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The Mountain Between Us

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When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah's most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben's mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben's chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

326 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2010

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About the author

Charles Martin

98 books6,208 followers
Married to Christy. Father of three boys.

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5 stars
22,341 (44%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,924 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
November 20, 2017
On the surface, The Mountain Between Us appears to be nothing more than another survival story, but don’t be fooled. This is an emotionally laden journey—a story meaningful enough to leave a lasting impression on this reader.

Stranded at the airport in Utah, with nothing but cancelled flights looming on the overhead screens, two strangers opt to share a chartered plane to Denver. Dr. Ben Payne is hoping to get back to his patients after having been away for a medical conference and some much needed mountain time. Ashley, a writer for a magazine, is anxious she’ll end up missing her own wedding, just days away, if she can't find a way to get home now.

Over a massive expanse of wilderness, the small plane they chartered goes down, leaving Ben and Ashley stranded high on a plateau with nothing but mountains, snow and trees for miles. There’s no denying, the plot is rife with convenience or that Ashley was one incredibly lucky woman to have crash landed with an orthopedic surgeon. A man who also happens to be a long-distance runner (he has incredible strength and stamina), a mountain climbing enthusiast and an Eagle Scout. Not to mention, he has a backpack with supplies from his most recent climb (a french press? I mean, really?), the pilot’s stashed weapons/gear and the skills needed to fashion just about anything from the skeleton of the plane. Yeah, it’s a little far-fetched, but still incredibly entertaining and even anxiety-inducing on some levels.

There are some slow parts—especially around the middle of the story—there’s snow, snow and you guessed it, even more snow. Ben dragging Ashley, tending to her injuries and the never-ending hunt for nourishment becomes a tad repetitive, but what else are you gonna do in the middle of nowhere?

There are several bright spots among the cold bleakness of the backdrop though—number one being the banter between Ben and Ashley. They shared a natural connection from the start, along with a biting level of humor and sarcasm that made me laugh. Have I mentioned, great banter gets me every time? The other aspect of the story that grabbed me, the recordings Ben made for his wife. He reveals early on, they’ve been separated for quite some time now, but he shies away from the why. Naturally, I had to wonder, what could have torn a couple once so incredibly close so far apart?

The reality is a swift kick to the gut, but the ending . . . I was smitten. Big time. Somehow, someway . . . I totally missed it. I didn’t see it coming. Not even a teeny tiny glimpse. The way things unfolded, and the feelings these characters managed to drag out of me, brought this story full circle.

“I’m not leaving you. Not going it alone. Not looking at the memory of you every time I close my eyes.”

Aside from being a complete book nerd, I’m also a movie junkie and it was seeing the previews for the upcoming release that pushed me to finally pick up this book—something I’ve been meaning to do for years. I’m excited to see Kate Winslet’s version of Ashley—which I see has been changed to Alex? um, why?—and Idris Elba’s version of Dr. Ben Payne. I might have even gotten over the fact that Charlie Hunnam was originally slated to play Ben. I have to admit, Idris appears to be a worthy second choice. *wink*
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,855 followers
October 14, 2017
When it came to love, you taught me to crawl, walk, run, and then, somewhere on the beach, beneath the moon and running into a headwind, clipping away five-minute miles, you turned to me, cut the ties that held my wings, and taught me to fly. My feet barely touching the ground.

If writing like this... which goes on for pages and pages, makes you nauseated - this book is not for you. Think Nicholas Sparks. This author has a lot in common with Sparks. However, if you love this kind of talk, this book will be right up your alley. The author goes on and on and on like this. Frequently.

OKAY, settle in for a long review because this is going to be a complicated review.

I read this book because the movie was coming out and I refuse to see movies based on books without reading the book first. If the book is good, and I enjoy it, I will never see the movie. If the book is shit, I will see the movie... because what could they possibly do to it but improve it!?!

I saw the movie.

We could just end the review there, but instead, I am going to go into a detailed analysis. Feel free to stop reading if that bores you.

When I first started this book it was SO BAD. PAINFULLY BAD. The writing was excruciating and I seriously did not know if I could go on. I hate to DNF and really, really hesitate to do so... but this was trying my resolve.

Look at how Martin introduces the female MC:

Her walk caught my attention. Long, slender legs; purposeful gait, yet graceful and rhythmic. Comfortable, and confident, in her own skin. She was maybe five foot nine or ten, dark-haired, and attractive, but not too concerned about it. Maybe thirty. Her hair was short. Think Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted. Or Julia Ormond in Harrison Ford's remake of Sabrina. Not a lot of fuss, yet you could find the same style up and down Manhattan with girls who'd paid a lot of money to look like that. My bet was that she had paid very little. Or she could have paid a lot to make it look like she paid a little.

I mean, just shoot me now. That writing is godawful.

Based on the fact that not only her head, but also her chest and stomach could touch her thigh and the floor between her legs, I surmised that she had done that before. Her legs were muscular, like an aerobics instructor's.


Look at this:

Word was that distance was your specialty. Your hair was cut short, like Julie Andrews in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. You jumped the trackside bench with little effort, then the high hurdle next to me. Your breathing was deep, rhythmic, purposeful. Somewhere over the hurdle, you shot a glance at me. The whites of your eyes rolled right and revealed the jade-green emeralds in the center.

I mean, come on, people. I can only take so much.

I remember looking at your eyes and thinking I'd never seen green like that. Big, round. They reminded me of that snake in THE JUNGLE BOOK that was always trying to hypnotize people.

How about this?

Without undressing her and talking to her, I couldn't get a handle on whether she had any internal injuries. I ran my hands along her hips. Fit, lean, muscular. Then her legs. Her right was fine. Her left was not.

Okay, now we've tackled the writing. o.O Let's move on to something else you might have gotten a whiff of - sexism. Misogyny? I don't know, but definitely a not-enlightened view of women.

I mean, at one point when they are on the mountain, starving and freezing, he starts talking about her breast size. HER BREAST SIZE. I mean... what the fuck is going on here? They are also inordinately focused on the fact that she hasn't shaved her legs in weeks. I mean... they are stranded in the remote wilderness, hundreds of miles from civilization, but HER LEGS ARE HAIRY. No, I'm not joking. Did you see that quote where he was 'assessing her for injuries' but also feeling her up? Yeah. Ick.

The day after having sex for the first time with his wife, Rachel, they have this charming conversation:

"You don't have much to sag to begin with."

You slapped my arm. "You better take that back."

I laughed. "When I was a kid, I saw that very thing in National Geographic, and it's not pretty. Cured me from wanting to look at girly magazines.

You pointed at me. Your voice rising. "Ben Payne." Your crooked, double-jointed finger was pointing everywhere but at me. "You are flirting with the couch. You better watch it."

"Okay, but if you start sagging to your belt, we might consider a tuck here and a nip there."

You nodded. "Trust me, we'll be tucking and nipping long before that."

So disturbing on so many levels. o.O

Martin also has a lot of ideas about 'real women,' 'real men' and 'real marriages.' Real men are leaders and doers, according to him. They should be firm, decisive leaders and also the one who shoulders the burden of the family - earning money and caring for a wife and children. 'Real men' are also in good physical shape and have hobbies like running, hiking, fishing, etc. They don't stay indoors.

To be fair, Martin wants women to be active, too. A real woman is 'strong' physically. Ashley is a tae kwon do expert. A real woman is in shape. A real woman doesn't complain about hardships. A real woman leaves decision-making in the hands of the men, is generally passive, and makes home and family her number-one priority.

So we have a surgeon who is also a runner, hiker, and outdoorsman who gets stranded on a remote mountaintop with a woman who is a tae kwon do expert and a journalist. Unlikely, but okay.

Martin references movies and actors CONSTANTLY. If he can compare a person, haircut, object or scenario to a film, he will do so. I don't know whether or not this will annoy you, but it is worth mentioning.

Really sappy, manipulative, tear-jerking writing on just about every front.

Now, it was obvious to me at the very beginning of the book that I read the book before seeing the movie, but IMO it was super-easy and early to figure out in the film, as well. However, Martin acts like it is some HUGE reveal at the end. And I'm like, "No duh." So YMMV, but I thought it was SUPER obvious and predictable, and he's trying to turn it into a huge twist.

Not only that, but we have a lot of sap on other fronts. Ben had an abusive father. Martin milks this in the most maudlin, sappy long stories as possible, including one where Or some shit.

Rachel, Ben's wife, is so saintly, nurturing, motherly, Christian, and self-sacrificing. It's... hard to tolerate or believe and is simply there so you can be She's not a real person in any sense.

And neither is the pilot, Grover, who uses their short flight to lecture Ashley and Ben about marriage, how great it is to grow old with your wife, how he worships his wife, true love, etc. etc. etc. etc. It's not only very fake, it's nauseatingly sweet. And he's spewing all this stuff for no real reason except that Martin wants to a.) lecture to his audience and b.) make them cry.


Yeah, if you are wincing reading this, skip the book. Ben is the only 'real' character in it - we are only in his head and seeing things from his perspective, and Martin did do a good job of drawing him - but everyone else is two-dimensional.

Any kind of time the author tries to be sexy is a complete failure. I mean, this book is Christian, and 'clean' (hate that a lack of sex is called 'clean') but

You were wearing your robe... and my sweat.

Ew! Just stop. o.O


YES. Which is why I'm glad I resisted my initial impulse to DNF.

The book starts improving at around 44%. Now, it never actually turns into a 'good book' IMO, but Martin's writing improves slightly. Also, he does some good work in describing survival in the wilderness, and little things like how Ben has to help Ashley urinate and defecate and if that's embarrassing. And he does a pretty decent job of describing the wilderness and the environment.

Another good thing about both the book and the movie is Martin (and whoever wrote the script for the film) resists the easy impulse to make Ashley/Alex's fiancé a piece of shit. I applaud that. Even though Martin (in the book) paints Vince (the fiancé) as 'less than a man' - which, in his opinion, means he couldn't survive in the wild, would be useless at rescuing/helping her during this type of situation, likes comfort, and doesn't give Ashley/Alex footrubs - he still concludes that he is basically a good man who will care for Ashley/Alex and provide for her.

Ben's having to deal for having feelings is also good.

I was dozing off when it hit me that during all that dancing, when Ashley's body leaned against mine, when the feeling of her as friend and woman had warmed me, that I hadn't once thought of my wife.

I stood, crept barefooted to the door and out into the snow, where I vomited from my toes.


So, yes, this is a Christian novel. But thankfully, it is pretty muted and understated and Martin IS NOT beating you over the head with Jesus every second. I can complain about a lot of things, but I can't really complain about the Christian feel of this book. It is nowhere near as jarring and heavy-handed as a lot of other books, IMO. But if an overall Christian overtone - with an emphasis on 'Christian values,' whatever the fuck that means nowadays - offends you, skip this book.


The movie is both better and worse than the book in some regards. The plot is better, the dialogue is certainly better, and you don't have to listen to the author going on and on - a huge plus.

They cast a black actor as Ben in the movie, which adds an extra dimension to the film IMO. Ben is white in the book.

The scenery in the movie is stunning.

BUT - the chemistry between Ashley and Ben in the book is more convincing. Both are more charming. I can understand why they in the book. In the movie, I wasn't buying it at all. I did NOT like the Kate Winslet character and did not understand what Elba saw in her. He was way too good for her, IMO. Film ONLY, mind you, he definitely was not too good for Ashley in the book.

Here's a scene of them actually being cute in the book:

Ashley was grinding her teeth when I shook her. "You ready?"

She nodded, sat up. "Any coffee?"

I handed her a mug of fluid that looked more like weak tea. "Go easy. That's the last of it."

"It's already a bad day, and we haven't even started yet."

"Think of it this way... every step away from this place is one step closer to a cappuccino at Starbucks."

She licked her lips. "I love it when you talk dirty to me."

In the film, Kate Winslet not only

In the book, it's easier to see how well these two get along:

I strapped on my snowshoes and leaned into the sled, and it gave way across the frozen snow. I took two steps, and she called to me.

"Can I see that little dance move one more time?"

I shook my hips, mopped the floor, tossed the pizza, spun the Q-tip, and spelled YMCA.

She was howling, gently kicking her one good leg.

The movie also does a great job of making Alex (Ashley, the female MC) a stronger and more active character. In the book she is EXTREMELY passive and doesn't get to even make any decisions, much less walk. o.O In the film she is pretty tough - much better.

Tl;dr - Well, I am glad I finished this book. Not only to keep whiners off my review, but also because - miracle! - the book actually improved around 44%. Some of the scenes on the mountain were truly suspenseful and harrowing and had me on the edge of my seat.

Martin isn't a good writer, IMO, but if he had kept up the tone and writing of the first 40% or so, this book would be intolerable and I would tell everyone thinking of reading it to run for the hills.

Instead, I would only recommend this to a select few. People who love Nicholas Sparks books. People who can tolerate a 'Christian bent' to their fiction. People who love sappy passages about love. People who don't mind Martin's, um, old-fashioned ideas of what a man and a woman should be.

For everyone else here - skip this and see the film. It's much better. Not a great movie, or one that would ever make my top fifty (or top 500) list, but not a waste of time. Idris Elba is easy on the eyes and I'm assuming men find Kate Winslet attractive. *shrug*

Sometimes I wonder how you ever fell for me. You believe in things you cannot see and speak a language that only hearts know.
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews290 followers
August 19, 2017
I rarely go back and change my rating but this book has been haunting me. And although It read more like a wilderness survival manual than a "romance" novel. The story line is beautiful, I wasn't being fair to this book. I went back and re-read a few chapters just to make sure it was me and not this book. It's a good book that stayed with me and I debated over it on and off for a few months. Sorry.
Profile Image for JQ.
96 reviews
January 15, 2013
If I could give it negative stars, I would; that's how bad this was. I guess no one edits books anymore. I just have to point out that "Leather and Lace" is NOT a Fleetwood Mac song, and it's Percocet, not Percoset.

Aside from that, the story was just awful. I sure hope that if I am ever in a plane crash, in the mountains no less, that my companion is an ER trauma/orthopedic surgeon, because I will have a serious orthopedic injury that needs looking after. Oh, and he'll be an Eagle scout, super-fit athlete, avid mountain climber, and just all-around general great sportsman, familiar with fishing and bow-hunting and setting traps. He will also have most, if not all, of his camping/hiking equipment with him in his handy-dandy backpack, which includes some kind of contraption that boils water! Oh, the luck!

I also hope that the pilot of said plane will be an avid sportsman in his own right whose plane just happens to be filled with fishing reels and bait and a bow (with quiver of arrows) and various other sundry equipment which will come in handy at just the right moment(s)!

This book was ludicrous - problem arises, problem magically solved by either the magic backpack or magic plane or buildings that appear out of nowhere (conveniently stocked with just the right amount of fuel and even a lovely plastic sled and set of snowshoes) or just the sheer ingenuity of Dr. Superhero. The main female character was completely annoying and I kept waiting for him to just leave her there and take off on his own just to get away from her annoying prattle. And then he turns out to be rather looney tunes at the end? What a waste of time this book was.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,001 reviews
June 15, 2022
a survival story of a man and woman on ice mountain after a plane crash, two injured strangers relying on each other to stay alive, and through hard weeks they become closer
Ben is the one who struggled hard to protect Ashley, several times when their situation worsens, Ashley asked Ben to leave her behind but he consistently refuses, till they finally found help
this journey changed their lives.. their recognition of love came after a while so it's free from the pressures of the tragic events that bound them together
there's ups and downs in the writing style but in general it's a lovely story of life and love which both worth living
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,534 followers
March 28, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

In what may be the longest synopsis in the history of the universe, nearly the entire storyline for The Mountain Between Us is presented so I’ll spare you all the excessive details. Basically, the tale here is of Ashley and Ben, strangers who meet at the airport while trying to get to their respective homes. When an epic snowstorm shuts things down, the two hop a puddle jumper in hopes of beating the weather and continuing on to their destinations. Unfortunately for them, Harrison Ford their pilot doesn’t quite get them where they are trying to go . . . .

I went in to this thinking it was going to be some sappy-ass romance where the plane conveniently crashes right next door to a cabin in the woods and everyone farts rainbows and gets their smooch on. Due to my assumption I found myself kind of having a hard time enjoying the book. But then the book itself told me to get my act together . . . .

“We’ve all seen movies where two strangers are lost in some vast wilderness. And then just like An Officer and a Gentleman, they end up rolling on the beach. Mad, passionate love that solves all their problems. Movie ends, and they walk off into the sunset. Weak-kneed and googly-eyed. But this is real life. I really want to get out of here and back home.”

And I decided to attempt to read this as a tale of survival with a little Lifetime Movie of the Week thrown in for good measure and things went a lot better. Now, that’s not to say there weren’t moments when I was like . . . .

Because really? Dudebrah not only happens to be a doctor but also comes packed for hiking with all the amenities that will keep your toes from freezing and falling off???? Probably not, but sometimes you gotta just go with it. If you’ve reached the end of all that Nicholas Sparks has to offer, Charles Martin probably is a solid choice for your next go-to guy. And if your husband has told you this more than a time or twelve . . . .

He’ll be super thrilled to know this is soon to be a movie too. That’s how it ended up on my radar to begin with. I posted a recommendation request when this little challenge was about to begin . . . .

And a certain bookpusher we all know and love (well, everyone loves her except “Rusty Bottoms”) said I should choose this. Then I found out SHE’S NEVER EVEN READ THE DAMN THING. WTF?!?!?!?!? Anyway, good thing I liked it aiiiight so I won’t have to sick the hounds on her.

Now indulge me in taking a moment to discuss the aforementioned movie. This was the original casting . . . .

Uhhhh, no. The target audience for this story is going to be the geriatric set like myself. Also, who the hell would believe Jax Teller as a doctor? He ain’t THAT great an actor, kids. It’ll be interesting to see how the new Alt-Right movement deals with the choices that are actually going to make it to screen . . . .

*gasp* Their knuckle-dragging selves are sure to protest.

Anywho, I doubt I’ll fork over any sort of cinema price for this, but I’ll definitely make sure to catch it on DVD or when it hits the movie channels – if for no other reason than . . . .

Hehehehehe. Me = pervert. Idris Elba makes me wanna . . . .

Book # this challenge ended 13 days ago but I am still reading whatever queues up at the library anyway because much like Depeche Mode – I just can’t get enough. I just can’t get enough . . . .

Profile Image for Erin.
2,956 reviews485 followers
July 16, 2018
Sometimes I wonder how you ever fell for me. You believe in things you cannot see and speak a language that only hearts knew.

So if you're like me, you only picked up this book because it's been made into a film starring the delightful Kate Winslet and the very dreamy Idris Elba. Watching the trailer, I was thinking " Another action movie where characters battle the elements." Of course, I was also thinking "Gee that Kate Winslet is one lucky gal- stuck on a boat with Leonardo DiCaprio, getting visited on your sick bed by Johnny Depp, now stuck on a mountain with Idris Elba. Girl, I wish I had those kind of problems."

BUT this book is so much more as Ben and Ashley battle the elements.It is also a love story. Ashley is on her way to be married and Ben is in a hurry to get back to his wife. As the days pass, Ben uses a recorder to speak to his wife, Rachel, reminiscing about all their years together. By the end of this book, my heart and soul would just lay in a ragged heap.

(shakes fists) Darn you, Kate Winslet and Idris Elba- er- lol- I mean author Charles Martin. Anyway, bring the tissues!
46 reviews3 followers
August 9, 2010
I guess i don't get it. I could not finish reading this book so i skimmed it. Survival stories are one of my favorites but this was just too much to be believed. Everything goes too well for a male doctor and a female writer, both nearly at death's door after a small airplane crash into a mountain. How incredible that they have many of their survival tools at hand. Thank goodness we have a doctor as well. Isn't it great that this duo is dialoguing their wit to beat the band and throwing snowballs while in major major pain. Really, this just a long date in the mountains after a plane crash. We can see where this going even if the good doc already has a wife. How about more descriptive, atmospheric relief instead of all the false feel good stuff. Unless, that is, you like your novels chick-litty, and filled with chattiness. I suppose i am being a bit rough. There is a twist at the end, and for some it could be a real tearjerker. I'll give credit to the author for that. And pay homage to Nicholas Sparks for supplying the essence of that finishing touch.
Profile Image for Brandice.
855 reviews
January 6, 2018
This is the type of book I could barely put down, but also wanted to press pause on - only to make reading it last longer. I really enjoyed The Mountain Between Us!

I first heard about this book last spring, in a “books to read before they become movies” type of article. I typically scan these kinds of articles but have so many books on my TBR list already, something really has to grab my attention. The premise of the plot for this one did. Then, to find out Ben and Ashley, the two main characters, would be played by Idris Elba and Kate Winslet?! Yes, definitely reading! And I’m glad I did.

The Mountain Between Us is a story about two strangers, Ben, a doctor from Florida, and Ashley, a writer from Atlanta, who charter a plane to Denver, in the hopes of trying to make it home before a snowstorm hits the West. The book is a mix of romance and survival. At parts, I was getting faint Nicholas Sparks vibes, but I didn’t feel like this book was over the top. I think Martin offers a good view of what many people would consider deep, true love. I thought it was sweet. I also enjoyed that the book was written in first person, through Ben’s perspective.

It’s also a story of survival. Ben and Ashley were lucky that Ben was so resourceful and smart, skills he likely honed from his athlete days and work as a doctor. As I read about their creativity and makeshift solutions (ex: sled) given the circumstances, I was impressed! While this is a fictional story, it was realistic enough that I couldn’t help but admit how screwed I’d be if I was one of them. I loathe truly cold weather, I am not a wilderness girl, and I’m not sure, even with adrenaline, that I’d actually find ways to continuously survive, like create shelter when there wasn’t one to be found, hunt and prepare animals for food, etc. I did feel like some of the wilderness aspects, timing wise were a bit convenient, but at the same time, if you had put in that much effort to continue surviving, you’d likely keep pushing and looking for ways to go on.

The story had a few plot bends that I wasn’t expecting, particularly related to the characters’ lives outside of this unplanned adventure. I wasn’t expecting them, but they just clicked, right before the book was about to reveal them.

I thought The Mountain Between Us was really good, and look forward to seeing the movie!

*Update 1.5.18* - I watched the movie and disappointingly, was unimpressed. Despite a great actor and actress, it didn’t deliver. I still recommend the book though. And, if you like the book, do yourself a favor and avoid the movie ;).
Profile Image for Miki.
1,135 reviews
August 10, 2019
I can't decide what I feel about this book. On one hand it was an interesting story, tender and well-told. The characters were real and the survival story was good enough that I stayed up late(r) to finish it. And, thank goodness, it had a mostly happy ending!


On the other hand, why wasn't this man in a mental institution? Why does he still talk to his dead wife by means of a digital recorder, which, as it fills up, is placed on her burial place and another begun? Why did he bury his wife in the conservatory out back? And is it coincidence that the babies she refused to abort, even to save her own life and even though he begged her to, are buried across the aisle from her instead of next to or with her? For that matter, what well-adjusted, SANE man states that he "slept with" his wife, but really means that he slept on her tomb?

Like figure skating, some books need a dual rating system, one for technical difficulty, one for artistic merit. This is one of those books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Carol.
829 reviews482 followers
June 25, 2020
Darn the stars...Yes, I really liked this book but the stars always give me problems. I just want to tell you why I liked the book and not have to rate it. One day I feel one way and the next, perhaps, differently.

I have been racking my brain this week, trying to remember how Charles Martin first showed up on my radar. I know that I purchased a few of his books for our library based on reviews. They sounded like pleasant reads that might appeal to our members who like inspirational or gentle reads, feel good novels, heart-warming stories or something without violence. You know the kind of book I mean. They seemed to be sitting on our shelves but were getting interlibrary loaned all the time. This made me more curious about their content but I still hadn't picked up one myself or noted who was reading them and I hadn't heard anyone's feedback. One day a woman asked for a nice story. She was tired of books filled with blood and guts and needed a change. I suggested Charles Martin and asked that she let me know what she thought. She read one and was hooked. Now, I felt obligated to read one too.

I chose The Mountain Between Us as the premise sounded interesting. Ashley Knox and Dr. Ben Payne are stranded at the Salt Lake City Airport one stormy night. Each has their reasons for wanting to get home. Ashley is getting married and Ben has lots of surgeries awaiting him. Ben charters a plane and invites Ashley to accompany him. Mid-flight the pilot has a heart attack, the plane crashes, leaving only Ben, Ashley and the pilot's dog, Tank, surviving, but with serious injuries. What appealed to me immediately was the description of the book. In a nutshell the word adventure jumped out at me. I love a book with adventure.

Here's what I really liked about Mountain Between Us. I loved the authors descriptions, his beautiful passages and his obvious respect for women and marriage. I liked the dialog between the characters and their strength in what seemed liked insurmountable odds. I enjoyed a story well told. Was it perhaps a bit predictable or a schmaltzy love story as one critic thought? Take a leap of faith and just enjoy the story.

I think you would classify this book as Christian but I saw it more as faith based and would not want to pigeon-hole the author in any one genre.

It was just what I needed at the time. I'll definitely try another of Mr. Martin's books. If you've read any I'd like to know your thoughts.
Profile Image for Myrna.
708 reviews
June 24, 2017
The Mountain Between Us was both a romance and adventure/survival story that kept me engaged. I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. Yes, some of the events were too convenient and predictable, but in IMHO it was worth the read. If you want to read a romantic, hopefully, wholehearted book, read this one. I look forward to the screen version.
Profile Image for Sharon Orlopp.
Author 1 book375 followers
October 24, 2022
The Mountain Between Us was our book club's choice. I listened to it on audiobook.

It started off strong with Ben Payne, a surgeon, trying to get home to Jacksonville, FL after attending a surgeon conference in Colorado Springs. He has flown into Salt Lake City when his connecting flight is cancelled due to a significant weather front.

Prior to the flight being cancelled, he meets Ashley Knox, a journalist, in the waiting area. Ashley is trying to get home for her rehearsal dinner.

Ben locates Grover, a charter pilot, who has an incredibly small plane. At the last minute, Ben asks Ashley if she would like to ride on the charter as well.

Grover has a heart attack while flying the plane and it crashes into a remote, wilderness area. Grover passes away. Ashley's leg is broken. Ben focuses on ensuring their survival.

For four weeks, Ben and Ashley survive through a variety of challenging scenarios until Ben locates help.

The story plot is good but several things gave me pause. I've read true stories about people who have survived plane crashes in snowy, remote areas but this story seemed very improbable. I also wish Ashley's character was a strong woman. She had a broken leg so I understand why she physically couldn't do much, but her conversations indicated that she relied on Ben to make all the decisions. The male/female dynamic felt very traditional where the man is strong and figures everything out while the woman whines and nettles and doesn't offer any suggestions or contribute to decision making.

I have not seen the movie that was made from this book.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,662 followers
July 21, 2017
“The High Uintas Wilderness. Largest east-to-west mountain range on the continent, home to 1.3 million acres of uncivilized wilderness, gets five to seven hundred inches of snow a year—more in some of the higher elevations. More than seven hundred lakes, some of the best fishing and hunting anywhere.” “Sounds remote.” … “In the middle is a national forest that’s designated a wilderness, which means there are no motorized vehicles of any kind allowed. Hence, it’s one of the more remote places on the planet. More Mars than Earth. Tough to get out of and hard as nails to get into. If you robbed a bank and were wanting to hide, it’d be a great place to do it.”

Beautiful isn't it? Well at least it is if you're there voluntarily with dependable transportation in and out. Well, that's not what this book is about. It's a disaster/survival story. It's desolate and impossible...it's also surprisingly full of hope and two characters who can somehow keep a sense of humor despite it all. Overall, I liked this book. Like anything in this world, it's not perfect by any means, but it kept me engaged and seeking out time to read off the page when I rarely had any time to give up.

As for the “not perfect” parts, sorry but I have to list them: I thought the dire situation these characters found themselves in could have been a million times worse considering the environment they crashed in, but lucky for these characters, the author developed them as ultra-conveniently skilled and healthy. I mean, this was far from a cake walk but seriously, have you ever seen the movie The Grey?? There are serious predators out in the wild.

I know, I know, the disaster/survival component was actually one big metaphor for having hope and perseverance so I can forgive the reluctance to get as real as it would probably be for you and me...and of course Liam Neeson. What I can't forgive though is the fact that the hero's

You might wonder why I gave as high of a rating as I did given my spoilery complaints but like I said in the beginning, the story really did have me flipping the pages. Part of that might have been due to a quickly approaching library due-date or some pressure by friends and family to read this before the movie comes out. Regardless, I was manipulating my already limited time in order to finish this book and that deserves some stars right there. Check it out!

My favorite quote:
“We have to look at very bad situations and find ways to make them better. Every day is a chess match. Us against evil. Most days we win. Some days we don’t. And we do all of this because of one word. Hope. It circulates in our veins. It’s what fuels us.”
Profile Image for Karen.J..
212 reviews178 followers
October 10, 2022
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Not very often I give 5 ⭐️’s…

The story revolves around the characters Ben Payne a gifted surgeon and Ashley Knox a magazine writer. It’s absolutely unbelievable what these two amazing human beings encounter after their plane has crashed in the wilderness of nowhere! I finished listening to this audiobook 5 days ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. This is one of the very best stories I have read this year!
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,376 reviews1,431 followers
February 24, 2023
In The Mountain Between Us Ben Payne and Ashley Knox are in a plane crash in the middle of nowhere. As they fight to survive, the reader learns about their pasts and probable futures.

It is a survival story and also a romance.

"I dumped the bottle and looked around as best I could. Nothing but snow and mountains." pg 65, ebook

I picked up this book because my book club is going to be discussing it on Monday. It's not my usual type of read, which veers strongly towards science fiction and fantasy.

That being said, I expected more from this book- more adventure, more near death moments.

At first, I was reminded strongly of Hatchet by Gary Paulson, which I read in grade school. I remember enjoying that book quite a lot and learning about survival techniques along with the protagonist.

The Mountain Between Us has some of that, it's true, but it is mainly about what's going on in Ben's mind. I found the story to be repetitive after the first hundred pages or so.

The romance in this story is way over the top, which I suppose romance readers may like. As for me, an occasional romance reader if at all, I found myself cringing at some of Ben's revelations.

There's a twist at the end which I won't spoil here, but I saw it coming from the way author Charles Martin wrote some of the passages. I wish it had been sign-posted a little less.

Overall, there's quite a few things for book clubs to dissect. There's the survival aspect, relationships, the beauty of the outdoors, the disconnect between modern society and nature, and what it means to be human. I think we'll have a lively discussion.

Recommended for readers who like their romances syrupy with a wilderness aspect thrown in.
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,402 reviews1,335 followers
March 31, 2016
This is not my typical sort of story. I like adventure and survival tales, but all too often it's filled with gruesome details that turn my stomach. This book somehow manages to be incredibly real and detailed without becoming gruesome, which is a testimony to the author's delightful command of the English language. It is evident that the author did his research about every facet of the book's subject matter, giving it an authenticity that makes it read like truth.

Dr. Ben Payne, orthopedic surgeon, has been in Colorado for a medical conference and took the chance to go hiking for a few days—"I take long runs on the beach and climb mountains when I can get to them." Now he's en route back home and gets stranded by weather in Salt Lake City. But weather is moving in, and his flight is cancelled. With patients waiting back home, he is desperate to get back...and hires a private pilot to take him out before the storm breaks. He invites a young journalist, hours away from her wedding, to go with him; if he hadn't, she would have missed her wedding.

Well, she misses it anyway. The pilot suffers a heart attack over a national forest and barely manages to make a crash landing after his heart has stopped. And Ben and Ashley are stranded and hurt with a snowstorm on their heels and the pilot's small dog for company. Ben is able to use his hiking gear to survive the trauma and cold, but food is an instant problem.

It was difficult to lay the book aside. The details are incredible; in many ways heart-wrenching. Ben's guilt over the past has trapped him in it, keeping him from moving on emotionally. Ashley is more broken physically but more whole emotionally. It's a classic survival tale, with an added deep exploration of the true meanings of love and relationships. Every word counts in the grand scheme of the book, so it must be read carefully to catch all the flavors and nuances.

I'll definitely be reading more by this author.
Profile Image for Cheri.
1,740 reviews2,265 followers
December 28, 2017
”Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world few hearts survive
All I know is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive”

--“Up Where We Belong” – lyrics by Jack Nitzsche / Buffy Saint-Marie / Will Jennings

Some journeys are physically demanding, physically draining, and some journeys are more emotional journeys. This is an intensely physical journey, although it doesn’t really start out that way – a cancelled flight, a man, Dr. Ben Payne anxious to return home after a medical conference, a young woman, Ashley Knox, with an upcoming wedding, and all of those “celebrations” that lead up to that day. Stranded in the Salt Lake City airport, flights that previously showed ‘Delayed’ on the flashing signs, were looking more likely to be cancelled flights as the storm worsened outside.

If you’ve ever been to Salt Lake City, you know that it is a city surrounded by mountains, and that in January they’d be covered in snow. It’s not a large airport, and people there are generally friendlier, so in the time period for waiting and seeing if their flight will be cancelled, Ben, an orthopedic surgeon, is unselfconsciously recording his medical notes on a patient, including a flippant-but-funny comment at the end. Ashley Knox, a magazine writer who is sitting nearby, laughs. A conversation ensues, but then suddenly they’re cleared to board, and if they’re lucky, they’ll be departing.

Of course, as they board, she ends up sitting by him, as they wait to take off, she tells him of her need to get home so she doesn’t miss her own wedding, and little by little they share a bit of themselves in a brief chat – before the flight is ultimately cancelled.

Chartering a plane, Ben remembers Ashley’s need to get back, as well, and asks the pilot, Grover, if he can bring one more person, and soon thereafter they are all airborne.

”Another laugh. ‘You two walked into my hangar tonight and saw a blue and yellow plane piloted by a crusty old man with age spots on his hands and an angry dog at his heels. A quick hop to Denver so you can get on with your busy, scheduled, e-mailed, voice-mailed, text-messages lives.’ He shook his head. ’I see an enclosed capsule that lifts you up above the problems of the earth and gives you a perspective you can’t get on land. Where you can see clearly.”

A variation of something my Dad said over and over throughout his life as a pilot. Flying planes, jets over the earth gave him a perspective, clarity, that he never had being on land.

And then, somewhat suddenly, they are no longer airborne.

What follows is both an adventure story, although not one that anyone would likely choose for themselves, the story of the survivors, the challenges they face, the sometimes questionable decisions they make, and what drives them to continue trying when faced with insurmountable odds.

”The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day”

--“Up Where We Belong” – lyrics by Jack Nitzsche / Buffy Saint-Marie / Will Jennings

I enjoyed reading this story, I loved reading Ben’s recordings, his thoughts to his wife, sometimes regretting times he felt he had failed her, wishing for a chance to do it over. Those seemed to be deeply felt, honest and sincere. I appreciated and enjoyed seeing the respect he felt for women in general be shared through this story, and of these two women’s stories as they play out in this story. I loved reading about Ben’s journey from the past to the future.

Some hang on to used to be
Live their lives looking behind
All we have is here and now
All our lives, out there to find

--“Up Where We Belong” – lyrics by Jack Nitzsche / Buffy Saint-Marie / Will Jennings

I’d wanted to read this since I saw that the movie was coming out, and have had it on my wait list at the library since then. Parts of this may seem a bit predictable, but it didn’t take away my enjoyment of reading this. A nice mid-winter beach read.

I’ve had at least one book by Charles Martin on my list for too long, Long Way Gone, and I’m looking forward to reading Martin’s other books even more now.

Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,575 reviews361 followers
September 1, 2017
Hollywood Movie News Congrats, Charles!

Awesome Book! Full of drama and suspense with a twist of romance! Could not put it down- finished in 2 nights. A Florida gal, have all Martin's books (My favorite author of all time). All 5 Stars. If you have not read this author, you are missing out.

“Forgiveness is a tough thing. Both in the offering…and the accepting.”
― Charles Martin, The Mountain Between Us

Behind the Scenes:
Cannot wait for the movie!! The Mountain Between Us | Going to Extremes | 20th Century FOX

45 days of production. 10,500 feet altitude. -38° C temperatures. Go behind the scenes of The Mountain Between Us, in theaters October 6, 2017.

Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad and stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba.

Look for upcoming Send Down the Rain Coming May 8, 2018. (Have pre-ordered) and hoping to snag an ARC. Readers, I urge you to go back and read every one of his books.

Thought-provoking. One of the most talented authors out there today.
Profile Image for Emilee.
474 reviews92 followers
May 11, 2022
I had no idea how or if I would like this book but I really enjoyed it. It was a little slow in some places. I also felt Ashley's POV was a little unrealistic. She went through major, MAJOR trauma yet kept a very upbeat, light attitude about everything. Ben on the other hand played off much more real to me. Very "guyish". Some of the language is a bit crude and may not be comfortable for all readers. I would like to read more by this author in the future. 4 1/2 stars.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,164 reviews1,322 followers
December 23, 2022
I remember seeing the movie adaptation in the cinema and must have brought the film tie in edition around the same time - so about 5 years ago!

Reading it now, I already knew the basic premise of two strangers desperate to reach their destination despite all flights being cancelled.

Ben, a doctor manages to charter a plane and invites Ashley aboard only for the plane to crash in the High Uintas Wilderness.
Obviously I already pictured both Elba and Winslet as the two main characters in this story, but it's the manner that author Charles Martin delves into the characters backstories that kept me hooked.

It was nice to slip into a familiar story but the complex character dynamics to be explored, the manner that the reader leans more is cleverly revealed.

It's a short absorbing read, but one that certainly hits you in the feels.
Profile Image for Sharon.
248 reviews101 followers
September 28, 2018
It seems like I've been much tougher on books this year. This particular one made my antenna do a little PING! when I saw the trailer for the movie starring those two unfortunate-looking actors Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. The trailer looked fantastic: a plane crash at 11,000 feet, and two strangers forming a strong bond and relying on one another to survive. But it was in and out of the theater in the blink of an eye; and it's still not available on Netflix or Prime.

So, I picked up the book at my library, and... hmmm. I'm not sure how a survival story between two beautiful strangers ends up being boring, but it kind of was. I had to renew it twice because I kept forgetting to read it. And there was a really weird undertone here that I couldn't place: all of the passages about true love, how the doctor found the woman attractive, but not attractive, because he was a doctor and he loved his wife and if he and his mountain companion were to actually make it out of the mountains alive, so help him, he wanted to say he did things right. It felt... oversimplified, and righteous. The dialogue felt staged/forced.

I think the movie has the potential to be better. There were a few good scenes in the book that a movie could really play up.
Profile Image for Laura.
559 reviews90 followers
March 4, 2020
This is a story I won’t be forgetting any time soon. It was intense! There were moments during the story I had to mentally calm my nerves and relax the death grip that I was squeezing upon my coffee mug. When I was forced to put my book down, I was constantly thinking about the characters and their dire situation, and my poor husband had to listen to me talk a lot about these fictionalized characters as though they were real people in my life. Upon turning the last page, I actually went back and reread the last several chapters just so the depth of the story would sink deeper into my soul. This was an excellent survival story. I’m really looking forward to more books by this author.
Profile Image for Andrea Cox.
Author 3 books1,634 followers
September 19, 2017
by Andrea Renee Cox

There's a great story buried in the muck, I just know it. The Mountain Between Us had the potential to be amazing, but unfortunately, it fell way short of that mark for me. The content issues were atrocious, particularly for a Christian book or a book written by a Christian guy. They ruined the entire story for me, leaving me feeling filthy, when I was really hoping to love this book and discover a new author to enjoy. While I was being shocked by the content of this book, Ephesians 5:3-7 came to mind, which says, in part, "there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality... because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place..." (NIV)

Content issues:
* alcohol, including a woman drinking while pregnant
* one line of mythology
* one drug reference
* expletives, including initialism
* crude talk, including of body parts
* coarse jokes
* lots of focus on sex
* nudity (multiple occasions)
* many mentions of people being in their underwear or stripping
* lots of focus on body parts, some in sexual ways
* typos, including inconsistent verb tense in a couple of spots (this one did not effect my rating)

There were also a couple of confusing chapter endings that, I think, were meant to be hooks. They were completely lost on me, and I never did figure out what was meant.

One medical condition (possible punctured lung) was left unchecked by the end of the book. I was expecting a conclusion to that issue, but it must have been forgotten at some point.

One thing I absolutely loved, though, was the ending. I won't spoil it for you, but it took my breath away and made me cry. Another thing I enjoyed was the sheer determination to survive the unsurvivable. The odds of surviving a crash like that are not good, but somehow Ben and Ashley didn't care what the odds were, and they aimed for making it through anyway. It was really admirable how the characters kept each other going when anyone in that situation would heavily consider just giving up. That type of determination is worth striving to gain.

I was not compensated for my honest review.
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books299 followers
October 23, 2018
Three and a half stars.
Adventure/ survival stories don’t usually impinge on my radar but after having read another Charles Martin book and enjoying it and recommendations from others about this one, I decided to give it a go. The story concerns surgeon Ben Payne and Ashley Knox, a young magazine writer, who is flying back home to get married. When the plane crashes they are plunged into an unenviable situation, trying to keep themselves alive in mountainous snow covered terrain. To add to the drama no-one knows where they are, because they had been on an unscheduled private flight with a pilot and his dog. I found a lot of the surviving in the wild terrain and descriptions hard to read and admit to skimming some. Interspersed with them are lighter moments from Ben’s past when he first met and married his wife, Rachel, his recorded thoughts to his wife, along with hard times from his childhood with a demanding, hard to please father. These gave a break to the survival story. I also liked the sense of humour displayed by Ashley. Some of the dialogue between her and Ben is quite clever.
I enjoyed some aspects of this story. However the apparent twist that comes towards the end, I had figured out early on. Maybe having written myself, I am more inclined to think about things like that in plots. And no, I am not going to say what it is because that would spoil it for people who didn’t see it coming. Was it well handled? Some aspects yes, others not so much. But maybe that’s just me. All in all the book was a good read and the tension is kept through, although at times to me it did seem a little far-fetched. I can’t say it is my favourite book by this author. But I know others have loved it. So the best idea is read it and make up your own mind.
Profile Image for Mafi.
1,108 reviews200 followers
October 26, 2017
Gostei muito! Foi um livro que nem dei pelas páginas passar, foi sempre a ler sem qualquer aborrecimento.
Gostei muito do clima de frio e neve, temperaturas baixas, gelo...contrasta com o calor que temos tido nestes últimos tempos. Como já tinha visto o trailer do filme, imaginei as personagens com a cara dos actores...não temos assim muita descrição física de cada um, portanto foi bom ter caras para nomes!
O final não me surpreendeu...já calculava.

Vou sem dúvida ver o filme!


''A montanha ente nós'' é um livro de sobrevivência, um teste aos limites e as capacidades do ser humano em condições extremas. O mais incrível, é que é uma história que podia ser perfeitamente ser verídica.
A forma como o autor conta as adversidades que as personagens enfrentam, tanto a nível físico mas mais a nível psicológico é muito boa, quase que conseguimos sentir o que Ben e Ashley passam. a fome, as condições atmosféricas nada favoráveis, as dores do acidente.


Tenho mais dois livros do autor para ler e embora não me pareça que pegue em mais nenhum dele este ano, em 2018 vou voltar sem dúvida a Charles Martin.
Este livro também me fez lembrar muito outro livro que tenho por ler: ''Sozinhos na Ilha'' da Tracey-Garvis Graves, aqui com um ambiente de mais calor e sol. A ver se também pego nele brevemente!

Opinião completa: https://algodaodoceparaocerebro.blogs...
Profile Image for DeAnna.
46 reviews71 followers
October 23, 2017
OMG! If I could give this book ten stars I would. I absolutely loved it!! It is now on my list of my most favorite books. You must read this!!
Profile Image for Terri Wino.
672 reviews60 followers
April 28, 2017
I really enjoyed this book, and if it wasn't for having to get up early and go to work on Monday I would have finished it in one day.

If you're looking for a true blue, hardcore survivor story, this isn't the book for you. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect going into this book; I chose it for one of the categories on my reading challenge this year. What I got was a story that sucked me in from the beginning. I liked both of these characters and I wanted to know what happened next to them. Were there things that happened in this story that were a little too convenient for the circumstances? Sure. Did I care? Not one bit. I simply enjoyed the story as written and couldn't wait to see what happened next, and I'm not ashamed to say it tugged on my heart strings more than once. I hope I enjoy the movie just as much.

(2017 reading challenge: a book that will be a movie this year)
Profile Image for Carole.
314 reviews38 followers
August 12, 2017
So far, this is my favorite Charles Martin book. I saw the movie trailer, (which looks amazing!) and I had a recommendation from a friend to read this. If I could have, I would have read it in a couple of days. It's one of those books you can't wait to get home and crack open!
Ben & Ashley are complete strangers who meet up at the airport. There is a snowstorm, and they're stranded. Ben is a surgeon trying to get home. Ashley is getting married the next day. They charter a small plane that goes down in the mountains. As they face obstacle after obstacle, trying to survive, they are bonded as only 2 who share that experience can. It goes back as Ben records messages to his wife, and tells their love story.
The ending was not expected. I had to grab for the tissues (a sure sign it's going to make my favorites list!)
Grab this book before the movie comes out in October. A perfect weekend read!
Profile Image for Justina Neliubšienė.
214 reviews33 followers
January 31, 2023
"Tiesiog ženk po vieną mažą žingsnelį pirmyn". Pasižiūrėjau filmą ir užsimaniau perskaityti knygą. Nors daug kas skiriasi, bet man patiko tiek filmas tiek ir knyga! Jaudinanti istorija.
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