IN SIGHT OF THE MOUNTAIN
BY JAMIE MCGILLEN
Publication Date: September 4, 2019
The Evergreen Bookshelf
eBook & Paperback; 356 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
~ Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th Century who dared to summit Mount Rainier ~
In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, nineteen-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon.
She has two serious suitors: a well-meaning but condescending doctor, and an evasive fisherman who challenges her mind. But Anna has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house; she has a dream to reach the summit of Mount Rainier.
Despite her family’s disapproval and her own self-doubt, she secretly trains, raises money for supplies, and buys a train ticket to the base of the mountain. If she succeeds in reaching its icy peak, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers; but it’s a tall task and there’s much at risk—including the heart of a man who just might love her as an equal.
On the journey, Anna will face glaciers, avalanches, and frozen temperatures, all without knowing if she even has a family or a future to return to.
In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader’s gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women’s far-too-narrow options.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
“Focusing on themes of the liberation of women, the American class system and effects of colonialism, this intelligent and heart-warming novel introduces us to Anna Gallagher at the tender age of nineteen… In an epic and gripping work of historical fiction with modern sensibilities, author Jamie McGillen gives you everything you could possibly hope for in this inspiring and dramatic tale… Overall, In Sight of the Mountain is the perfect historical read for fans of pioneering heroes and tales of triumph over discrimination.” –K.C. Finn, Reader’s Favorite (5 Star Review)
“As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I found it entertaining to try to picture Seattle as a frontier town and see Mount Rainier without its modern trappings. The story begins with the 1889 Seattle fire (a true event) and I was immediately hooked… In all, In Sight of the Mountain is a really great read–compelling, educational, containing complex characters and a well-crafted plot. Recommended for all readers YA and up who enjoy historical fiction. I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could.” –Donna Gielow McFarland, Reader’s Favorite (5 Star Review)
Nineteen year old Anna Gallagher longs for adventure in her hometown of Seattle, Washington. However, in 1889 young women are expected to be proper and run a household. Anna's grandfather and brother seem to want this life for her as well. Anna gets a taste of adventure when the great Seattle fire devastates her grandfather's book store. Anna dreams to climb Mount Rainier and places her hopes in an advertisement for a climbing party leaving next summer. Now, Anna just needs the funds and to start training. With help from her Duwamish friend, Heather, Anna finds the confidence to begin training for the climb and a means to raise money. When her brother's friend, Ben visits Washington, Anna may find a man that also fits her lifestyle.
In Sight of the Mountain is an amazing historical adventure that captivated me from the start and didn't let go. As an avid hiker, I have always wondered about the women who have paved the path for women to be active in the outdoors. Anna's character, though fictional is a good representation of the experiences of many of the women who were the firsts in the field. Anna's spirit is captivating and infectious, making me want to plan for my next adventure. Through her eyes, the grandeur of the Washington territory came alive as well as the many prejudices that people carried. The plight of the Duwamish people, the native people of the area was brought to light through Anna's friendship with Heather as well as the limited opportunities for women and the views of the women who took matters into their own hands. I was enchanted by the mystery of the poem in the book that Anna solved and absolutely delighted by the path of the romance with Ben. The highlight of the story for me was definitely Anna's journey up the mountain. While Anna's story might not have turned out exactly how she wanted the first time, her story of grit and determination is one that many people can relate to.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
About the Author
Jamie McGillen lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier, and no matter how many times she moves away, it draws her home. Everything about large evergreen trees delights her, except how poky they are, and the sap. Her poems and essays have been published in numerous literary journals, and she teaches English Composition at Highline College. When she’s not teaching or cutting strawberries for her starving children, she enjoys writing rhyming poetry, but it’s simply not as popular as it used to be. You can find out more about her at www.jamiemcgillen.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.