Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And the Greatest Hit of the Fall Continue On--Anita Shreve's "A Change In Altitude"

Our fall of bestsellers to be continues on with Anita Shreve (who I love) and "A Change in Altitude". I was quite disappointed by the last Shreve book, but this one did not let me down!

"A Change in Altitude" Anita Shreve's new novel, follows a young wife, Margaret, to Kenya in the mid-1970s. A few months after arriving in Kenya, Margaret and her husband agree to join two other couples on a mountain climbing expedition. While on the mountain a disaster strikes, and its repercussions threaten to tear Margaret's marriage apart. The rest of the novel follows the next year in her life, but will she and her marriage survive life in Kenya?

I really enjoyed this book from Anita Shreve. I've been a fan since at least "Fortune's Rocks" and I think I've read just about all of Shreve's novels. I was very disappointed by her last work "Testimony" and I found "A Change in Altitude" to be a return to the Shreve I know and love. Like many of her previous novels, "Change" gets inside its protagonist's head and stays there for the duration of the novel, exploring her thoughts and emotions and she tries to overcome the challenges of young married life in a strange and distant country. I thought Shreve did a good job of capturing the unique experiences of a young marriage, particularly how individuals can still be learning about each other early in their union. She also paints a vivid picture of Kenya in the 1970s--from the soaring vistas to the political turmoil rocking the country.

If you're an Anita Shreve fan you should definitely pick up this book. And if not, I think this might be a good one to try her out on. Although not as strong as "The Pilot's Wife" or "The Last Time They Met" this is one of her better recent offerings.

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