Lone Mountain (Manuscript)
Easter Sunday ends in tragedy when a drunk driver kills a mother and her eight-year-old daughter. The surviving husband, Skylar Jennings, 42, and his son Travis, 14, struggle to cope with the loss.
Two years after the accident, long-time friends Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, 70 and 68, bring a home-cooked meal to Skylar’s Montana ranch. The house shows neglect, Skylar is short-tempered, and Travis no longer excels in school. The Nelsons ask them to help out at a special camp they host every year for children who have parents in prison. Skylar is happy to help with the horseback riding program but dreads being a boys’ counselor. Travis agrees to come, but only if the other campers don’t know that Skylar is his dad.
To the author: “Lone Mountain” is an interesting story that realistically portrays a young teen boy, Travis, and his relationship with his father, Skylar. Travis’ mother, Ann, and his sister, Isabella, are tragically killed by a drunk driver. Now Travis and his dad are trying to move forward but they’re having difficulty, especially as Travis goes through a rebellious stage. He ends up going to camp with his father and tells his father not to say Travis is his son. Both Skylar and Travis meet a head-strong young man, A.J., and he and Travis have a few arguments, including a physical fight. Yet Skylar realizes A.J. is going through something difficult, too, or he wouldn’t be acting this way. His interest in the boy seems to do no good, but when a tragedy strikes, suddenly he gets a new perspective on the situation. Both A.J. and Travis realize they have not been looking at what is important in life. A twist also gives the story a very interesting ending.
The main concern we have is that the manuscript describes a few bloody scenes. However, they don’t seem gratuitous, so we are awarding the manuscript the “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages 12-plus. We would hope that, when it is made into a film, we could review it so we can give some guidance to make sure it receives the Dove Seal, too. The smaller and briefer the scenes of blood, the better. The romance between the Nelsons and the possible new love interest for Skylar is compelling, and the hopeful ending really adds to the power of the manuscript. It is a story worth telling and reading.