Above All Things (2012) – Tanis Rideout


This is going to be an interesting review. This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while, and I wanted to wait to be in the right frame of mind to read it, as it’s a bit historical, a bit adventure, and a bit romantic. The book chronicles a single day in the life of Ruth Mallory while she awaits word from her husband, explorer George Mallory as he tackles the summit of Everest.

The chapters alternate between her day, and Mallory’s assault on the mountain, hoping to be the first man to reach the peak, that until then, had been unattainable.

Sounds good right?

You would be totally correct!

The writing is smart, involving, and the story is completely engrossing. I’m glad I waited until I was in the right mood to read it, because once I started I didn’t put it down, and tore through it in a couple of days. The author crafts her words, and knows her subject to the last detail.

But I’ll tell you something, it took me the first 30 pages to truly get into the book, because until that point, all I could keep thinking was, Good lords, my sister wrote this book!

That’s right. This fantastic novel, available the world over in finer bookstores, was penned by my sister. She researched her material, traveled to England to read Mallory’s actual papers and letters, had notes, moments, and ideas laid out in her mind, and then on paper.


I was gobsmacked! This was from my little sister, the girl who insisted on tagging along with me, whenever my friends and I wanted to hang out. The girl I fought with over being on my side of the back seat on long car trips, and honestly, the one who annoyed me, and I her, during our turbulent 20s. I was wowed, and amazed. And oh so very proud.

She weaves an emotional and fantastic tale, weaving depth of character and story into a gorgeous tapestry, that by the tale’s end, actually did have me a little teary-eyed.

This is a great book to take with you to the beach, or read during your commute, or even just curled up in bed at night. Tanis has poured her soul into this book, and it shows. The work and effort she’s put into this feat is amazing, and it reads so easily and enjoyably, that one honestly doesn’t think about all the work that went into it. It’s simply stunning.

Happily, I am not the only one who thinks so, and she has received some outstanding reviews from fellow authors, and reviewers all over.

Sure, I didn’t write it, but when I’m in a book store and I see it, I feel immeasurably proud, and make sure that I face a couple of her books, so that the cover shows.

I am now very eager to see what she comes up with next, and I don’t think I will wait as long to read it as I did this one. Though, like I said, I wanted to wait until I was in the right frame of mind to read and enjoy it properly.

I can’t recommend this one enough, pick it up today, then let me know what you think!




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