Lost Mountain: A Novel
by Anne Coray
West Margin Press

"That mountain, it was just there. People didn’t need to go digging roots from it, filling pails with its berries, hacking down alders and fixing trails. They just needed to appreciate it."

In this compelling novel, readers enter the Alaskan wilderness via an arts collective, where ideas, labor, and nature (and those within it) thrive with a rugged survivalism most prefer to only watch on television or read about in books. When solar technician Alan Lamb arrives in Whetstone Cove, he finds himself in a realm where creativity and communal sharing flourish. But he quickly finds himself sidelined by his feelings for Dehlia, an artist consumed by the grief stemming from her late husband's death. Additionally, a mining project devised by Ziggurat, a mining conglomerate, threatens Alan's escape from modern conveniences and Whetstone Cove's peaceful prosperity. As tensions rise within the community about who supports the mine and who doesn't, the turmoil consumes both readers and Whetstone Cove's residents, and the precious Alaskan wilderness teeters on the brink of corporate-fueled destruction.

While the conflict between big business and the environment is at the forefront of the novel, this book is more about healing. As Dehlia navigates her grief and evaluates her relationship with newcomer Alan, the lesson readers receive is that new beginnings constantly present themselves as cycles of life continue. It is up to individuals to notice them. The novel's core environmental message resonates with prolific contemporary works like Jenna Butler's Magnetic North. Coray's tale will engage anyone interested in the continued mining debate, the Green Movement, and the consequences of irreversible land damage and climate change. Gripping and captivating, emotional and poetic, with its implicit nods to the philosophies of John Muir and the photography of Ansel Adams, this book stands tall like the Alaskan alders and spruces. It's a page-turner, sure to keep readers guessing and engaged from the first page until the very last.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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