In January/February, we’re heading off on a mountain getaway with our Reading Theme.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiance, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest. Based on a true story. (Publisher’s summary)
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
At the end of the Civil War, a wounded soldier walks home to his prewar sweetheart, and finds her struggling to rebuild her father's farm with the help of a young woman determined to teach the former Charleston belle the practicalities and harsh realities of surviving in the mountains of western North Carolina. (Publisher’s summary)
Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden
High in the Himalayas near Darjeeling, the old mountaintop palace shines like a jewel. When it was the General's 'harem' palace, richly dressed ladies wandered the windswept terraces; at night, music floated out over the villages and gorges. Now, the General's son has bestowed it on an order of nuns, the Sisters of Mary.
Well-intentioned yet misguided, the nuns set about taming the gardens and opening a school and dispensary for the villagers. They are dependent on the local English agent of Empire, Mr Dean; but his charm and insolent candour are disconcerting. And the implacable emptiness of the mountain, the ceaseless winds, exact a toll on the Sisters.When Mr Dean says bluntly, 'This is no place for a nunnery,' it is as if he foresees their destiny... (Publisher’s summary)
The White Rocks: or, The Robbers’ Den: A Tragedy of the Mountains by A.F. Hill
A fictionalized account of an actual murder case in Fayette County in the 1850's.
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
A planeload of foreigners fleeing war-worn China find themselves in an idyllic valley in the Himalayas where time has virtually stopped. (Publisher’s summary)
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
A twenty-something advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend, and casually appropriates the image for an insurance company's advertisement. What he doesn't realize is that included in the pastoral scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man in black who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes our hero from the urban haunts of Tokyo to the remote and snowy mountains of northern Japan, where he confronts not only the mythological sheep, but the confines of tradition and the demons deep within himself. (Publisher’s summary)
The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision by James Redfield
In this exciting sequel [to The Celestine Prophecy], Charlene, the friend who first brought word that an ancient manuscript had been found in Peru, has suddenly disappeared while exploring an old-growth forest deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Here, in this rich setting of cathedral forests, wooded streams, and majestic waterfalls, your adventure in search of the Tenth Insight begins. (Publisher’s summary)
Obstruction of Justice by Perri O’Shaughnessy
Two people have died in Lake Tahoe in shocking accidents. In a nearly empty parking lot, a hit-and-run driver kills probation officer Anna Meade Hallowell. High up on a jagged mountain, wife abuser Ray de Beers gets what he deserves: he's struck by lightning. Attorney Nina Reilly, hiking on a rare day off from her one-woman law practice, sees him die. So does her date, Tahoe deputy DA Collier Hallowell. Still shaken from his wife's violent death, Hallowell is hit hard by the accident. It's a bad end to a first date... and the start of a case that will test Nina's ethics and her heart. (Publisher’s summary)
The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley, the Pultizer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres, gives us a magnificent novel of fourteenth-century Greenland. Rich with fascinating detail about the day-to-day joys and innumerable hardships of remarkable people, The Greenlanders is also the compelling story of one family--proud landowner Asgeir Gunnarsson; his daughter Margret, whose willful independence leads her into passionate adultery and exile; and his son Gunnar, whose quest for knowledge is at the compelling center of this unforgettable book. Echoing the simple power of the old Norse sagas, here is a novel that brings a remote civilization to life and shows how it was very like our own. (Newsday review)
The City and the Mountains by Eça de Queriós
Born in Paris, Jacinto is the heir to a vast estate in Portugal which he has never visited. He mixes with the creme de la creme of Paris society, but is monumentally bored. And then he receives a letter from his estate manager saying that they plan to move the bones of his ancestors to the newly renovated chapel—would he like to be there? With great trepidation, Jacinto sets off with his best friend, the narrator, on the mammoth train journey through France and Spain to Portugal. What they discover in the simple country life will upend their own lives deliciously… (Publisher’s summary)