The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik
The View From Mount JoyWhen a senior in high school, Joe Andreson and his mother moved to Minneapolis in 1971. In his last year of high school he played hockey for Ole Bull High. There, every boy lusted after Kristi Casey, the head cheerleader who went steady the hockey captain. But after Joe scores some amazing goals, he comes in for Kristi’s attentions as well. In the meantime, he becomes best friends with Darva, an artist who plans to go to France to be an artist after she finished high school.
From there they go on to different colleges. They see each other occasionally, usually for a tryst. By now Kristi has become a free spirit. Joe gives up hockey and discovers he needs a new goal in life. By accident, he becomes a grocery store owner. Haugland Foods is a success. Darva returns and they renew their friendship.
Kristi shows up occasionally. She had determined in high school to “be somebody” and didn’t care how she got there. Although Kristi says he knows her better than anyone in the world, even Joe doesn’t understand her new enlightened path to fame.
The View from Mount Joy is an appreciative rambling novel that stays quiet in tone. It is told in first person by Joe and covers about 30 years. Lorna Landvik keeps an interesting tone in her novels. Terrible things can happen (for example, Joe’s father died in a plane crash a couple years before this book opens) yet the over arcing tone is positive.
Joe recognizes that Kristi is self centered and selfish. He knows that the practical Darva is a person to count on. Yet neither are his destiny, just like hockey isn’t. Joe is a loving man, loyal to his family and with a “gimmick” that works well for his grocery store. He forms close ties to the people around him and becomes as valuable to them as they are to him. Kristi’s “Mount Joy” is a huge, spectacular event. Joe learns that “Mount Joy” comes in many different forms.
While this isn’t Landvik’s best novel, The View from Mount Joy is enjoyable. I got involved with Joe’s character and experiencec his ups and downs with him. Landvik pulled me right in.
Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations