Book Review: Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis

Crow Mountain
Author: Lucy Inglis
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genres: Romance | Historical Fiction
Released: May 31st 2016
Review Source: Chicken House

A sweeping tale of love, legacy, and wilderness set between the present day and 1867 in the dramatic landscape of modern-day and territorial Montana.
While on a trip to Montana with her mom, British teen Hope meets local boy Cal Crow, a ranch hand. Caught in a freak accident, Hope and Cal take shelter in a cabin, where Hope makes a strange discovery in an abandoned diary. More than a hundred years earlier, another British girl--Emily--met a similar fate. Her rescuer, a horse trader named Nate. In this rugged place, both girls learn what it means to survive and to fall in love, neither knowing that their fates are intimately entwined.

This book was a bit difficult to figure out at the beginning. The summary on the back of the book, the cover, and the prologue all seemed to be set in modern times, but then you flip to chapter one and it’s set in the 1860s, but you turn to chapter two and it’s set in modern times once again. It took me a second to figure it out, but there are two stories running parallel to each other inside the book, which is a really cool concept and forces you to pay more attention to both stories.

The chapters set in the 1860s are written more as a story to someone specific, rather than an audience, whereas the chapters set in modern-day times are in the third-person perspective. It’s really interesting to have both of these perspectives and story lines and still see how history repeats itself, but can be changed and improved throughout generations - which I feel is the point of the story as a whole.

The story set in the 1860s is written by Emily, a 16 year-old English girl traveling all the way to Oregon to partake in her arranged marriage. Along the way, the carriage she is traveling in crashed and she is left to be the only survivor, only by the grace of the man who saved her. This man named Nate brought her back to his house in Montana, nursed her back to health, taught her the ways of the land, and they both eventually fall in love with each other (there’s plenty of other juicy and surprising details, I just don’t want to spoil anything huge!).

The story set in modern times follows Hope, a 16 year-old English girl traveling to Montana with her mother, who is on the trip as a research scientist. She goes on a trip with Cal, the son of the man who is hosting their stay. Whilst on this trip, their truck crashes and they’re left to find their way to the house of the boy’s grandfather - which happens to be the same house Nate owned in the 1860s. See what I mean about history repeating itself?

As the story progresses Hope finds Emily’s diary and reads about all of her adventures and experiences with Nate all the while she is having her own adventures and experiences with Cal. However, Hope did not let her story end like Emily ended hers.

This book executed a concept I had never seen before and did it very well. The two stories running alongside each other did not let me get lazy in reading it and it was really interesting to see this author’s take on the phenomenon of “history repeats itself.” However, I feel like the plot itself has been done before - city girl falls in love with country boy, big conflict, heartbreaking resolution, eventually happy ending.

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