Friday, March 21, 2014

Rockfall by Diane Winger

Two horrified witnesses watch as a mountainside crumbles, crashing down on a party of hikers. Searchers find no signs of life. Three missing, all presumed dead. Three families begin the difficult process of grieving.

But one of the missing is alive. Alone, injured, and terrified, she struggles to survive, hoping against all odds that someone will find her … before time runs out.

Emotionally charged and engrossing, Rockfall is a novel that plumbs the depths of tragedy and celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit. 

While a group of five is out hiking, a deluge of rocks the size of volkswagens rains down upon them.  Two of the hikers escape, but it's presume the other three are crushed.  Follow these hikers and their families as they deal with the horrific events.

At first, I was expecting this to be just another crisis novel, but it really isn't.  We go in depth with each hiker,as well as the hiker's life, and really get to see who they are.  We have our two surviving hikers, who are traumatized beyond being able to cope with reality at some points.  We have Hannah's husband and family.  We have Paul's wife and children.  Then there are the children of beloved Nancy.  It's odd, but all of them become a sort of family to you while you're reading.  You want to sit and drink coffee with them and learn more about everyone.  There aren't any of those odd silences, you just naturally fit right in with them.  I won't say they're all loving and caring people, but they mean well and they cope in the best way they're able to.

Without giving away too much in the spoiler department, I will say that there's a lot of added edge.  One of the hikers who is presumed crushed, actually wasn't.  It fills you so full of anxiety!  After escaping the crushing rock and then being left injured and in the elements and all alone, you can't help but feel so much empathy and sympathy.  I found myself screaming at the book!  'Just get someone there to help already!  Don't you dare let them die after everything they've been through!'  I'm not going to tell you if they live or die, but I will tell you that there were tears streaming down my face.

Though I wasn't expecting this to be such a strong emotional read, it really tugged at me.  Several times I had to take a deep breath before continuing to read.  If you've ever dealt with any sort of trauma, then you know how difficult it can be for people to cope with it.  You also know that everyone copes in their own way, even if others can't understand it.  In this wonderful book, we find each possibility portrayed.

I did have one issue with the book, but honestly, I don't know any better way around it, so I'm not counting it as a negative.  The entire book spans the length of just over a week.  In the beginning, because we're seeing the story from so many points of view, we have to keep rewinding.  If I ever see the words 'Rewind to Saturday' again, I'll probably just turn off my Kindle and walk away.  Expect this ahead of time and you won't find it frustrating.  I really don't see any better way to keep it first person and still be able to see everyone's point of view.  It was tasking for me, but only because I wasn't expecting it.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn


  1. Enjoyed your review. Have an interest in hiking. So this book, Rockfall, really looks good to me.

  2. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review of ROCKFALL. It was also an emotional roller-coaster to write!

    ~Diane Winger, author

  3. I love books that are so suspenseful like this one. I also like that it deals with the outdoors.

  4. This sounds like an interesting book. Will have to look into reading it.

  5. Tea- There are some wonderful safety tips in the book. If you're interested in hiking, you'll most likely pick up some handy information while being entertained :)


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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