Timeless romance, an unflinching love story that touches the very core of the human condition. Rideout leaves readers holding the book close to their chest, knowing that the purpose of life, above all else, is love.
Rideout's debut is provocative, challenging, captivating and polished—quite possibly perfect.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
A must-read for Everest buffs with a sensitive side, and for those who want to understand the anatomy of climbing accidents. It is also the perfect summer read for anyone lured by the romance of adventure, as the story goes well beyond the vast summit of Everest into much trickier terrain: the unmapped topography of the heart.
Toronto Globe and Mail
[Rideout's] graceful turns of phrase, her realistic knack of winging us back and forth between Cambridge and Everest, and her powerful portraits of Mallory and his climbing team allow Above All Things to reach its own spectacular literary summit.
This vivid, assured, and confident debut novel scales great heights of obsession and desire, both on the face of Mount Everest and in the loving bond between doomed explorer George Mallory and his wife, Ruth. Against the backdrop of Mallory’s disastrous third expedition to attempt the summit in 1924, the explorer’s tenacity and motives get thoughtful treatment...while Ruth, waiting for news and caring for their three children, is torn between understanding and resentment.... The inevitable, terrible end remains in sight for the reader throughout, as compelling as the mountain peak that Mallory pursued at all costs. But Ruth’s reactions, from her own sense of foreboding to her surprising fortitude in the face of deep loss, reassuringly ground the novel with the sense, as another doomed climber mused, of how “time keeps passing when we’re away.”
Having published widely in journals and been short-listed for various awards, Rideout here reimagines George Mallory's assault on Everest from the perspective of his wife. In 1924, as Mallory readies his third expedition, lovely young Ruth says, "Tell me about this mountain that's stealing you away from me."
Canadian Rideout's debut novel about Mallory's disastrous last climbing attempt is the story of a love triangle: a man, a woman and a mountain. After two failures, George has promised his wife, Ruth, that he is done with Everest, but in 1924, he leaves Ruth with their three small children in Cambridge.... Ruth supported his earlier attempts, but now she is jealous of his time away climbing.... Although a large portion of the novel takes place in Cambridge, where Ruth waits for letters from George...[it] cannot compete with the drama on Everest itself.... A plodding quality slips in, the sense that Rideout is following the historical dots, but she does a terrific job describing both the extreme physical conditions and the dreamlike consciousness George and Sandy drift into as their memories of home intertwine with their moment-to-moment climb.
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