Goodreads ~ On his 18th birthday, Wolf Truly takes the tramway to the top of the mountain that looms over Palm Springs, intending to jump to his death. Instead he encounters strangers wandering in the mountain wilderness, three women who will change the course of his life. Through a series of missteps he and the women wind up stranded, in view of the city below, but without a way down. They endure five days in freezing temperatures without food or water or shelter, and somehow find the courage to carry on.
Wolf, now a grown man, has never told his son or anyone, what happened on the mountain during those five days but he can't put it off any longer. And in telling the story to his only child, Daniel, he at last explores the nature of the ties that bind and the sacrifices people will make for love. The mountain still has a hold on Wolf, composed of equal parts beauty and terror.
Wolf's mother died when he was young, his father is in prison and he's still reeling from his best friend's accident a year ago. He feels he has nothing to live for so he heads to the top of the mountain on his 18th birthday with the intent of committing suicide. On one of the paths, he comes across three women who are lost. After he begrudgingly gets them back on track again, he is going to continue with his plan ... but they become lost. For five days they wander around the mountain trying to find their way again or hope that rescuers are looking for them. They have no food, no water, freezing temperatures threatening frostbite and coyotes licking their lips.
The book is Wolf's letter and account of the incident to his son, Daniel, who is attending university. Wolf feels it's time to be honest about what happened on the mountain ... there are things he is revealing that no one, even his wife (Daniel's mother), knows.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it. I liked the writing style and found it suspenseful ... you know that that Wolf makes it out alive but do the others? The chapters are chunked up by the days they are lost. It is written in third person perspective from Wolf's point of view. The ending had a surprising twist.
I liked the characters. I felt bad for Wolf. He had a loser dad who was never around. They lived with his father's cousin who had questionable parenting skills. The only person Wolf was close to was his friend, Byrd, and he lost him a year earlier. Wolf is forced to mature quickly when he takes on the responsibility of the three women on the mountain.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.