In Light of the Summit

The Rainier Series Book 2

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
226 Pages
Reviewed on 12/13/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite

It’s only been two months since Anna Gallagher attempted to summit Mt. Rainier and failed, but she’s already training for her next climb. She’s determined to succeed this time with the help of her future husband, Ben Chambers. They are planning a magical Christmas wedding and a return to the mountain the following summer. But not everyone believes a woman should be scaling mountains. Anna invites Ben’s parents to the wedding, but his father disapproves of Anna’s climbing and thinks she should know her place. When Anna’s grandfather’s bookstore becomes the target of vandalism aimed at discouraging her mountaineering adventures, suspicion falls on the elder Mr. Chambers. Meanwhile, Anna’s friend Emily struggles with the sudden loss of her husband and her resurfacing feelings for Levi Gallagher.

In Light of the Summit by Jamie McGillen is a charming sequel to her first novel, In Sight of the Mountain. McGillen’s love for her home state and Mt. Rainier shines through her writing. Her description is vivid and beautiful. Readers will be inspired to climb the mountain themselves. She brings Mt. Rainier and the Pacific Northwest climate to life. Anna is a strong and determined female character, and her husband Ben is always supportive. Their love is believable and sweet. This book is filled with adventure and romance and danger. The mystery is well-plotted, with several great twists. If you are looking for a good, clean novel to curl up in front of a cozy fire with, you can’t go wrong with this one.

K.C. Finn

In Light of the Summit is a work of historical fiction and is the second installment of The Rainier Series, which was written by author Jamie McGillen. The book follows on from the first in series, in which the hero Anna Gallagher has successfully scaled Mount Rainier, and focuses on the social scorn that Anna must face after breaking tradition by being a female mountaineer in the Victorian era. Determined not to be set back by the pressures of her male-oriented world, Anna begins planning her next excursion. Alongside her is childhood friend Emily Watson, whose own mountain, whilst much less literal, is just as dangerous. What results is a thrilling, uplifting, and inspiring tale about 19th-century womanhood.

Author Jamie McGillen has created a truly captivating work of heart-wrenching fiction that will be a treasured part of any historical fiction fan’s collection forever. One of the things I really admired about the development of the work was how fully rounded and emotionally thought-out the piece was; to concentrate so much passion and personality into the characters within a relatively short amount of pages. It makes you really invested in these incredible women and their story and, when combined with the dynamic dialogue and detailed historical backdrop, the whole read had me invested from cover to cover, lost in a glorious Victorian world of tough women against the odds. Overall, I would highly recommend In Light of the Summit for anyone seeking unique perspectives in their historical fiction: an accomplished work indeed.

Donna Gielow McFarland

In Light of the Summit continues the storyline that began with Jamie McGillen’s In Sight of the Mountain. Set in historical Seattle, In Light of the Summit delves more deeply into the personal lives of Anna and Emily as the young women navigate 1890’s society. Anna’s attempt to climb Mount Rainier the previous summer has brought her some fame and she eagerly anticipates her upcoming wedding to Ben. However, not everyone is pleased that a 19th-century woman is climbing mountains, and the lengths somebody will go to prevent her second attempt at the summit are devastating to Anna and her family. Meanwhile, Anna’s close friend Emily experiences unexpected tragedy and has to navigate a path she never thought she would travel. June and Heather also have a part in the story, as do Levi, Greta, and Anna’s grandfather.

The book alternates chapters between the intertwined stories of Anna and Emily, but I was never confused. Jamie McGillen is an excellent writer and I found In Light of the Summit to be an easy read and an enjoyable way to escape the stresses of life for several hours. Although it is not necessary to read the first book in order to enjoy this one, I recommend it. The continued character development and plot follow nicely from In Sight of the Mountain, and there are enough loose ends still left to complete so that I look forward to a third book in this series. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys historical fiction, women’s mountaineering, light clean romance, or who just loves to lose themselves in a good novel.