A Change in Altitude: A Novel


by: Shreve, Anita
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband. A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya , and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever. A Change in Altitude illuminates the inner landscape of a couple, the irrevocable impact of tragedy, and the elusive nature of forgiveness. With stunning language and striking emotional intensity, Anita Shreve transports us to the exotic panoramas of Africa and into the core of our most intimate relationships. From Publishers Weekly Shreve ( Testimony), who worked in Kenya as a journalist early in her career, returns to that country in her slow latest, the story of a photojournalist and her doctor husband, whose temporary relocation abroad goes sour. The year-long research trip is an opportunity for Patrick, but leaves Margaret floundering in colonialist culture shock, feeling like an actor in a play someone British had written for a previous generation. When a climbing trip to Mt. Kenya goes fatally wrong, Margaret's role in the tragedy drives a quiet wedge between the couple. Compounding those stressors are multiple robberies and adulterous temptations, as well as Margaret's freelance work for a controversial newspaper. Written in a strangely emotionless third person, the novel is stuffed with travelogues and vignettes of privileged expatriate life, including the chestnut of Margaret feeling very guilty about being given a rug she admires. While some of these moments aren't bad, the scant dramatic tension and direct-to-video plot make this a slog. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Bookmarks Magazine As a young woman, Shreve spent three years working as a journalist in Nairobi, Kenya, and her vivid descriptions clearly show an affection for the East African nation. Unfortunately, most critics found the setting to be the novel's only redeeming quality. Shreve, known for crafting complex, multilayered protagonists, ultimately fails here. Critics unanimously expressed their disappointment in Margaret's character and described her as dull, unlikable, and frequently obtuse. The critic from the Los Angeles Times also felt that the constant use of "anachronisms in attitude and dialogue" rendered the book unreadable. A Change in Altitude is for die-hard Shreve fans only. Review PRAISE FOR A CHANGE IN ALTITUDE: "Visual and sharply focused....Shreve knows how to keep a reader engaged." ( Washington Post Valerie Sayers) "No one is better at gently, but thoroughly probing the interior life of her characters than Anita Shreve.... A Change in Altitude reflects many of Shreve's familiar themes: loss and grief, the relationship between a man and woman, and how one moment can change a life forever. Shreve weaves a strong mix of exotic Africa and interesting characters, producing a potent story that will keep readers thinking about them long after the last page of the novel." ( Newsday Mary Foster) "Shreve takes readers from Nairobi's lush suburbs to its fetid slums, from the drawing-room world of the white gentry to that of its black servants.... A Change in Altitude rises a few thousand feet above typical women's fiction." ( USA Today Olivia Barker) "Prepare to cancel all your appointments as you race through this dramatic saga....Enthralling. The mountains Margaret must climb-literally, and figuratively-are difficult ones. Readers will be eager to learn if she successfully scales the peak." ( Bookpage Eliza Borné)


Product Code: 9780316020701
ISBN: 0316020702
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2009-09-22
Number of Pages: 320 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1
Dimension: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.29 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds