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The Rainier Series #1

In Sight of the Mountain

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~ Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th Century who dared to summit Mount Rainier ~
In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, nineteen-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon.
She has two serious a well-meaning but condescending doctor, and an evasive fisherman who challenges her mind. But Anna has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house; she has a dream to reach the summit of Mount Rainier.
Despite her family’s disapproval and her own self-doubt, she secretly trains, raises money for supplies, and buys a train ticket to the base of the mountain. If she succeeds in reaching its icy peak, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers; but it’s a tall task and there’s much at risk—including the heart of a man who just might love her as an equal.
On the journey, Anna will face glaciers, avalanches, and frozen temperatures, all without knowing if she even has a family or a future to return to.
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.
~ Highly recommended for Book Clubs! Questions for discussion are included at the end of the book. ~

358 pages, Paperback

First published September 4, 2019

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Jamie McGillen

4 books102 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 148 reviews
Profile Image for Anya Leonard.
284 reviews5 followers
September 27, 2019
As a mountaineer, this book really called to me. The story follows a young woman, Anna, at the inception of Washington as a state. At the time, women were slim to none in the climbing population, and this young woman was living in the shadow of Mt. Rainier daily. At a time when women were given specific duties and looked down upon if they strayed from these, Anna was an anomaly in her interest in climbing. The story revolves around the friendship between Anna and Heather, a Native American woman living in the woods, as well as Anna's burgeoning interest and training for climbing.
This book was uplifting in all the ways that a book can be. I enjoyed reading about her training in a time when research into this would have been impossible, especially for someone in an area so far from main climbing thoroughfares.
I think this would be a wonderful addition for young women who are looking to find something that is motivational and gives you an idea of how women can change the norm. Anna decided that what she was being told by society didn't make any sense and at a time when judgment on this would have been very obvious, she went ahead and did it anyway.
This is a must read for young women everywhere. Like Anna Gallagher, if you can dream it, you can do it!
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,339 reviews31 followers
November 25, 2019
Nineteen year old Anna Gallagher longs for adventure in her hometown of Seattle, Washington.  However, in 1889 young women are expected to be proper and run a household.  Anna's grandfather and brother seem to want this life for her as well. Anna gets a taste of adventure when the great Seattle fire devastates her grandfather's book store.  Anna dreams to climb Mount Rainier and places her hopes in an advertisement for a  climbing party leaving next summer.  Now, Anna just needs the funds and to start training.  With help from her Duwamish friend, Heather, Anna finds the confidence to begin training for the climb and a means to raise money.  When her brother's friend, Ben visits Washington, Anna may find a man that also fits her lifestyle.
In Sight of the Mountain is an amazing historical adventure that captivated me from the start and didn't let go.  As an avid hiker, I have always wondered about the women who have paved the path for women to be active in the outdoors.  Anna's character, though fictional is a good representation of the experiences of many of the women who were the firsts in the field.  Anna's spirit is captivating and infectious, making me want to plan for my next adventure.  Through her eyes, the grandeur of the Washington territory came alive as well as the many prejudices that people carried.  The plight of the Duwamish people, the native people of the area was brought to light through Anna's friendship with Heather as well as the limited opportunities for women and the views of the women who took matters into their own hands.  I was enchanted by the mystery of the poem in the book that Anna solved and absolutely delighted by the path of the romance with Ben.  The highlight of the story for me was definitely Anna's journey up the mountain.  While Anna's story might not have turned out exactly how she wanted the first time, her story of grit and determination is one that many people can relate to. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lauren Read Rover.
300 reviews92 followers
August 30, 2020
This breathtaking story has my heart absolutely soaring! It had all of the components for one helluva story; adventure, romance, and family secrets. Anna Gallagher was such an admirable character and definitely a force to be reckoned with. During times when the societal expectations of women were to marry well and merely be a homemaker, Anna's heart longed to travel the world and achieve dreams that were greater than those of her peers. This book was saturated with great detail that left me completely enchanted with the beauty of Washington! The story physically tugged at my heart strings as Anna followed her heart and found love (no spoilers!!) but it is important to note that the love of hers that had the most profound effect on me were her friendships. Heather, June, and Emily were each examples of the various life circumstances during the 19th century and Anna's friendship with each woman was such a treasured and meaningful relationship. Much in the way that Mount Rainier symbolizes hope and strength, Anna is the equivalent of that for me! I will cherish this story for all of time!
Profile Image for Barbara E.
16 reviews6 followers
August 26, 2020
Anna's love for her seeing the world reminds me of myself. Totally impressed with her drive to climb Mount. Rainer back in the 1800's. The story is so interesting to read, I it was to put the book down. I look forward to reading more of your books Jamie.
Profile Image for Nicole.
1,419 reviews100 followers
June 18, 2020
Two books for @mommaleighellensbooknook book club in one week! The reading groove is coming back slowly, but surely. ⁣

In Sight of the Mountain is Jamie McGillen’s debut novel. It takes place in the late 1800’s after the Great Seattle Fire. Anna is being pressured to conform to what it means to be a woman at her time, but her true dream is to be the first woman to summit Mount Rainier. ⁣

In Sight of the Mountain is a book that’s easy to get caught up in. The writing makes the pages fly by. This book has it all with friendship, family, love, and adventure. I devoured the pages very quickly to take in this story of a brave woman for her time. Many topics were addressed like the rights of women and Native Americans just to name a few. It did read like a debut novel with a few questions that I still wanted answers to. I loved meeting all of the secondary characters and wish I got to know some more about them. Sometimes I felt like I only got to know some of the characters on a surface level. Overall this was a very pleasurable reading experience. If you have Kindle Unlimited, I’d highly recommend you give this book a try! ⁣

4 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

Do you have a favorite historical fiction novel?⁣

#historicalfiction #books #bookstagram #booksaboutwomen #bravewomen #historicalfictionbooks #kindleunlimited #buddyreads #beautifulbooks #beautifulbookcovers #debutauthors
288 reviews8 followers
May 8, 2020
3.5 stars

Anna Gallagher lives in Seattle in the 1800's and dreams of climbing Mount Rainier and adventure despite it being seen as unladylike by society and some members of her family. I love Anna's spirit, courage, and determination. She is determined to train and climb against the pressure of others and her own self-doubt. I also really enjoyed the historical details. This book is a wonderful coming of age story as Anna gains confidence in herself as she trains and grows stronger and better at navigating. The story also looks at how few opportunities were open to women at that time. I also appreciate the pull of the Mountain. When I was in college I had internship that took me out to Washington State for about a week to help collect samples. We were staying and collecting samples on an Island in Puget Sound and the deck of where we stayed at a view of Mount Rainier. There is something beautiful and magical about the sight of mountain peaks. I then went to school in Oregon and spent some time one summer hiking in the Oregon Cascades. I have fond memories of hiking in the woods, along rivers and waterfalls, and breathtaking views. However I never aspired to climb to the very top. The air is too thin, but it makes me admire Anna's sense of adventure.

If you enjoy reading books with strong female characters that push against boundaries mixed with adventure and romance, I recommend In Sight of the Mountain.
Profile Image for Aimee Tussey.
114 reviews1 follower
November 24, 2020
I loved this book! I enjoyed Anna’s adventurous spirit very much and it was fun to read something set in a place I’m very much familiar with, just in a different t time.

If you enjoy the outdoors, women who don’t conform to social norms and a little scandal and love, this book is for you! ❤️
Profile Image for Jennifer.
123 reviews46 followers
December 29, 2019
This review is also available on my blog: Wine Cellar Library

I was immediately captivated by the cover. I could easily identify with Anna, as Mount Rainier has always captivated me. I am someone who loves hiking. The highest peak I have ever attempted was Mount Baldy in California, with a summit at just over 10,000 feet. My group had to stop at 9,000 feet due to a serious injury sustained by a hiker in another group on the mountain that required air evacuation. (The other group was only equipped with line-of-sight radios, while our leader had a radio that connected him with local law enforcement. The injured man's leg was crushed by a boulder that fell on him during an avalanche.) Even though we didn't summit, the fact that we hiked that far together in a single day, with full rucksacks and medical aid bags and crampons and rope, is one of my proudest moments. We spent the night at 9,000 feet in "ranger graves" dug into the snow and hiked back down the next morning.

I am now eager to climb Mount Rainier. I think I can do it. Enough about me, though!

Even if you are not a mountaineer or a hiker, you will appreciate Anna's determination and her desire to just be appreciated for who she is. She is far from the quiet housewife that society expects her to be, who only speaks to her husband when spoken to. Instead, she is full of vitality, adventure, intelligence, and compassion for others. She has an ability to read a person's true nature without succumbing to the collective opinion; her best friends are a prostitute and a Native American woman, and although both friendships threaten Anna's reputation as a marriageable woman, she is undeterred.

Anna feels like a burden to her grandfather and his wife and wants to find a partner, but she refuses to marry anyone who would stifle her in any way. Her grandfather and her brother are determined to marry her to a man of good means. Unfortunately, this leaves her few viable options. The only man who sees her for her is the very man her brother warned her not to fall for.

This story is one part coming of age, one part historical fiction, one part early feminism, and one part budding romance. From the first few pages, I was completely enamored with this tale, and it proved to be one of the best books I have read this year. I am simply amazed that this is a debut novel. I received a free Kindle edition as a review copy, but I discovered that the author sells signed paperback editions on her website and I will definitely be purchasing a one to cherish and reread in the future. I can't wait to have this beautiful cover grace my bookshelf!

Thank you to Book Sprout and the author for a free Kindle edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Gabriela.
137 reviews2 followers
July 28, 2021
THIS BOOK guys 10/10!
Read this book for a rollercoaster of emotions: happiness, anger, excitement sadness, hopfulness, etc. This book has them all! I lovedddd Anna she was so courageous and knew what she wanted and took it. I also liked how we got a glimpse about how life as a woman was like back then, we can see that and see how much we have progressed! This book is definitely an eye opener.

Moral of the book: follow your dreams, anything is possible!!!
Profile Image for Margot .
284 reviews21 followers
February 7, 2021
I thought this was a book about mountaineering, and if that's what you're looking for, I'm not convinced this is for you. There's maybe 5% of the story that's actually about that.

Granted historical fiction is not my genre of choice, but the not-like-other-girls energy was off the charts and the story in general was very often just reaaally cheesy. I wanted to be done with this book so much and it took me so long to go through.
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,904 reviews200 followers
December 18, 2021
Fascinating, engaging, and rich!

In Sight of the Mountain is a heartwarming, atmospheric tale set in Seattle during the late 1880s that takes you into the life of Anna Gallagher, a nineteen-year-old-girl who yearns to be more than just a wife and mother, and who finds through her unusual friendship with a young Duwamish woman the excitement she craves and the mettle she needs to train and pursue her greatest wish, to become the first woman ever to successfully summit the treacherous Mount Rainier.

The prose is evocative and fluid. The characters are feisty, driven, and independent. And the compelling, well-paced plot is an adventurous journey filled with familial drama, heartbreak, life, loss, courage, self-discovery, hope, friendship, romance, and love.

Overall, In Sight of the Mountain is an absorbing, well-written novel by McGillen that showcases her passion and knowledge for Pacific Northwest history and highlights humanities ability to dream, strive, conquer, endure, and still seek love in times of political upheaval, natural disasters, extreme prejudice, and social oppression.

Thank you to Jamie McGillen for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kate (The Quirky Kate).
142 reviews50 followers
November 28, 2021
This book can be best summed up by some of my all-time favourite f-words: family, friends, and fu-reaking awesome.

From the very first chapter, I absolutely adored Anna's character. Her strength, loyalty, and dedication to her dream of climbing Mount Rainier in 19th century Seattle.

I absolutely adored this book. I admired Anna's love for her family and friends, and truly the love for herself. Despite many obstacles, she remained true to herself. It was inspiring!

Well done on this debut novel, Jamie!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Cara BookShelfMomma.
320 reviews15 followers
February 10, 2021
This book has everything I am looking for in a YA historical fiction. I loved the history that was painted onto the pages. I loved that it was a clean read. There was great character development and a wonderful story line. I also appreciated the badass Anna Gallagher. She had a dream and stuck with it. I think that is so important, and she is a great role model. In her love like and personal goals she never settled for less! Let her be an example to others.
Profile Image for Linda. Lemelin.
85 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2021
This is a definite must read Jamie McGillen is a writer who transports you through history and put you right there you can picture every place and each person as though you are there. I could nor put this book down . ANNA Gallagher is the main character who wants to do things besides settling down and marrying she wants to climb the mountain no other woman has does she or does she fail read the book to find the answer as for me I'm on my way to Jamie McGillens next book In Light of the Summit
Profile Image for Jolene Elison.
425 reviews6 followers
September 5, 2020
I loved this inspiring positive book about a resilient young girl who wanted to be the first American woman to summit Mt. Ranier in 1890. Awesome read!!!
Profile Image for Momma Leighellen’s  Book Nook.
818 reviews200 followers
February 17, 2021
I loved this YA historical fiction romance and mystery novel!

"I need a purpose for myself besides marriage. Something adventurous."

I enjoy historical fiction books, especially when they are filled with strong, unconventional women. This was perfect! Set in Seattle in the 1800's, it follows the coming of age story of a young woman named Anna. She has aspirations of climbing Mt Rainier, even though it seems impossible. She is not deterred by societal expectations and sets out to make her dreams come true. Along the way, she befriends a Duwamish woman, which adds depth and historical context to the story. Anna's determination and grit during a time when women weren't allowed to do much more than keep house was inspiring!

Carried throughout the novel are themes of friendship, racism, sexism, and desire for independence. There's also a little subplot of a mystery that is fun to follow. This was a delightful YA historical novel with a dash of romance and mystery! Appropriate for middle school on up.

We read this with #mommaleigellensbookclub and loved it!! Vivid scenes of early Seattle landmarks and history - including the fire that destroyed the original downtown.
Profile Image for Courtney Clark.
577 reviews100 followers
November 18, 2019
In Sight of the Mountain is a bright debut novel from Jamie McGillen. Showcasing a unique point in history in the Pacific northwest at the turn of the 20th century, it follows Anna’s journey as she learns important lessons of strength and dreams.

The relationships in this novel are my favorite part. From family and siblings to friendships and romance, Anna’s life is full of relationships that both teach and encourage her. The romance, in particular, is sweet in its encouragement and the way the hero sees and loves Anna just as she is (quite independent for her time!).

The beautiful descriptions of nature and attention shown to cultures and history are more facets of this story I enjoyed. A little mystery and adventure occurs, too, that adds to the depth of the story, enlightening the immigrant history of the region.

Thank you to HFVB Tours for the review copy. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Ashley Curran.
539 reviews36 followers
June 19, 2020
This book follows Anna Gallagher, who is 19 and under immense pressure to get married to a rich man. Anna doesn’t dream of becoming a housewife, she dreams of being the first woman to climb Mount Rainer. She faces her family’s and society’s disapproval and her own self-doubt, but she secretly trains and raises money for her adventure. Will she make it up the mountain?

I wanted to read this book because the cover was beautiful and I enjoy historical fiction. Im so glad I did because I really enjoyed it! I was sooo worried I wouldn’t be able to read the first 179 pages in two days for the first chat but I couldn’t put this book down! I love a strong female character and the setting was amazing. I love reading about different time periods and I haven’t never read a book set in the late 1890s. If you are a historical fiction fan I would definitely pick this one up!
Profile Image for Susan.
1,745 reviews37 followers
June 20, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 5 books100 followers
May 26, 2020
Emigrating to the Pacific Northwest from Ireland as a child after losing her parents and grandmother to disease, Anna Gallagher’s story truly begins with the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 when she is nineteen years old.

Independent and unconventional, Anna doesn’t want the life dictated by society—that of a silent, submissive wife of a man of means. She wants to travel and explore the world and experience new things. But the first experience she yearns for looms above her every day… Mt Rainier. The mountain has called to her since her childhood and Anna would give anything to be the first woman to complete a summit to its peak.

But respectable young ladies don’t climb mountains or visit childhood friends who now work in brothels, or befriend Native American women indigenous to the area.

Nor do they secretly apply to join a summer expedition to summit to the mountain.

But Anna Gallagher does all these things… and she is respectable and lives within the guidelines her grandfather has set for her. Most of the time. Okay, sometimes.

Shunning the advances of a young doctor, Anna is resolved to living her life alone, knowing she’ll never find a man who will support her dreams. When her older brother, Levi, returns from sea for the winter, he brings a friend who makes Anna rethink being part of a couple. Ben doesn’t make fun of her opinions and even agrees to teach her unladylike things like archery. Ben also agrees to help Anna solve the mystery of the notes found inside a Russian copy of Anna Karenina, and Anna knows she’s found a soulmate. But her grandfather would never allow her to marry a common fisherman, and Ben has secrets of his own.

Though she walks a fine line between societal mores and living life on her own terms, this well-written character does so with more grace and maturity than most of those around her. Family condemnation, bigotry, sexism, elitism, and new love are some of the things Anna deals with in In Sight of the Mountain, but at its heart it’s about what a young woman has to sacrifice simply to realize her dreams.

Honestly, the YA label almost made me pass this one by, but I’m glad I didn’t, and those who enjoy historical fiction and women’s fiction will enjoy Anna’s story and it’s wonderful narration.

Profile Image for Patricia (Irishcharmer) Yarian.
302 reviews11 followers
May 6, 2020
I really enjoyed this read..of course I identified with her as she described not only Seattle, but our great,beautiful mountain! And when she's out in all her glory, the comments of "ooo look,mountain's out,or she's out today"all pertains to Mt Rainier!! Why,even today while there's a storm abrewing,she's peeking out from the clouds!! Oh I digress,
Jamie writes the story of a young woman with dreams. Dreams that don't fall into steps of the "norm" of being proper and sophisticated that are placed on the female population of the 1880's.
Anna looks with longing at the mountain with the determination of ascending that mountain. Virtually unheard of a woman doing.but by golly climb it she will!
Very heart warming the friendship she has with the native American woman Heather too. Especially in the era of rampant dislike/hate of the peoples by the newly arrived residents to the NW.
Anna goes against the grain of what she's told, according to the accepted behaviors of the day!!And I also admire how she holds dear friends close, no matter their station(or non-station) in life..I
And the hard work and training she puts herself thru to accomplish her dream is inspiring!
You're gonna really like this story..And you're also gonna even love Anna's family and friends..And you're gonna fall in love with our great Pacific Northwest(no,I don't live in Seattle -I am 42miles south in Spanaway)...And best of all,you're gonna feel like you too can summit Mt Rainier. (I've gotten close,but weather set in so the group was turned back to Camp Muir) ! There's a lot between the covers of this book that warrants the 5star rating!! Well done Jamie. Well done!!--P/
Profile Image for Rebecca.
361 reviews5 followers
April 15, 2021
3.5 stars
Recently, I won In Light of the Summit on Goodreads and I wanted to read book one before I tackled book two. In Sight of the Mountain is YA historical fiction, set in late 1880’s Seattle. Anna dreams of climbing Mount Rainier but her family wants her settled down, preferably with a wealthy man.

What I liked: This book has a nice mystery element, a love story, adventure and a little about acceptance – of others and what others want to do. I was rooting for Anna to reach the summit and gain her grandfather’s approval to live her life as she sees fit.
Anna shows young girls that they can try for their goals even against what seems insurmountable odds.
I enjoyed the mystery element and appreciated how it tied into the ending of the book.

What didn’t work for me: I found the beginning a little slow but once I got about a quarter into the book, the pacing picked up as Anna started training for the climb.
The dialogue felt a little stiff at times – characters would randomly change topics mid-conversation or share things that didn’t seem natural at the time.
If you’ve followed me awhile, you know I like an open ending and while this book does set-up book two and leaves some questions unanswered, I was also simultaneously a little disappointed how easily things worked out for the characters.

Who should read it: If you’re looking for a story with a strong female lead and enjoy historical fiction. Things stay pretty PG – parents there is some mild discussions of sex, one character is employed in a brothel and a childbirth scene.
969 reviews
June 21, 2020
I won a Kindle copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

I liked the main character - strong young woman trying to figure out her place in life and how she fits (or doesn't fit) into the role expected of her. That she is fiercely independent (and determined) I found very heartening. I liked that while she respected her grandfather, she also stood up to him. Not something always easy to do, especially in the late 1800s. I liked how she trained for "the mountain" and wanted to climb it, no matter the odds.

What I didn't really like, in the long run, was the part about the "mystery book" - interesting ice breaker, but the flashbacks to the couple felt awkward in the flow of the main story. I also wasn't too thrilled by the "who will I end up with" story line, but I guess when you're trying to figure out who you are in the world, a romance (or potential romantic interest) makes sense - but at times it just seemed forced. I liked her friend, June - and glad that she had a happy ending. Even there, the main character's character shone through, being determined to see her friend no matter the situation.

I'd probably give this book a solid 3.5 stars - it just missed the mark in a few places for me. I did find the information regarding mountain climbing interesting and I liked the main character's spunk.
Profile Image for Tristan.
527 reviews22 followers
May 25, 2020
Anna Gallagher is a strong willed young woman with an adventurous spirit in 1889 , a time when most women were still encouraged to enter into prosperous marriages and be docile homemakers.

The beautiful Mount Rainier is a sight that calls to Anna's soul. She becomes determined to summit this mountain despite the many obstacles in her way.

This story touches on many important topics of the time such as colonialism, class, women's rights and more! There is also a dash of romance.

I found In Sight of the Mountain to be a sweet and inspiring read. I really enjoyed the characters in the book!

I co-host the Reading With A Twist Book Club (find us on Facebook!) and decided to make this my June selection so that I could share this wonderful story with my fellow book club members. We will have a fantastic and lengthy discussion, for sure!

My full review can be found on my blog https://www.tristanreviewsbooks.com/p...
Profile Image for Whitney.
256 reviews5 followers
October 3, 2020
Good for:
* Following your dreams
* Asking for forgiveness, rather than permission
* Long walks in the woods
* Pre-Traffic Seattle

Why: There is nothing more motivating than being told “no”. For 19 year old Anna Gallagher, she is told “no” often. She’s of marriageable age, yet is searching for a partner who will treat her as an equal - a challenge in the 1890’s.

This nuanced tale follows Anna as she navigates numerous hurdles to summit Mount Rainer. From physically training in secret, to raising money for equipment and travel to defying her family’s expectations - her journey is a joy to follow.

The book was well paced with side plots all laddering up to the key goal, while creating depth in a cast of characters. I had some lingering questions about Anna’s friendship with June, but it didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the book. McGillen skillfully discusses colonialism and gender roles in an approachable manner.

This is a wonderful YA novel which encourages every young girl that her dreams are worth achieving.
Profile Image for Stephanie P (Because My Mother Read).
1,172 reviews41 followers
December 22, 2020
I received a free copy of this book from the author for review.

I love when historical fiction novels provide a peek into trailblazers of their time. In Sight of the Mountain is inspired by the women of the 19th century who summited Mount Rainier, despite the view of the time that it was not an acceptable endeavor for a woman.

It follows a young woman who is being pressured to marry well, but longs for adventure and a marriage of partnership rather than the submissive, subservient relationships she sees all around her. She secretly trains and makes plans to join a crew to finally get her chance to climb the mountain she loves.

The main character’s journey in this story is so compelling and I was cheering her on throughout. There is a also a tender love story and a beautiful friendship with a Duwamish woman. I appreciated that the story did not shy away from the mistreatment of the Indigenous people. I also loved the setting because I have family in the Seattle area and have spent a lot of time there and was interested to hear about the area at this time in history. Mount Rainier felt like another character to the story.

This is a great time to pick up this novel as the sequel releases in just a couple weeks!
Profile Image for Ashlee.
129 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2020
This book was absolutely an incredible read. I will for sure be rereading this in the future it is just a heart warming book. This book literally made my soul happy. This was for sure an anticipated read for me and it far surpassed my expectations.

I was a little unsure at first about the style of character development but, the further along in the story I got it just made perfect sense and worked put perfectly in the end.

This book is all about living your best life for you and not letting what other people think or say get you down or make you feel less than your best.

Just the chapter titles alone will have you wanting to "just read one more."
Profile Image for Mary.
125 reviews3 followers
December 27, 2020
Set in Seattle in the aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, In Sight of the Mountain tells the story of 19-year-old Anna Gallagher. Although Anna receives a lot of pressure to settle down and marry well, she dreams of summiting Mount Rainier (which was not something a lady would do in those days). ⁣

Things I LOVED about this one:⁣
✔ Strong sense of setting & period⁣
✔ The landscape/Mount Rainier feels like another character ⁣
✔ Coming-of-age story with strong female lead⁣
✔ Beautiful cover (if that makes me shallow, so be it! 😄)⁣
✔ Sweet romance ⁣
✔ It reminded me of a grownup version of the American Girl books, which I loved! ⁣
✔ Literary references sprinkled throughout ⁣
✔ Fostered an appreciation for good shoes, modern sensibilities & mountain climbing!⁣

Special thanks to the author, who sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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3 reviews
August 14, 2020
Wow! I loved this book....I was suppose to start at the beginning of the month for my book club. I picked it up at 12am on Aug 14 when I was having a hard time falling asleep. Thinking it would put me to sleep. When I downloaded the book to my kindle, I saw how many chapters it was. The timeline of finishing by Aug 31 seems impossible. But I was wrong! It’s such an easy read.

I literally read the whole thing in a 24 hour time period. It was too good to put down. I enjoyed each character and the depth of the story. I would recommend this book and read a sequel!
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