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The Mountain Between Us
     

The Mountain Between Us

4.4 158
by Charles Martin
 

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From the author of Where the River Ends, comes this page-turning story of love and survival.

On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport.  Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding.  Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is

Overview

From the author of Where the River Ends, comes this page-turning story of love and survival.

On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport.  Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding.  Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day.   When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection.   And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently.   And then the unthinkable happens.  The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness-- one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States. 
 
Ben, who has broken ribs and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot's dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive.   Fortunately, Ben is a medical professional and avid climber (and in a lucky break, has his gear from a climb earlier in the week).  With little hope for rescue, he must nurse Ashley back to health and figure out how they are going to get off the mountain, where the temperature hovers in the teens.   Meanwhile, Ashley soon realizes that the very private Ben has some serious emotional wounds to heal as well.  He explains to Ashley that he is separated from his beloved wife, but in a long standing tradition, he faithfully records messages for her on his voice recorder reflecting on their love affair.  As Ashley eavesdrops on Ben's tender words to his estranged wife she comes to fear that when it comes to her own love story, she's just settling.  And what's more: she begins to realize that the man she is really attracted to, the man she may love, is Ben.
 
As the days on the mountains become weeks, their survival become increasingly perilous.  How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever?
 
Both a tender and page-turning read, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780767927024
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
54,122
Product dimensions:
7.76(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.72(d)

Read an Excerpt

Prelude
 
            Hey…
            I’m not sure what time it is.  This thing should record that.  I woke a few minutes ago.  It’s still dark.  I don’t know how long I was out.
            The snow is spilling in through the windshield. It’s frozen across my face.  Hard to blink.  Feels like dried paint on my cheeks.  It just doesn’t taste like dried paint.  
            I’m shivering…and it feels like somebody is sitting on my chest.  Can’t catch my breath. Maybe broke two or three ribs.  Might have a collapsed lung.
            The wind up here is steady, leaning against the tail of the fuselage…or what’s left of it.  Something above me, maybe a branch, is slapping the plexi-glass.  Sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  And more cold air is coming in behind me.  Where the tail used to be.  
            I can smell gas.  I guess both wings were still pretty full of fuel. 
            I keep feeling like I want to throw up. 
 
            A hand is wrapped around mine. The fingers are cold and calloused.  There’s a wedding band, worn thin around the edges.  That’s Grover.
            He was dead before we hit the treetops.  I’ll never understand how he landed this thing without killing me, too.
            When we took off, the ground temperature was in the single digits.  Not sure what it is now.  Feels colder.  Our elevation should be around eleven-five.  Give or take.  We couldn’t have fallen more than five hundred feet when Grover dipped the wing.  The control panel sits dark, unlit.  Dusted in white.  Every few minutes the GPS on the dash will flicker, then go black again.     
            There was a dog here somewhere.  All teeth and muscle.  Real short hair.  About the size of a loaf of bread.  Makes snotty, gurgling sounds when he breathes.  Looks like he’s jacked up on speed.  Wait… 
            ‘Hey, boy…Wait…no.  Not there. Okay, lick but don’t jump.  What’s your name?  You scared?  Yeah…me, too.’
            I can’t remember his name.
 
            I’m back…was I gone long?  There’s a dog here.  Buried between my coat and armpit.
            Did I already tell you about him?  I can’t remember his name. 
            He’s shivering and the wrinkles around his eyes are quivering.  Whenever the wind howls, he jumps up and growls at it.
 
            The memory’s foggy.  Grover and I were talking, he was flying, maybe banking right, the dash flashed a buffet of blue and green lights, a carpet of black stretched out below us, not a light bulb for sixty miles in any direction, and…there was a woman.  Trying to get home to her fiancé and a rehearsal dinner.  I’ll look. 
 
            …I found her.  Unconscious. Elevated pulse.  Eyes are swollen shut.  Pupils are dilated.  Probably a concussion. Several lacerations across her face.  A few will need stitches.  Right shoulder is dislocated and left femur is broken.  It didn’t break the skin but, her leg is angling out and suit leg is tight.  I need to set it…once I catch my breath. 
           
            …It’s getting colder. I guess the storm finally caught us.  If I don’t get us wrapped in something…we’ll freeze to death before daylight.  I’ll have to set that leg in the morning.    
           
            Rachel…I don’t know how much time we have, don’t know if we’ll make it out, if…but…I take it all back.  I was wrong.  I was angry.  I never should’ve said it.  You were thinking about us.  Not you.  I can see that now. 
            You’re right.  Right all along.  There’s always a chance. 
 
            Always. 

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

Charles Martin is the author of seven novels. He and his family live in Jacksonville, Florida.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Mountain Between Us: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 158 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first book from this author. I most surely will read several more of them. It was a sad story, but at the same an inspiring story of human survival and a human's will to live. I read this book in one sitting - it's that good.
susanc1249 More than 1 year ago
I have read all previous Charles Martin books and loved this one just as much, if not more, It is so nice to find an author who writes heartwarming, sometimes sad stories without the violence and profanity that is so prevalent in books today, Well done Mr. Martin!
PumpkinKV More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I have read in a LONG time! This author takes you on this journey and you feel as if you are there with the characters. The research he did for this book is remarkable. At the end of the story I just cried for all concerned. What a lovely book to read. You HAVE to turn the page to see what happens. This author is now on my favorite author list. I will keep an eye on new books of his to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What can I say about this book except, READ it!! It is the best and you will be glad and teary eyed that you did. This was the first for me with this author and you can bet it won't be the last - on to another!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story of survival was very well written and kept me interested in how they were going to make it. This would be an enjoyable "beach" read for the summer.
LikesToReadEA More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I understand why it was so highly recommended. The characters are totally believable, the situation that they find themselves in is intriguing and suspenseful. I don't think you can go wrong by choosing this book. I can't wait until this one is made into a movie. Thank you very much, Mr. Martin, for an excellent story. I know that you won't be disappointed if you choose to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read anything this great all year.
jam27 More than 1 year ago
Definitely a page turner with an amazing ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Charles Martin spins a story. He draws me into his world with rich descriptions and deep characters. It is a story of survival in nature, but also about love and forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the BEST books I've read in a long, long time. I have completely fell in love with all of Charles Martin's books. He takes you in to each and every action along with all the feelings that go with it. The love is deep beyond measure and while in this book you will feel it all. This is one book you will not want to lay down. I'm so thankful to my friend for recommending Charles Martin's books to me. llkph Columbia, TN
Jo-T More than 1 year ago
"The Mountain Between Us" touched my heart. The main characters have both emotional issues and tough physical conditions to deal with and do so with a strength of character and innate goodness. I loved the story-within-a-story. It shows that hope and love can conquer anything. I was so impressed and emotionally touched by this book that I've given it as a gift many times and highly recommend it. I recommended this for our book club discussions. I got hooked on Charles Martin's writing after reading "Chasing Fireflies" for our book club (which I also highly recommend along with "Wrapped in Rain"). Charles Martin is a fabulous writer - I have all of his books and recommend them to everyone. His books deal with tough issues and life situations with truth and humor and he shows that with faith, hope and love, most things can be conquered. I also recommend Charles Martin's latest book "Thunder and Rain."
silvercricket More than 1 year ago
I am normally a voracious reader but haven't picked up a book in a while. I am job hunting so that pretty much consumes all my waking hours. Thank goodness though I picked up this book and began reading. It gave me the opportunity to escape from the trials and tribulations of my day. And escape I did to the snowy, cold 1.3 million acres of Utah's national park wilderness. A great read but I have to say, I was blown away by the ending. I never saw it coming. I have read one other book of Charles Martin's, "Where the River Ends". It too was a love story set in nature. I plan on reading all of his books starting with his latest "Thunder and Rain".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually I enjoy DeMille, Baldacci, Child, Coben,and even some end of the world type books such as "One Second After". I read this 'category' for a change - to go to a place where I feel involved. Charles Martin is a new discovery, and a wonderful one. He writes as well as Sparks, who I also enjoy. I am on the road to reading all his previous books and if I enjoy them half as much as this that will still be good! Grab it, sink into a chair, and prepare for a wonderful journey.
CafeLily More than 1 year ago
Charles Martin's newest release, The Mountain Between Us, takes readers on a riveting, emotional journey as they follow the story of two strangers who are united in the fight for survival when their chartered plane crashes. Both Ashley and Ben are committed professionals trying to get home to their families. Ashley, a writer from Atlanta, is just days away from her wedding. Ben, a successful orthopedic surgeon, is anxious to return home to his wife and children in Florida. When their commercial flight is cancelled due to perilous weather, Ben decides to charter a private plane. At the last minute, in an attempt to get Ashley home in time for her wedding, Ben makes Ashley an offer she can't refuse - a seat on his private flight. Even though the plane isn't technically large enough for two passengers, they decide to make it work and head out into the treacherous weather. Grover, their grizzled maverick pilot, has years of experience and over 20,000 hours of flight time. He is confident he can beat the storm and plans to fly "low and slow". Because of the low flight altitude, Grover is not required to file a flight plan. Not long into the turbulent flight, Grover has a heart attack and the plane crashes in the High Uintas Wilderness. As the passengers come to, Ben, Ashley and Grover's dog Tank, are the only crash survivors. With life threatening injuries and deadly freezing temperatures, Ben and Ashley find themselves facing a seemingly hopeless situation with challenges they aren't sure they can overcome. Using his wilderness survival skills in combination with his medical knowledge, Ben manages to set Ashley's broken leg and get them through the night, even though he is badly injured himself. As one day overlaps the next, Ben faces the grim task of giving Grover a proper burial, foraging for food and trying to stay warm all while the realization that they may never be rescued settles in. I found myself reading long after my eyes were tired to see what would happen next. This story is full of suspense and adventure! Each time I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author managed to surprise me and keep me turning pages faster and faster! This story also builds a deep emotional anticipation as Ben's longing for his wife and children play out. He's a man who has made some mistakes and wishes more than anything he could go back and erase them. Ashley learns just how deeply Ben loves his wife as she overhears messages which he records into a handheld recorder. His commitment and love for his wife cause Ashley to question her marriage plans. Is she marrying the right man? Is she settling because she's tired of waiting for her soul mate who may not even exist? Although I started this book thinking it was going to be predictable, I must say that Martin succeeded in surprising me, which made it well worth reading. Charles Martin is a gifted writer who commands his reader's attention from the very first page and then keeps the momentum going as the story builds. As a fan of Charles Martin's books, I highly recommend him. Those who read and enjoy Nicholas Sparks most assuredly will see many similarities in the writing styles of Sparks and Martin - sometimes eerily similar!
GraceinJax More than 1 year ago
I rate Charles Martin among the greatest Southern writers of fiction ever. I cannot recommend his books highly enough, and with these last two books (including The Mountain Between Us) he has outdone himself. If you are looking for a meaningful, clean, encouraging, uplifting but intelligent summer read, this is it!!! And if you haven't read his other books, you absolutely MUST!!!!
Anonymous 7 months ago
All his books are a excellent this was outstanding!
Reina-Sofia More than 1 year ago
The plot is very good and interesting and the way the author develops the story is entertaining and a novel approach. However there were some grammar errors that the author or specially the editorial company should have been on top of it. I am not sorry to state that I am a stickler for grammar with the two languages that I know, Spanish being my vernacular and English which is my second language. All in all I would read another book of this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You wont regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. A awesome story. My 1st book by this author and many more to come
heav More than 1 year ago
Engaging fast read.  Kept my interest and could not put it down a couple of times.  
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the twist!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful