Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk: Review by Meilee Anderson
I can’t remember who recommended Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk to me or why. It’s children’s fiction. As a voracious reader I don’t typically read books for kids. Anyone who knows me knows of my strong affection for Mount Rainier. I miss the mountain so much, and long for the stay-home order to lift and for the park to be able to reopen. When someone recommended a title with the word mountain in it, I was in!
When I realized the story took place after the Great Depression I cringed. In the midst of a global pandemic the last thing I wanted to spend time with was a depressing tale. While there is sadness in this story there is also resilience, and hope. The mostly female cast of characters in Echo Mountain spans generations, they each have determination and in their own way displays strength. The story contains natural beauty, a little mystery and hint of wildness.
The coming of age story focuses on a female protagonist, Ellie a young girl who embraces her new life in rural Maine. We meet a small family struggling to survive, clinging together as they attempt to cope and make the best of their new life on Echo Mountain.
Ellie loves the mountain and her passion for the environment was a lovely distraction. I enjoyed following along on her rambles through the forest filled with encounters with fish, bees and even a bear. I listened to the audio book over the course of two days. The quiet family life, living off the land, off the grid, facing their troubles and triumphs was an agreeable break from my world of working from home and managing my own household during the covid-19 pandemic quarantine.
My only critique of the audio book version of Echo Mountain is the narrator used a voice for the younger brother which could be described as whiny, this sniveling tone grated on my ears. Other than that, I came to quickly adore Ellie and her enthusiasm for the mountain. I related to Ellie’s mother who was doing her best to keep the family together and life in the cabin in order. I was curious to know more about “the hag” and her backstory. I give this book 3 stars out of 5. ⭐⭐⭐
Links for Echo Mountain
1. Print copy Indie Book store: Find it here.
2. GoodReads: Find it here.
3. Library for Audio Version: Find it here.
Lauren Wolk: Author’s Bio
Lauren Wolk is an American author, poet and editor. Born in Baltimore, she studied English Literature at Brown University graduating in 1981. Wolk won a Newbery Honor in 2017 for her novel Wolf Hollow and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2018 for Beyond the Bright Sea.