Every Lost Country

Every Lost Country

Book - 2010
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"The longer you stare at the mountain, the more it seems a refuge above human borders and distinctions and this constant dialogue of violence. Up there, he'd hoped, he and Sophie could step away from trouble for a while."   Lewis Book, a doctor with a history of embroiling himself in conflicts, and his daughter, Sophie, travel to Nepal to join a climbing expedition. One evening, as Sophie sits on the border between China and Nepal, watching the sun set over the Himalayas, she spots a group of Tibetan refugees fleeing from Chinese soldiers. When shooting starts, Dr. Book rushes toward the ensuing melee, ignoring the objections of Lawson, the expedition leader, who doesn't want to get involved and spoil his chance to be the first climber to summit Kyatruk. Lawson is further enraged when Amaris, a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker recording the expedition, joins Book with her camcorder in hand. When the surviving Tibetansare captured just short of the border, Lawson and Sophie look on helplessly as Book and Amaris are taken away with them, down the glacier into China. From that point, Lawson continues his ascent, and the fugitives are caught in an explosive and thrilling pursuit that will test their convictions, courage, and endurance. From one of Canada's finest writers comes a literary page-turnerof the highest order. Inspired by an actual event,Every Lost Countryis a gripping novel about heroism, human failings, and what love requires. When is it acceptable to be a bystander, and when do life and loyalty demand more?
Publisher: Toronto, ON : Knopf Canada : 2010
ISBN: 9780307397393
Branch Call Number: FIC Heig
Characteristics: 330p

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VaughanPLDavidB Jan 31, 2018

A good story that could have been so much better if the author had left out the pointless secondary plot of the Wade Lawson character trying to reach the summit. But then, I find the whole idea of climbing mountains pointless. The only purpose that character should serve is to provide a reason for Lewis, Sophie, and Amaris to be there. Wade Lawson's story was of zero interest to me.

c
coachway
Apr 02, 2016

An interesting and action filled book, based loosely on actual events from a few years ago. To me it's a bit of a lost opportunity to tell an important story – the events which occur in the novel are over the top and not really believable. As well, some of the characters are very clichéd (e.g. Lawson – the climber.) Still worth the read if you're looking for an action story in an exotic location.

u
uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

A compelling read about heroism and the moral implications of being a bystander.

r
readingchick
Feb 23, 2012

This was a wonderfully gripping read about what can happen after an unthinking action. I do not know how loosely it is based on an actual event but how it all turned out is almost unbelievable. I guess truth is actually stranger than fiction.

j
joalo
Jun 21, 2011

As noted above, this is based on a real incident; nonetheless it's a great gripping yarn that stretches our credulity. It is also a hard read - even tension throughout becomes somewhat wearying despite the very sympathetic characters.
As also noted, the ending seemed contrived but acceptable.

Cdnbookworm Apr 18, 2011

I was gripped by the story and characters and how events overtook intentions.
This novel is told variously from four points of view: Sophie Book, a high school student who has been brought to Nepal by her father; Lewis Book, a doctor hired by a mountain climbing expedition; Amaris McRae, a videographer also part of the expedition; and Wade Larson, leader of the expedition and extremely self-centered.
The group intends to climb a mountain near the Nepal-Tibet border. Their base camp is within sight of the border. One day a group of Tibetans tries to cross the border while being chased by Chinese soldiers. Sophie has always been one to support the disenfranchised and she is compelled to record what is happening. One of the guides, Kaljang, leads her to safety behind some rocks. Sophie's father Lew however is also compelled to help those in need and when he sees some of the refugees are injured he crosses the border with his medical bag and goes to help. Amaris is also compelled to record what is happening and the Chinese grab her and her camera and take her and Lew with the Tibetan prisoners back down from the pass to China.
Lawson is angry at the situation and refuses to let the circumstances affect his climb. Against advice from others, he continues toward the mountain's summit.
Sophie, however, is worried about her father and what he might do, and decides she must act.
As we get caught up in the plight of the refugees and their individual stories, we also see how the relationship between Lew and Sophie changes, and how Amaris is forced to deal with her past after running from it for years. The story is compelling and the characters interesting and with depth. This is a great read and highly recommended.

n
nipper
Jun 20, 2010

great read.....loved the writing.....a little rushed at the end

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