carolandandys, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by carolandandys)
David Guterson is one of my favorite writers. The fact that his stories are centered in my beautiful home state of Washington makes almost feel as if they are my stories. I love his troubled characters and the way that the physical geography seems to echo a psychological geography of the soul. As the story of East of the Mountain unfolds, I found myself increasingly drawn to the main character and hoping and praying for a good outcome to a most challenging dilemma.
LuAnn, January 23, 2008 (view all comments by LuAnn)
The setting for this book is in my stomping grounds -- "East of the Mountains" of Washington state. Add to that the fact that it is written by David Guterson, one of my favorite authors, and how could I not love this book! Guterson tells the story of a man who is in the last stages of his life. Ben Givens is dying of colon cancer and wants to spare his daughter the burden of watching his agony. He decides to commit suicide, yet his plan is to make it look like a hunting accident. He travels east of the mountains to where he grew up. His plans are continually waylaid as he runs into one road block after another. Does he finally carry out this last act? I'll never tell. You'll have to read this excellent and touching story for yourself to find out. I, for one, will see this beautiful country I call home differently from now on.
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Ben Givens is a retired heart surgeon who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Deciding to take charge of his own demise, Ben travels into the wild country of Washington state with his two dogs and his father's Winchester, to hunt one last time and then to end his life on his own terms. But, as with all quests, the Fates intervene. A car wreck introduces him to various helpers and hindrances, and gradually Ben undertakes a journey back through his own past. As he nears the apple-growing country in which he grew up, he recalls the signal events of his youth and manhood-especially his wartime experiences and his profound love for his wife of fifty years. Ben is transformed into an American Odysseus as he confronts the many sides of his own nature in a novel that radiates with the glories of the natural world and the mysterious permutations of the human heart.
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