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The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger

The Mountain Can Wait

Literary Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   
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March 2016 Debut of the Month.

Simply captivating and beautiful, there is a raw honesty to ‘The Mountain Can Wait’ that whispers encouragement for hearts and minds to open. Set in the wilds of British Columbia and focusing on Tom and Curtis, the two men in a family, this is a novel that touches difficult subjects with straightforward sincerity and sensitivity. The characters feel entirely real, their mistakes don't fuel the story, instead it is their reactions, their decisions and relationship with their surroundings. Sarah Leipciger writers with a neat, almost functional hand, yet descriptions are powerful and evocative. When tragedy hits, when lives change in an instant, who can we trust to hold our hand? This is a sharply poignant story that spoke to my soul, it wasn't loud or abrasive, instead it tiptoed under my skin, and I loved it. ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Lynne Morgan - 'Not only does Sarah evoke the genius loci of the mountains, she also masterfully captures the essence of the relationship between father and son, skilfully exploring feelings, misunderstandings and their past mistakes, in a powerfully moving way.'
  • Helen Claire - 'I was delighted by this wonderfully descriptive novel set in Canada, the focus is the bond between a Father and Son and it is tense at times and highly emotionally charged. A great story and a superb debut.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'A sparse and yet breathtakingly powerful story set in the unforgiving Canadian wilderness. This is a stunning debut.'
  • Olivia - 'It's never too late for a Dad to get involved.'
  • Annette Woolfson - 'This is an amazing debut novel, convincing characters, a story line that fair romps along, beautifully described scenery and detail...and all told, my favourite book of the year – so far!'
  • Ed Robson - 'Let’s not mess about here – The Mountain Can Wait is an absolute delight. Leipciger’s novel explores universal human themes with a deftness of touch and a simple yet profound narrative.'
  • Rachel Aygin - 'The plot rolls effortlessly along with the unspoken secret simmering slowly in the background and the descriptions of Canada's wilderness are amazingly evocative...A pleasure to read.'
  • Alfred Noble - 'This was a beautiful book. Sparsely written but with beautiful prose...I recommend all to read it.'
  • Julie Reed - 'A debut novel by a writer who delivers a well written and descriptive story...Believable strong characters, breathtaking Canadian scenery will transport the reader into virtual reality.'
  • Susan Pledger - 'Very atmospheric, beautifully written.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Powerful, gritty, flawed but credible characters doing their best, meaty plot, stunning location, this had all the ingredients I want from a very good read...quite the very best writing I have seen in a long while.'
  • Emma Barton - 'This is a beautifully atmospheric story of a family who pull together in a way they didn't think themselves capable of when tragedy strikes.'
  • Jane Ashbrook - 'Quietly haunting book that stays with you long after you have finished reading...A fabulous debut. I would love to read more from this talented author.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I loved the setting of the story in Canada I could almost smell the trees and fresh air.'
  • Sarah Davis - 'Beautiful writing about life in Canada...Anyone that enjoys a book about family tensions and emotions and the way the environment can impact on lives will like this book.'
  • Les Wood - 'A private man determined to deal with his families' demons...this book left me moved by its simplicity'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'A very moving story of the often difficult relationship between a father and son - and the love that can remain unspoken between them.'
  • Natasha Motton - 'Story of a father and his relationships with his children, friends and the environment in which he lives. A gentle, descriptive prose that is simple and engaging.'

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The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger

Tom Berry is a hunter, a man who would be most content living out his days in the wilderness with just enough ammunition and kerosene to last the winter. A single father, he has raised his children with care and quiet determination, but when his son Curtis gets into trouble with the law and goes on the run, Tom discovers that might not have been enough.


'The heart of this story is the love between father and son, and the backdrop is spectacular; Leipciger's descriptions of the scenery are splendid and intensely evocative The Times A deft and beautiful novel about all that is untameable and wild, in both the landscape and in ourselves' -- Maggie O'Farrell, author of INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE

'Clear and beautiful, like swimming in a mountain lake' -- Mark Haddon

'A tragedy about a silent father and a wounded son... rigorous beauty' New York Times

'THE MOUNTAIN CAN WAIT is a taut, psychologically gripping novel populated by original characters constantly at battle with nature, family, society, and themselves. This is a book that kept me up at night. Leipciger has Margaret Atwood's rare flair for crafting an intelligent and suspenseful novel' -- Nickolas Butler, author of SHOTGUN LOVE SONGS

'The Mountain Can Wait is as haunting, wild and compelling as the landscape it describes' -- Claire Cameron, author of The Bear

'Haunting and beautiful' -- Hannah Beckerman Huffington Post

About the Author

Sarah Leipciger

Born and raised in Canada, Sarah Leipciger lives in London with her family, and teaches creative writing to prisoners. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Asham Award, the Fish Prize and the Bridport Prize. THE MOUNTAIN CAN WAIT is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th March 2016


Sarah Leipciger

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Tinder Press an imprint of Headline Publishing Group


304 pages


Literary Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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