Customer Reviews for

A Change in Altitude: A Novel

Average Rating 3
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Climbing Mount Kenya when not experienced

Climbing Mount Kenya sounded like a real challenge to Margaret and Patrick, especially when they had never climbed a mountain before. They had been in Kenya for several months, getting used to some of the customs, climate, and various groups of people living around the...
Climbing Mount Kenya sounded like a real challenge to Margaret and Patrick, especially when they had never climbed a mountain before. They had been in Kenya for several months, getting used to some of the customs, climate, and various groups of people living around them, and were enjoying most all of their experiences. A mountain climb sounded great. They rented housing while in Kenya and had met several people they now felt closer to. Patrick was a doctor who worked in a hospital but also spent much time helping the ill in villages and teaching them about disease and how to care for themselves

They got together with several other couples, some with climbing experience, to plan the climb and taking some practice climbs in short mountains in the area to get acclimated. They learned what they had to take along, how to climb, how to breathe, what food was best to take, medicines needed, and what they personally might encounter with their own body and mind. Since they would share crude lodging during the climb, they had to adapt to that and what might occur with some of them physically and mentally.

Margaret and Patrick were in love with each other but to what extent they were not sure. The climb brought some feelings and words out that started causing some doubt in both of their minds. The climb began when everyone thought they were prepared, slowly trekking up little by little, stopping, eating, and sleeping when scheduled. Rest time became different with Margaret, as she was not as ready to climb such a high mountain as she thought. Some things good and bad occurred. When one of the party unhooked herself from the group for some unknown reason and fell thousands of feet the entire trek was stopped. This upset all of them and the love between Margaret and Patrick got tenser.

Margaret wanted to work and she went to one of the newspapers to get a photography position if they had one open. They hired her on a free lancing basis that she did a good job with and her work became steadier. She also met a handsome man that was paired up with her on assignments that caused her more questions than answers about her and Patrick.

The descriptions of locations, people, customs, traditions, and most everything about the area is written so well. I had read a review that said the middle of the story "bogged down" but I found no such thing. The flow was great. As time went on, Margaret and Patrick decided to make the climb again which they did taking another couple along with them. The story will introduce the reader to much about Kenya and its many groups of native and other foreign people that came to Kenya. A very good read. Thanks Anita Shreve for another great story.

posted by CBH on October 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

What a disappointing book!

Anita Shreve is one of my favorite authors; however, this book was a bomb! I was glad to get it over with, the characters lacked depth, the plot was dull, the ending just left you hanging. Totally boring! I was not impressed with her previous book, Testimony, either....
Anita Shreve is one of my favorite authors; however, this book was a bomb! I was glad to get it over with, the characters lacked depth, the plot was dull, the ending just left you hanging. Totally boring! I was not impressed with her previous book, Testimony, either. Would definitely tell people not to waste their money on either.

posted by 2215765 on November 15, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    Not my favorite Anita Shreve book

    I really enjoy reading the Anita Shreve books. Each provides a very real and honest look at complex relationships. Usually, I read them pretty quickly because I can't put the book down! This one was harder for me to get into to, but I stuck with it. The story become more interesting in the middle of the book, after the tragic accident that redefines the heroine's marriage and her view of her husband. The end left me wanting a little bit...a little confused about what the future held for the marriage. Not my favorite of her books, but if you are an Anita Shreve fan, worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    A quick read. Overall, ok.

    This book was really well written and interesting. I learned a lot about life in Kenya. I wish the descriptions were a little, well, more descriptive since the author used a lot of terms for African items but didn't offer enough hints as to what she was really referring to, for those of us who are uninformed about that type of stuff.

    I really did not like the main character, which makes it hard to love a book. And I have a thing against books that are founded upon the fact that at least two people in the book just don't speak to each other - if they actually communicated what was going on in their mind, there would be no book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    Not one of her best.

    i am a big Anita Shreve fan and this is not one of her bests.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    Overall disappointing

    I have read and enjoyed other Anita Shrive books, which is why I decided to choose this one. Initially slow, picked up after a while but never really got there. I was interested more in the plight of the Africans than the main characters. Characters lacked depth and not people I would want to spend time with. A general disappointment.

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