A memoir that chronicles a former businesswoman’s quest to scale the highest of New Hampshire’s mountains.
Suchors (co-author: Own Your Own Cable System, 1983) graduated from Harvard Business School in the late 1970s and moved up the corporate ladder before marrying, launching a successful consulting business, and starting a family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She grew up with alcoholic parents and a beloved but challenging older sister with Down syndrome; she also felt pressure to excel at all costs, without ever asking for help. When she was still reeling from her mother’s death, she met her neighbor Kate, a fellow wife, mother, and feminist, and the two formed a close bond. Both novice hikers, they learned of the Four Thousand Footer Club, an elite society consisting of members who’d scaled the 48 mountains in New Hampshire over 4,000 feet high. The two women made this achievement their goal and grew closer as they pursued intense training regimens that included climbing up and down stairways at a local public-transit station, learning how to pack hiking necessities while avoiding extra weight, and relying heavily on the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Guide, which they referred to as their “bible.” Over the years, several other women became involved in the quest to varying degrees: Suchors’ personal trainer Cathy, her college friend Sarah, and Ginny, a choral master. After tragedy struck, the author was more determined than ever to climb the 48. Suchors’ journey feels authentic, and her writing, gleaned from journals she kept over the years, brings to vivid life a proud and driven woman, her staunch support network, and her vibrant, intelligent best friend and soul mate. She evocatively explains how every early alarm clock, hiking-boot print, and summit happy dance makes her think of her relationship with her friend. Throughout, her prose radiates a sense of determination: “Mt. Tripyramid would push me to my limits.…No matter. Though I might be a month shy of forty-eight and potentially a fool for giving up a lucrative business career to write a novel, I would complete this ‘event.’ ”
An inspiring yet relatable true story with exciting scenes and plenty of heart.