Inspired by the true story of Nanda Devi Unsoeld’s tragic 1976 death while climbing her namesake mountain, Susan Froderberg’s novel Mysterium tells the tale of a courageous woman’s ascent to the summit of India’s highest peak to honor her fallen mother.
Mysterium is the name of a mountain, part of the Indian Himalayas and the mountain of course, is the star of this book. Susan Froderberg has written an extraordinary story and I must confess, I was startled and amazed by the unfolding narrative. It is not an easy book to review, the mountain, at no time, allows you to forget her, the mere mortals driven to heights that almost makes them god-like in their striving to conquer her and declare victory over this wonderful mountain called Mysterium.
If you know anything about climbing mountains then this story compliments your knowledge and adds to it, if you know nothing about climbing, then prepare to be thrust into the heart of adventure.
A group of people set out to conquer the mountain and you will walk and climb every mile with them, always wondering if you are going to survive or not. As I mentioned before, it is very difficult to find a level of awareness between the climbers and the massive power of the mountain, it takes your breath away and leaves you trembling because you want more. Sarasvati “Sara” Troy is the young woman who lost her mother on the mountain and she and her professor father, along with the rest of the party, are determined to conquer.
You go through hell with them, you freeze, burn, and glimpse heaven in the clouds. If you are a climber you will love this story, if you are not, you will want to scale the heights to understand, and if you’re a mere mortal like me, you will do homage from a safe distance. A great read and well-written, armchair climbers will be delighted!
Available in bookstores August 14th