Author(s): Susan Froderberg
Mysterium, known as Mount Sarasvati, looms over the Indian Himalayas as the range's tallest peak in the dazzling fictional world Susan Froderberg has created.Sarasvati "Sara" Troy is determined to reach the peak for which she was christened, and to climb it in honor of her mother, who perished in a mountaineering accident when Sara was just a child. She asks her father, a celebrated mountaineer and philosophy professor, to organize and lead the expedition.The six climbers he recruits are an uneasy mix. They include his longtime friend Dr. Andrew Reddy, a recent widower, and Reddy's headstrong son; Wilder Carson, the acclaimed climber who is tormented by the death of his brother; Wilder's wife, Vida, a former lover of Dr. Reddy; and a distinguished scholar and his wife. The party's journey is harrowing, taking them from the mountain's gorge, into its sanctuary, and finally onto the summit, a path that evokes the hell, purgatory, and heaven of Dante's Inferno. As the air thins and this unforgettable journey unfolds, Sara emerges as a Beatrice-like figure, buoying her companions up the mountain through the sheer strength and beauty of her being.