Change in Altitude

Did you ever agree to do something that you really did not want to, knew you really shouldn’t and suspected you probably couldn’t anyway?   Under the auspices of challenging yourself, have you bowed to pressure and attempted it anyway – jumping out of an airplane, swimming the channel, climbing a mountain?  Maybe not?  Wonder what you missed?

Anita Shreve takes readers once again on a journey that connects the characters’ inner turmoil to readers’ alter egos with her newest novel – A Change in Altitude. It may seem unlikely that the main character, Margaret, would leave Boston as a newlywed to live in Africa, but true love has offered crazier reasons to follow the dream.  Before she knows it, and against her better judgment, Margaret has agreed to climb Mount Kenya with her husband and 2 other couples – just to say they did it.  Predictably, the difficult trek leads to catastrophe, but that’s just the beginning.

Shreve is a master in sudden turns of the plot, and here she does not disappoint.  Surprise events change the tenor, the relationships, and the personalities.  As with all her novels, following the plot line is easy and relating to the characters keeps the reading thoughtful.  But, the ending – as with some of her other work – seems a little off.

Still – I’m a fan of Anita Shreve – read them all – from The Pilot’s Wife to Testimony – and always get involved in the story and connected to the characters.