I saw the film version of The Mountain Between Us, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, last year while on holiday in the Lake District, and finished reading the novel version last week while on holiday, once again, in the Lake District. Coincidence? No, not at all.
Something about the ending of the film felt like it was lacking, and likely wasn’t being true to the book that it was based on. Film adaptations are rarely true to the stories they are born out of, and normally, unless it’s a story I feel particularly strongly about, it’s not something that I’m that bothered by. I’d not even read this one, but watching the film and being so disappointed with the ending made me desperate to read the story and find out if that was truly how the writer had intended his story to finish, I could just feel that it wasn’t being told on screen properly. Or perhaps I hoped.
I then came across the book a few months later in a shop, bought it, and added it to my TBR pile, because who wants to read a snowy story in summer? As the countdown for our annual Lakes holiday began, it was the perfect time to reach it down from the shelf in time for our autumn getaway.
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin is about two strangers, Ben and Ashley, having to work together after the plane they travel in crashes on top of a snowy (you guessed it) mountain. One has a broken leg and one has broken ribs, they must quickly learn to rely on each other to survive the harsh environment around them. We follow their story as they attempt to find civilisation and themselves.
This was one of the most lovey-dovey books I think I’ve ever read. I don’t have a heart of stone, I cry at every tear-jerking ad going, but parts of this story were so eye-roll-enducingly-sweet that my eyes almost rolled right the way out of my head in search of something salty. It was a bit much.
I think it’s safe to say I didn’t feel invested in this story, especially as the flashback scenes kept taking me away from the real action, breaking any interest I may have begun to build up, these parts weren’t ‘adding’ to the story for me, they were just chapters to get through.
And for a good while I thought I was actually reading an extended promo piece for Jetboil the amount it was mentioned! Maybe they just sponsored it.
I was right though, the ending had been changed for the screen, but I wouldn’t say it was any better, just different. Very different.
The whole story felt rather ‘damsel in distress’ too, which grated on me. Maybe that isn’t the type of story I want to ready anymore; and the way Charles (the author) kept mentioning about Ashley (the female character) being ashamed of having ‘hairy’ legs, fuck off. Just fuck off Charles. She’s trying to survive, the amount of hair on her legs, or anywhere else for that matter, is of no concern and not something she would/should be worrying about and certainly not something Ben needed to concern himself with.
It’s an easy read, bit of a trudger in places and not one that I would send you rushing to get. A rainy day read perhaps, snuggled under a blanket.
Up next to read: The Winter House by Nicci Gerrard.
Until next time. x