Vikki VanSickle's Reviews > Above All Things

Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
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's review
Jun 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: canadian, adult-fiction

I met the author of this book at en event last year and was thrilled to see it out in stores, and with such a beautiful cover treatment. I loved the dual-narrative of the book, which alternated between an ill-fated climbing expedition by George Mallory and his team and a day in the life of his wife, Ruth, who is waiting for his return with their three children.

I was worried I wouldn't enjoy the George sections because Mountain climbing and traditional adventure stories do not interest me in any way. However, the trip is just as much about the conflict and group dynamics among the men who are climbing together as it is about the incredibly harsh and unwelcoming Mount Everest. The psychological drama is fascinating, particularly as they get closer tot he summit and exhaustion, starvation, and the high altitudes start to play games with the men's sanity.

I adored Ruth and her quiet struggle and Rideout's portrayal of the children and how they each miss their father and act out at their mother felt heart-breakingly accurate.

More than an adventure story or piece of historical fiction this felt like a love story in the grandest tradition: romantic, sensual, imperfect, and ultimately thwarted. Already Rideout feels like a seasoned and accomplished writer, an artist so at ease with language that this could have been her fifth or tenth novel. Look out for this during award season!
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Just received in the mail, although I was skeptical about how much I would enjoy the book for the two reasons you mention above. After reading your review, ,I am excited to get started . Great review / thank you !

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