Forget Me Not by Jennifer Lowe-Anker Book Review

How many of you remember this article in Outside Magazine (Oct.99)?

Putting the pieces together (FOR ME & YOU:)

Davis Phinney, Professional Cyclist (what a hunk!!) has a sister named Alice who was one of Jennifer’s first climbing friends! {And, I’ve ridden with him!!} Alice taught Jennifer how to ice climb. Amazing.
In 1999, I devoured this article (and am still fascinated by the mystery). How did George Mallory and Andrew Irvine die? Did they actually summit Mt. Everest or not? Conrad Anker was one of the climbers who discovered Mallory almost completely preserved on Mt. Everest. Jennifer eventually finds love and marriage with Conrad Anker who was Alex’s best climbing partner.
Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, was a good friend of Jennifer’s and together they have formed the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation.


Ok, so now you have some points of reference, I’d like to share my thoughts about the book. I read a review of it in Women’s Adventure Magazine and knew that if they loved it, then I’d like it. Alex Lowe considered one of the best mountain climbers ever (read tribute article here). Forget Me Knot traces the lives of Alex and Jennifer from the time they meet in 1980 until 1999 when he dies. From the beginning, you know he’s going to die in an avalanche but what you find out through detailed letters, notes and events, is of how their lives fit together. Personally, at times I felt like I was watching a train wreck happen. Alex was an obsessive compulsive athlete who’s main goal in life was to climb. Period. Jennifer climbed with him for a number of years, but, grew tired of it. Eventually, she was able to turn him loose to his love of climbing (FIRST) and to her (SECOND). In her credit, she was also passionate, independent and created a life of her own as an artist. By the end of their 18 years together, she had made three kids with him. Alex was gone six months a year leading a life of climbing and guiding for North Face and she offers a real life glimpse of being married to someone who’s love of climbing (and possibly risking his life) at times seemed more important than her and their three boys.
From someone (me) who’s married to a cyclist, I understand my husbands need to ride on Sundays. And I can accept that 2-3 Sundays a month (spring and summer) he will be racing his bike. There are times when I resent it- he is out having fun and I am here caring for the children, but, he is MUCH happier when he comes back. He’s a better daddy when he had his saddle time. However, I depend on him heavily to come home at night and be there to tuck the kids in every single night. So, when I read of Jennifer having three boys with a man who’s gone 50% of the year, I have to question it. At times, I felt like maybe she glossed over the difficulties of her daily life with THREE boys and raising them alone. Perhaps the focus was more on Alex’s climbing career than her-but, I was more interested in her and how she managed to raise those guys by herself.
It is a love story. It’s a story of how they were able to love each other while each pursuing their dreams of either being an artist or a professional athlete. It’s incredibly well-written and interesting from the first page. Both Jennifer and Alex have a gift of writing which I thoroughly enjoyed.
How far would you go to follow your dreams?
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