4 out of 4 stars
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The Altitude Journals is a non-fiction literal literary masterpiece. David Mauro is in the process of a devastating divorce when his brother-in-law, Ty, reaches out and asks him the one question that will change his life forever. Ty asks David if he would like to join him and a team of others on a journey to reach the peak of Mount Denali, which is one of the seven highest mountain peaks in the world. What seems like an innocuous question turns into something far greater to Dave Mauro in the long run. Dave does agree to join Ty on this adventure as one of the two amateur climbers on the team and after an arduous hike does reach the summit of Denali. Needless to say, Dave discovers much more than a simple hike while on this journey. Dave goes on to climb the notorious six other highest summits in the world, each one revealing new insights along the way and teaching Dave not only about his inner strength, but also helping him face his “demons” and begin an inner healing process. As Dave moves forward he does find love again and a beautiful relationship begins between himself and his soulmate, Lin.
Mauro brings the seven highest summits’ in the world to life in this book with his amazingly gifted writing ability. With passages such as; “Divorce is just the final destination in a long road trip of unbelieving, its route crossing rivers and mountain ranges, zigzagging randomly and pausing for occasional breakdowns. You litter each rest stop with the wrappers of what you once held as truth: love is forever.”, “I looked out the window at the vast frozen landscape thirty thousand feet below and felt a deep sense of peace, the kind of peace that lives next door to loneliness, and the quiet reflective reverence that haunts the basements of both.”, and “But the people who stood with me in spirit each paint upon a canvas with their own color, adding texture and nuance in the shape of their fears, their hopes, and the audacious possibility that had, for a short while, become a part of their daily lives. It is a painting to which I add my signature, having never held the brush.” Mauro’s writing is indeed a work of art. I was moved to laughter and tears numerous times during the course of reading The Altitude Journals.
Mauro learns to listen to what “life” is telling him to do. This, above all, will resonate with each and every reader of this book. As a race, we are very structured and single-minded creatures focused on the final prize, which is usually working then retiring, and we do not stop to really contemplate things outside of our comfort zones, which can bring us great satisfaction and fulfillment. With this being said, Dave Mauro discovers something that is profoundly mind-blowing. He discovers that if you take the time to listen then life may lead you on a path you never knew you were destined to take.
From the descriptive writing which makes you feel as though you are there in the moment to the character development which leads to a feeling of really knowing each and every character to the strong emotions each section evokes I found this to be one of the most enjoyable books I have ever had the honor to read. Mauro has gifted us with a rare gem in The Altitude Journals. Every reader will get something different from this book, but I can guarantee that each and every reader will be touched in some way. The Altitude Journals touches on a gambit of emotions from sadness to excitement to happiness to the agony of defeat. I highly recommend this book and will be reading it over again just to see what I get out of it the second or third time around.
I can write another twenty pages of a review for The Altitude Journals and never do it justice. So, I will finish by saying that I give this book a resounding 4 out of 4 stars, and, if I could give it more, I definitely would.
The Altitude Journals
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