Thank you so much Counterpoint Press for providing my free copy – all opinions are my own.
As a teenager, in a fit of rage toward her father, Jan pits herself against a steep rock face near their cottage. At the top, fired up by the victory, she sets her sights on the improbable dream of climbing mountains. By age twenty, she’s a nomadic climber with a magnetic attraction to misadventures and the wrong men. Jan finally finds the love of her life, an affable Rockies climber. When he is killed in an avalanche in Alaska, a grieving Jan finds comfort in the arms of another extreme alpinist. Before long, they are married, with a baby on the way. While her husband works as a logger and climbs distant peaks, Jan tackles the traditional role of wife and mother. But soon, she pursues her own dream, one that pits her against her husband.
After reading books such as Wild and Into Thin Air, I’ve been looking for a new adventure to embark on and this book exceeded my expectations in every way. This is a deeply personal, moving memoir that I wholeheartedly recommend. Set in Canada, Redford is a woman mountaineer, who writes some very compelling climbing stories, but with a backdrop of the struggles she went through throughout her life.
Redford suffered through a dysfunctional childhood with an alcoholic father and an overworked mother. She went through tumultuous relationships including a failed marriage, but she always would “blow off steam” when mountain climbing. She pursued relationships in this climbing world and went through so much grief and loss because of it. There is page after page of tragedy and near misses, which makes this a very gripping book. My heart ached for her in some situations, and while I may not agree with every choice she made, I admire her greatly.
Ultimately, END OF THE ROPE is about motherhood, love, loss, identity, and above all, climbing. Redford is honest, poignant, witty, and flawed. I was completely engrossed in her story and will be thinking about it for a long time to come.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars!
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