I have read in the past few years. I don't usually write reviews but, in this instance, I felt othe ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I often have a hard time listening to audiobooks. When I started to listen to this one I was irritated that the reader was going so slowly. But as I listened more I realized that her pronunciation was clear and I was understanding every word she read. I will seek out books read by Anna Stone from now on.

On to the story. I like Anita Shreve's books a lot, and this was no exception. Set in Kenya in the late 1970s, it is a story of a year in a marriage. Patrick and Margaret have been married for on
Lisa Louie
This is the second Anita Shreve novel I've read, and in reading it, I've come to appreciate the way that Shreve hones in on the smallest of moral choices that occur within an ambivalent, personally charged context, and the devastating consequences that often result. This novel charts the topography of a young marriage between two Americans, one a photojournalist, the other a doctor, living in Kenya. The wife narrates. The couple agrees to climb Mount Kenya with their landlords and the landlords' ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
One of the lamer books I have read recently. I like simple stories with simple plots and this one had too many details that had nothing to do with anything. I know it was trying to make an impact; I just wasn't in the mood. A husband and wife travel to Africa for the husband’s job. They become friends with the other "Europeans" in the area who have been around longer. They get invited to climb some mountain which they are not trained for, but go anyway. The husband of their other friends flirts ...more
Mar 09, 2010 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of Anita Shreve's novels and enjoyed them. A Wedding in December, for example, seemed both well written and realistic. A Change in Altitude must reflect a visit Shreve made to Kenya and lots of research on her part into that country's politics and history. However, my 6 year old granddaughter, Brenna, wrote a story while sitting in the back seat of my car which came alive perhaps better than this book (I am exaggerating only a tiny bit.) The prose is straightforward, rather flat, ...more
Jul 21, 2011 VegasGal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elphaba J
Feb 18, 2013 Elphaba J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Não leva 5 estrelas porque o romance deveria ser mais envolvente mas de resto é perfeito)

Não sei como funciona com os restantes fazedores de opiniões mas eu, após terminada uma leitura, tendo a pensar muito no que leio, a atribuir-lhe um espaço e uma profundidade só meus, íntimos, que muito dificilmente consigo expor por palavras, infelizmente.
Uma Promessa de Felicidade é uma daquelas leituras ambíguas que começa cadenciada, demorada, e que nos permite a opção de ir mais além ou apenas deixar o
Apr 22, 2010 Cara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-or-frivolity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2013 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I totally enjoyed the first section of the book -- the development of the story and characters, the descriptions of Kenya, the mountain climb. I was totally captivated. After the climb was over, my interest just dribbled away (along with the plot line). I felt some parts were rather pointless (the theft of their belongings, for example). And the end?! Oh geez -- I felt like it ended entirely too abruptly with too many unresolved plot lines dangling out there. I am not fond of books where there a ...more
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Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). A ...more
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