While reading Sun At Midnight, I remarked that I knew almost nothing about Antartica. Well, I knew even less about Everest where White
takes place. It was an absolute fascinating story even if you know nothing about Everest or climbing.
White opens with Finch at her best friend's wedding. Finch is the last unmarried woman in her group. But Finch isn't looking to settle down. She's looking to climb Everest. Finch was able to join an expedition to Everest as their medical doctor. On her way home from her friend's wedding, Finch meets Sam. Sam is immediately drawn to Finch. Sam feels like his life has hit a dead end. Unhappy with his work and relationship, Sam takes a chance and heads to Nepal to meet up with Finch. Al is the leader of the expedition and Finch has a history with him. It's been five years since Finch saw Al but he still has her heart.
At first I didn't think I was going to like White. Me, a Rosie Thomas fan girl, couldn't connect with Finch. Finch seemed to distance herself from her friends and family, determined not to be like them. Finch saw their comfortable lives and thought it wasn't for her. Finch struggled to separate herself from them and her desires. It was like if Finch said I want to get married and have kids, that she wouldn't be Finch anymore. So instead she pushed herself to be other. Slowly I liked Finch. She did want all those "normal" things but she wanted them on her own terms.
I loved Sam. Like Finch, Sam didn't want to be like his Dad. Sam wanted to be his own man. But Sam was willing to do anything for Finch. Sam travelled around the world for her, on the chance she'd have dinner with him.
Al was more complicated. Al loves to climb but he's lost a lot because of it. Al's unsure what Finch's presence on this expedition means. But it's a job and Al always makes sure the job is done.
I was unprepared for the love triangle going on with Finch, Al, and Sam. I immediately wanted Finch to be with Sam but as the story went on, I was less sure. Thomas does an amazing job of deftly switching the POV between all three characters. While it took me a couple of chapters to become engrossed, I had trouble putting White down once I was engrossed.
I was also unprepared for the brutal reality of Everest. I know nothing about climbing. Climbing can be a bitch. First Everest is cold plus the altitude messes with your body. The physical stress of the climbing and the altitude can make you sick. Thomas really did a great job portraying the difficulty of climbing Everest.
Overall another wonderful story from Rosie Thomas. Others who shared their thoughts about White: LindyLouMac's Book Reviews
and The Romantic Armchair Traveller