Book Review: A Change In Altitude

This week I read A Change In Altitude by Anita Shreve. I picked it up at the last book swap & wanted to knock it out before I started in on all my new books. It's about a husband & wife who temporarily relocate to Africa, so the husband, a doctor, can participate in a year-long study. The wife, a photojournalist, flounders a little trying to find her way & acclimate herself with African culture.

The Good:
The book starts out with a climbing trip to Mt. Kenya, which I found really interesting. Shreve does a good job describing the climb in great detail. Something happens on the climb that you think you see coming, but not in the way it actually happens. I think I read the first half of the book in one afternoon. I couldn't put it down. Also, not that I've been to Africa, but I feel Shreve does a good job making you feel like you're in Africa. Apparently she spent 3 years in Kenya prior to writing this book, so there you go. Overall, I liked the main characters & liked reading about them.

The Bad:
The book is divided into 2 parts: the climb & after the climb. As I mentioned, the first part of the book is emotionally charged & hard to put down. The second part? Not so much. It's a little odd how anti-climatic the second part of the book is. The second part is still interesting in that you're learning more about their marriage & Africa, but it does take on a different feel. The reviewers & commenters on Amazon pretty much hated this book. Apparently it's a big let down to fans of Shreve. I've never read any of her other books, so I can't speak to this. I honestly didn't think the book was that bad.

I liked it & I think it's worth reading. It's not a long book, so it's not a big time investment. I'd recommend this book to someone who likes to read about marriage, marital issues, exotic travel, mountain climbing, &/or Africa. I'd give it 3 - 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

Weekend Wrap Up

2011 Reading Challenge