One Mountain Away review

One Mountain Away

With nothing but brains, ambition and sheer nerve, Charlotte Hale built a career as a tough, do-anything-to-succeed real-estate developer. She’s at the top of that mountain; but her life is empty. Her friends are as grasping and insincere as she has become. Far worse, she’s alienated her family so completely that she’s totally lost touch with her only daughter.

One terrifying day, facing her own mortality, she realizes that her ambition has almost destroyed her chance at happiness.

So Charlotte vows to make amends, not simply with her considerable wealth, but by offering a hand instead of a handout. Putting in hours and energy instead of putting in an appearance. Opening her home and heart instead of her wallet.

With each wrenching, exhilarating decision, Charlotte finds that climbing a new mountain; one built on friendship, love and forgiveness; will teach her what it truly means to build a legacy.

Started this book around midnight and finished it a few minutes ago.  I was going to go to bed now as I am tired but decided to write the review now.  The story is outlined above so I won’t go into that – it pretty much describes the plot.

Let me talk, instead, of how the book made me feel and what I thought about the characters.  While the writing is well done, I ended the book feeling like something was lacking.  Can’t put my finger on what it is but something more than what is there.  Richards does a great job describing the area around N.C. – the characters were believable if a little distant.

Have you ever read a story that felt engineered? I mean, all stories are to a big degree but the art of a true masterpiece is not feeling it while you are reading.  There were a couple of places where I half expected to see the words “cry here” in parenthesis.

I know, that sounds like I didn’t like the book – an impression I don’t want to give off.  The book is about regret and how we should live every day as if it were our last on earth.  Would we complain about the traffic if we were going to die tomorrow? Would we spend that last day gossiping or being critical? Do we need a fatal disease to make us realize the value of life?

As I read the book about how Charlotte made mistakes – I thought, who didn’t? Doesn’t everyone because that is an integral part of being human, making mistakes? The book brought back memories of my own childhood and how I viewed the older women around me.  Now that I’m older, it gives me an idea how some of the younger women think.

There is this whole thing of Gwen in the book – I can’t talk about it too much because I would give it away – but I wish that had been developed a bit more.  I’m also not sure a person can get a death sentence and change as rapidly as Charlotte did and, by the grace of God, I never will have to find out first hand.

I did like the book and yes, it did make me cry in a few places.  It is not a book I would read over and over but I did find the struggles of the women intriguing and how they learned about forgiveness or how to stand up for themselves even when they felt like giving up.  It also struck a chord because lately I’ve wondered what I can do to help others.

Still, I don’t know, the book left me feeling a little empty.  I give the book a B+



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