Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book Review: A Change In Altitude

Anita Shreve takes you directly to Nairobi, Kenya where a young white doctor is there on a research trip with his newly wed wife. The book begins with Patrick telling rather than asking Margaret that they are climbing Mount Kenya. Set in the 1970's and told by Margaret's point of view, this book will take you through the journey of climbing Mount Kenya, and what awaits them. Shreve's writing is a bit stiff and the plot doesn't really flow through like some of her other work but it non the less keeps the reader engaged.
The couple is living in a small house on the property of Diana and Arthur. From early on, you can sense Margaret is culture shocked and things just go down hill for the couple. They get robbed multiple times, their house has plumbing issues, and so on. Margaret feels distant to their new friends and knows Arthur is flirting with her constantly but she chooses to ignore it. They decide to climb Mount Kenya with Arthur and Diana and one other couple. Margaret describes the climb, and the tension there is between the women. There is an incident on oen of the nights with Arthur and Margaret. Diana is infuriated and argues with Arthur. That same day they are to climb a very dangerous ice glacier, Diana gets out of hand and ends up falling off the mountain, which I found a bit unreal. Margaret then blames herself and the rest of the novel is of Patrick and herself trying to regain their marriage. Margaret almost has an affair with a co-worker and blames Arthur of having one also.. The ending is very hasty but Margaret and Patrick decide to climb teh mountain and get to the top for closure.. I'm not the biggest fan of this novel and it was very hard to keep reading until the end.

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