“Above All Things” by Tanis Rideout

“Because it’s there” became the famous quote of the climber, George Mallory, whenever he talked of being the first man to conquer Mount Everest.

This book tells the real story behind his adventures as well as the very deep love story that came second only to the call of these adventures. Tanis Rideout has done impressive research to make “Above all Things” the excellent book it is.

Set in England, it tells how George Mallory, highly educated, part of the Bloomsbury Group, came to love climbing above all else. Expeditions in the early l920’s to conquer Mount Everest had failed. This book goes into detail as to how the l924 Expedition came to be formed. This all runs parallel to Mallory’s deep love for his wife, and their three small children. In fact, much of the book is written from Ruth’s point of view and we get a vivid picture of the agony of her waiting.

The author was born in Belgium but now lives in Toronto. She has been part of the environmental advocacy group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper to help promote environmental justice on the lake. “Above all Things” is her first novel.

Review by Anne McDougall