Wednesday, January 23, 2008

East of the Mountains

I just finished reading the book "East of the Mountains" by David Guterson. He is one of my favorite authors and this book takes place in the area near where I live. I recognized a couple "names" mentioned and I have seen many of things he describes.
Ben Givens is dying. He has terminal colon cancer and he wants to spare his daughter the agony of watching him die. He decides to go back to his roots -- east of the mountains -- and commit suicide. His plan is to make it look like a hunting accident.
However, circumstances keep getting in the way, causing his plans to be put on hold. In the meantime, Ben looks back over his life and talks about some of the key moments -- i.e. his stint in the service during WWII, meeting and courting his wife, why he decided to become a doctor and others.
If you want to know how the book turns out, you'll have to read it for yourself. I'm not going to spoil it by telling you the ending.
This book is so poignant, romantic, touching and carries a lesson for us all.
From now on, I will look at this land I call home with a different perspective.


Life Is Fun! said...

I will have to look up that book. Sounds like something that I would like to read! Great start on your blog!

blainemotsinger said...

I absolutely loved East of the Mountains, easily my favorite of all books. I know its bad, but I find myself comparing all books I read to it. I wish more books touched so deeply, in such a well put and natural way, the level of emotion and sorrow that Ben experiences in this book, and the level of transformation he encounters throughout.