Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Edge of the Seat Reading

Finished September 6
Every Lost Country by Steven Heighton
I stayed up late last night to finish this as I couldn't bear not to know how it ended. I was gripped by the story and characters and how events overtook intentions.
This novel is told variously from four points of view: Sophie Book, a high school student who has been brought to Nepal by her father; Lewis Book, a doctor hired by a mountain climbing expedition; Amaris McRae, a videographer also part of the expedition; and Wade Larson, leader of the expedition and extremely self-centered.
The group intends to climb a mountain near the Nepal-Tibet border. Their base camp is within sight of the border. One day a group of Tibetans tries to cross the border while being chased by Chinese soldiers. Sophie has always been one to support the disenfranchised and she is compelled to record what is happening. One of the guides, Kaljang, leads her to safety behind some rocks. Sophie's father Lew however is also compelled to help those in need and when he sees some of the refugees are injured he crosses the border with his medical bag and goes to help. Amaris is also compelled to record what is happening and the Chinese grab her and her camera and take her and Lew with the Tibetan prisoners back down from the pass to China.
Lawson is angry at the situation and refuses to let the circumstances affect his climb. Against advice from others, he continues toward the mountain's summit.
Sophie, however, is worried about her father and what he might do, and decides she must act.
As we get caught up in the plight of the refugees and their individual stories, we also see how the relationship between Lew and Sophie changes, and how Amaris is forced to deal with her past after running from it for years. The story is compelling and the characters interesting and with depth. This is a great read and highly recommended.

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