In 1924, the English mountaineer Ashley Walsingham dies attempting to summit Mount Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson--whom he has not seen in seven years. Read more...
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In 1924, the English mountaineer Ashley Walsingham dies attempting to summit Mount Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson--whom he has not seen in seven years. Ashley's solicitors search in vain for Imogen, but the estate remains unclaimed.
Nearly eighty years later, new information leads the same law firm to Tristan Campbell, a young American who could be the estate's rightful heir. If Tristan can prove he is Imogen's descendant, the inheritance will be his. But with only weeks before Ashley's trust expires, Tristan must hurry to find the evidence he needs.
From London archives to Somme battlefields to the Eastfjords of Iceland, Tristan races to piece together the story behind the unclaimed riches: a reckless love affair pursued only days before Ashley's deployment to the Western Front; a desperate trench battle fought by soldiers whose hope is survival rather than victory; an expedition to the uncharted heights of the world's tallest mountain. Following a trail of evidence that stretches to the far edge of Europe, Tristan becomes consumed by Ashley and Imogen's story. But as he draws close to the truth, Tristan realizes he may be seeking something more than an unclaimed fortune.
"The Steady Running of the Hour" announces the arrival of a stunningly talented author. Justin Go's novel is heartrending, transporting, and utterly compelling.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-24
- Reviewer: Staff
Go’s debut is ambitious in many ways: it evokes a time of privileged daring in which British climbers, defying post-WWI disillusionment, climb Mt. Everest with foie gras at the ready; it depicts a love that transcends time and disdains convention; and it fluidly moves between past and present. The contemporary story concerns Tristan Campbell, an aimless 20-something who stands to inherit a vast fortune if he can track down documents that prove he’s descended from Ashley Walshingham, a mountaineer, and Ashley’s lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. Go amps up the pressure on Tristan by giving him only two months before the will’s provisions expire. Tristan is a dogged researcher who’s willing to trust his luck, digging through libraries and archives across Europe and uncovering letters drenched in love and sorrow, but he doesn’t initially find the evidence he needs to show that he is Ashley and Imogen’s heir. He falls in love with a Frenchwoman, but their connection lacks spark. Meanwhile, Tristan delves further into Ashley and Imogen’s love and its destruction by the forces of war and convention. Their story, as told in flashback, feels heartfelt but overwrought, and the trench warfare and climbing scenes, while competently executed, mine an oft-depicted period without adding much that’s new. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME Entertainment. (May)