Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Down From Cascom Mountain - Ann Joslin Williams

Title: Down from Cascom Mountain
Author: Ann Joslin Williams
Paperback: 324 pages (ARC version)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
FTC: free for TLC Book Tours

Isn't the cover of this book gorgeous?  I'll be honest here and say that it's one of the main reasons why I decided to read and review Down from Cascom Mountain for TLC Book Tours.  I was born in the Colorado mountains so I will always have an affinity towards that type of landscape. I also thought it was interesting that Ann Joslin Williams' father was a National Book Award winner so I thought she'd probably be an interesting writer.  I was not disapointed.  Her writing is beautiful and the setting of Cascom Mountain in New Hampshire just gorgeous. 

The Back of the Book:

In Down From Cascom Mountain, newlywed Mary Hall brings her husband to settle in the rural New Hampshire of her youth to fix up the house she grew up in and to reconnect to the land that defined her, with all its beauty and danger. But on a mountain day hike, she watches helplessly as her husband falls to his death. As she struggles with her sudden grief, in the days and months that follow, Mary finds new friendships–with Callie and Tobin, teenagers who live and work on the mountain, and with Ben, the gentle fire watchman. All are haunted by their own losses, but they find ways to restore hope in one another, holding firmly as they navigate the rugged terrain of the unknown and the unknowable, and loves lost and found. 

My Thoughts:

Right here I'll warn you that this book has such a sad center story - Mary's husband falls off Cascom Mountian and dies just days after the couple arrive.  Mary's only been with Michael for nine months but her grief is profound.  This is one of those situations and stories that scare me a lot because my husband and I go hiking and what if that happened?  So yeah, this story is sad and terrifying for me.

What made this book a page turner though was the writing.  It's definitely a character driven story and Ann Joslin Williams is a beautiful writer.  She made Cascom Mountain come alive and the characters were so realistic.  While Mary was the main character, the reader also gets to know some of the local kids.  Cascom Mountain has a tourist lodge where the local teens work during the summer.  Callie was one of the kids and she's written so well.  Tobin, a local teen who seems OCD or borderline autistic, helps Mary as she settles into living without her husband.

The back of my book has a blurb where it states "this assured debut novel wrestles with grief and desire" and I really couldn't describe this book themes better.  Mary spends the summer overcoming her grief and finding how Cascom Mountain can heal.  For Callie, at sixteen, this is the summer of her sexual awakening.  Bsaically it's a wonderful character driven story set on Cascom Mountain one summer.  Beautiful.

Ann Joslin William’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 13th:  Along the Way
Thursday, June 16th:  Caribousmom – review
Thursday, June 16th:  Caribousmom – author guest post
Monday, June 20th:  Nomad Reader
Wednesday, June 22nd:  Debbie’s Book Bag
Thursday, June 23rd:  A Cozy Reader’s Corner
Monday, June 27th:  BookNAround
Wednesday, June 29th:  Life in the Thumb
Thursday, June 30th:  Colloquium
Friday, July 1st:  Rundpinne
Tuesday, July 5th:  In the Next Room
Wednesday, July 6th:  A Library of My Own
Thursday, July 7th:  Simply Stacie

isit Ann Joslin William’s website at

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