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In High Places

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A Breath From Tragedy, a Whisper from Glory

For Patrick Nolan, every climb tells a story. And now maybe it's his own…. He's right at the rim, staring over the cliff's knife edge and wondering how things went wrong so quickly.

It all started after arriving home from a weekend climbing trip with his father, Kevin. That's when word reached them. In a silent moment, they'd lost
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 2007)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  135 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Gail Fagerstrom
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I found this book at a thrift store. My purchase was under the limit for using my credit card so I grabbed a couple books to put my purchase over the amount needed to use the card... I was on my lunch break and out of time - so I grabbed this one because the cover looked interesting.

Turns out it was a really excellent grab.

It is so well written you immediately fall in love with this father and son and their trials and triumphs. I laughed, I cried. I commiserated. I wanted to know them.

The auth
Gail Martin
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this great book, a story of father and son molding their lives together in the North Virginia Mountains following the unexpected death of thier wife and mother. Filled with action of mountain climbing, suspense, romance, touching father and son relationship, the word of strict Christians trying fitting into the world and a boy with no faith, seeking something to hang on to. A great story I thought would be for a man but totally for me.
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Patrick Nolan and his father Kevin are serious climbers. What most people in the climbing world would call "weekend warriors"- someone who goes climbing on the weekend because they are busy during the week. When Patrick's mom kills herself one weekend when they are on a climbing trip life changes completely. They leave town and head out to West Virginia to set up a climbing shop. The shop takes off and some of their favorite climbs are less then 50 meters away. When dangerous risks and rescues a ...more
This book is soooo not my usual pick for summer reading. To be honest, I expected to get a few chapters in, debate whether or not to continue, and then muscle through just to say I'd read it.

Ha! Joke's on me. This is easily among the best books I've read all year, and I'm recommending it to my teenage son.

This story is so "real" that I kept forgetting it was fiction. I would be about two years younger than Patrick, if he were real, and he seemed to me like a boy I might have known back in 1976.
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, fiction
A teenage boy named Patrick and his father come home from a weekend of rock climbing to discover that the boy's mother died from an apparent suicide. The rest of the book deals with how the pair try to overcome their grief, create a new life, and find some answers. They move to West Virginia and open a trail goods store for rock climbers. Patrick worries about his father, who deals with his grief by going on increasingly risky climbs, and becomes involved with a group of churchgoers who hold wee ...more
Elizabeth Johnson
Got this free, thinking it might add some variety to my usual diet of mystery and history. But I couldn't put it down! I'm a hiker, not a climber, but the climbing adventures were explained well enough to understand without dumbing down the readability. In fact, that's what drew my attention to the book in the first place. But along the way, I also grew interested in Patrick and his dad... feeling their pain and uncertainty, and grasping at the slight tendrils of hope they discover. Their story ...more
Stephanie Dean
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A week ago I searched for "fiction rock climbing books", and I stumbled upon In High Places. I promptly reserved it from my local library and, aside from the fact I knew it was a climbing story, had no idea what this book was about.

You can imagine my surprise when I began reading it and realized that it took place in Seneca Rocks, my go-to rock climbing trip destination. It was fun reading about familiar places: Yokums, the swimming hole. It was even more fun reading about routes that I had clim
Lila Spengler
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a nice diversion from some more demanding reading I am doing. A work of fiction with a great message. It is themed around rock climbing in which I am not conversant so I found myself skipping through the descriptions of technical aspects of rock climbing. The characters were well developed and a good plot line line kept my attention. It does delve into the psychological impacts on a teenager who mother seemingly commits suicide (there is a story in a story here) and his relationship wit ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a true coming of age novel as we see Patrick coming to terms with his mother's death, falling in love, discovering God's faithfulness, and trying in vain to deliver his father from grief. Told from Patrick's reflective POV as an adult, however, the novel has more depth. Morrisey reminds us that sometimes hope is all we need, and hope is all we have. Dealing with heavy issues of suicide and loved ones whose salvation is in question, he delivers a detailed novel on rock climbing and soul s ...more
Sarah Frobisher
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it

I would like to give this book 4.5 stars. It took awhile for me to get into, the technical descriptions of rock climbing were lost on me at the beginning, but once I connected with the characters I really enjoyed this book.

It was surprisingly unpredictable, which I find rare these days. It was honest and real. I like how, while ending well, it was not the cookie cutter perfect ending often found in Christian literature. I am planning on reading more of Tom Morrisey's books.
Mark Wm Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent Story! I know nothing about rock climbing, but the author described activities in layman's terms to the extent I could very easily follow what was going on. The human interest components of the story made it that much better! I'm headed to the library to get another book by this author!
April Terry
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although I know nothing of rock climbing, I enjoyed this beautiful book. It is well-written, almost poetic in nature, with characters that are complex and compelling. I loved that this book didn't have your typical happy ending, but rather it was more real and complicated, as life often is. I would highly recommend this book.
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it
I just finished this book yesterday. I connected with certain parts of the book but my short attention span got the best of me at times as well. If you like outdoors and adventure reading such as (Into the Wild) by John.K then check it out. This book has it's dark moments but the end message is "hope is enough".
C.J. Darlington
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
A powerful, well-written novel. Coming of age tale about a teen boy who faces his mother's suicide and his father's grief. Lots of fascinating, authentic, rock climbing details, but not too many that the novel became a treatise on the subject. The ending wasn't exactly what I expected but fit the story. Recommended!
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This novel started out beautifully - pulling me in with both language and action. Along the way, though, certain plot devices felt like just that - devices, and I found myself getting impatient with it. If you are a rock climber, it's definitely worth a read, just for the descriptions of scaling the face of a cliff, different climbs and types of climb, and more.
Pam Carter mayes
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The story line was captivating and I totally embraced the characters. I kept having the feeling that I was reading a true story and to remind myself that this was fiction.

In the beginning, I got a little bogged down in all the technical climbing jargon and started to put the book down several times but am glad I persevered to the end!
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book especially for its unusual treatment of a topic way out of my comfort zone. The writing was authentic and readable, and the conclusions left me feeling satisfied and happy for the protagonists.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-lit
I wasn't sure about this when I started it, but it turned into a great read about a boy and his father after his Mother dies from CO exposure. It does get a little technical about the climbing stuff, more than I would care for, but the story line is good.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I borrowed this from our church library. I enjoyed the story and the way the dad and son dealt with their tragedy - there was just a bit too much climbing detail in it for me.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
The writing was calming, honest and it read more like a memoir than a work of fiction. The plot had short bursts of excitement, but nothing too wild. Very real.
Karen Linton
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Why'd it take me so long to find this author?!?
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome quick read!

I loved the way the book started but I was not as pleased with the end. The ending seemed to be rushed.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
great book, very informative and moving
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a great book about the exploration of one's faith in light of tragedy.
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2016
This ebook was free from Barnes and Noble when I downloaded it to my Nook library.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well-written...I felt like it was more like an autobiography than fiction. The characters were portrayed so honestly that I felt like I knew them.
David Horney
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-44th-year
great story, terribly sad, no happy endings
Jun 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Even though I am not a climber I enjoyed this book. It was nice to finally read something decent again.
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Tom Morrisey is the author of six novels and short stories, is a world-renowned adventure-travel writer whose work has appeared in Outside, Sport Diver (where he serves as Editor at Large) and other leading magazines. He holds an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Toledo and an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University. He lives in Orlando, Florida. Visi ...more
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