A mountain climber and his family deal with the repercussions of a tragic accident that cost him his legs.
Robert Sanchez was an inspirational figure, a mountain climber who worked with troubled young people, encouraging them to change their lives in helpful and positive ways. Six months ago, he took three of those young adults, Troy, Nancy, and Philip, up Mount Everest – only to face a catastrophic avalanche that cost him his legs, leaving him unable to climb again. As his loving wife Monique tries to cope with Robert’s depression and self-isolation, and his daughter Jenny reads through his old climbing journal looking for answers, Robert himself feels trapped and wonders if he can go on as he is. But will a chance to give one more inspirational talk give him back his spark, or demonstrate just how badly he’s been crushed for good?
BECAUSE is a deeply moving, emotionally-powerful tale of intertwined lives, and of finding strength to go on in the face of utter despair. There are multiple stories braided into the main plot, as each of the characters has a voice and a tale of their own. Robert’s story, therefore, is reflected in the stories of those he’s helped as well as those who want to help him, giving the book a multifaceted perspective and adding deeper emotional and philosophical layers to the plot. This is a heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting book, and there isn’t a character who doesn’t have a substantial, painful tragedy to wrestle with. At times, the book is almost too chock full of tragedy and inspirational recovery – it can be a bit overwhelming, even occasionally cloying. The encounter near the end also has a flavor of deus ex machina-level coincidence to it, too. Still, the characters’ emotions on the whole have real genuineness and force behind them, and their discussion and analyses of their situations are both thoughtful and compelling.
BECAUSE is a book full of both emotional intensity and real philosophical and psychological insight.