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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Lost Mountain by Anne Coray, artist Dehlia Melven is struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband, Phil. After grieving his death for 18 months, sadness still engulfs her world. Her only focus is on owning her home and a small plot of land, a dream that she and Phil had been working toward for many years. When solar energy expert Alan Lamb arrives in Whetstone Cove, he is looking forward to making a brand new future and hopefully finding the courage to introduce himself to the beautiful Dehlia. Meanwhile, the arrival of the Ziggurat corporation begins worrying rumors amongst the residents around their questionable mining project at Lost Mountain, which could threaten the local wildlife. However, Dehlia is unwilling to listen to hearsay and distrusts the motives of those she has placed her confidence in. When Alan makes a shocking discovery about the reality of the mining plans, he risks everything and desperately tries to warn Dehlia of the dire consequences to her future. Will he be able to convince her to take action and stand with him against those she trusts? As Dehlia faces a huge personal betrayal, will it be a big enough catalyst for her to make changes in her life or will she and Alan have to part ways for good?
This beautifully written novel and its descriptive narrative totally encapsulate the small Alaskan town of Whetstone Cove and its residents. The characters literally jump from the pages; they are both engaging and possess many interesting layers, especially the enigmatic and intuitive Alan. I found the grieving process Dehlia was experiencing over the loss of her husband of twenty years completely realistic. I loved how the development of her relationship with Alan gradually transformed from a supportive friendship into a loving connection. The way Alan gave Dehlia emotional room was beautiful and showed an immense amount of care and empathy in his personality. Dehlia had so many excellent personality traits too and her trust in the goodness of humanity was enviable. Alan also was willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the community and the environment. Carolyn and Dan, on the other hand, were cunning and lacked any sense of morality. The way Dan psychologically manipulated Dehlia was chilling. I found the many plot twists and shocking revelations throughout highlighted even more depth to the characters and made for a gripping and intense storyline. There were some great moments of tension and the dialogue confrontations were spectacular and, at times, quite poignant. I thought the environmental issues covered were relevant, subtle but very powerful. The novel highlighted the beauty of nature, the importance of caring for the environment, and the results of humanity's greed for money and power. The plot covers both sides of the environmental argument excellently and this allows the reader to decide which course of action they would take if placed in the same situation.