The Mountain Goat
Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)
An old camper van was all Ryan Browning’s mother left him when she died last year. Ryan, a thirty-something physicist, has just been fired and could be facing prosecution. It might be a good time to hop in that old van and head out on a long road trip, perhaps to never return. When he goes to the bank to close out his account, Ryan meets the lovely customer service rep, Amanda Seward, who has a few issues of her own. And that’s just the first unexpected encounter on a two-thousand-mile trek through the scenic American West. But the Mountain Goat takes Ryan and Amanda on a deeper road trip through the intersections of art and science, grief and faith, and love. And leads them face-to-face with a deadly threat far greater than they can imagine.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10
Plot: Despite a choppy beginning, this story picks up pace once recently fired physicist Ryan Browning and unhappy customer service rep Amanda Seward hit the road in a beat-up camper van, searching for new beginnings. The twist near the end is much more surprising than the couple’s predictable happy ever after.
Prose: Realistic dialogue and an impressive sense of place and rendering of the American West make up for some scenes that read as if they were inspired by travel brochures.
Originality: This is a straightforward road-trip tale, with characters leaving troubles behind for a shot at something bigger and better. The unexpected religious overtones are subtle and surprisingly effective.
Character Development: Trainor deftly inhabits multiple key characters with flair and grace. Ryan and Amanda may be almost too perfect for each other, which is what makes them so appealing to readers. Their gentle, inquisitive spirits propel this story, and when one of them disappears from the narrative for a while, readers will feel as though they’ve lost a friend.
Blurb: A modern take on the classic road-trip story that resonates with an uneasy yet intoxicating sense of adventure.
Date Submitted: March 01, 2017
Trainor’s latest has something for everyone: adventure, intrigue, romance, and an engrossing prose style. Ryan Browning is a 34-year-old physicist with a hippie vibe and a camper van. After being fired from his research job, Ryan decides to try some spontaneity: he’ll empty his bank accounts, take a wandering road trip, and—why not?—ask the gorgeous banker who closed his accounts if she’d like to come along. Surprisingly, 32-year-old Amanda Seward is receptive to the intriguing stranger’s invitation; moments before receiving it, she has just been downsized rather than receiving the promotion she expected. The two set off from Manhattan Beach, Calif., and make their way to Glacier National Park in Montana, encountering marvelously described sights along the way such as the Grand Canyon. However, dark forces circle the duo, including Ryan’s threatening ex-employer, who’s unhappy with his attempt to present some of his scientific findings. Trainor (Up North) skillfully captures the magic of starting over in this memorable road trip novel. (BookLife)