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Forget Me Not: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Jon Krakauer , Jennifer Lowe-Anker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 14.72
Price: 14.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2008
This is a personal account of one of the greatest losses in the climbing world. It is an elegant and gripping story of tragedy, as well as unexpected joy. It is an entree into the emotional world of climbers and their families. The benefits are given to the Nepal-based Khumbu Climbing School.In 1999 Jennifer Lowe's husband Alex Lowe died tragically in an avalanche on the Himalayan mountain Shishapangma, leaving her alone to raise three sons. Alex was widely considered one of the greatest modern climbers and the world mourned his loss - Tom Brokaw did a one-hour special for Dateline, and Sting narrated and composed music for a tribute film.While Jenni and her sons faced the absence of the most important man in their lives, Alex's best friend and longtime climbing partner, Conrad Anker, was dealing with the terrible loss, as well as feelings of survivor's guilt. Jenni and Conrad gradually, and unexpectedly, found solace in one another and married in 2001 - Conrad is now the adoptive father of the three Lowe children.Through letters and expedition notes from Alex, "Forget Me Not" spans continents and tells the story of three people whose lives intertwine to a degree they could never have imagined. Jenni's account takes readers inside a woman's heart and mind as she navigates her shattered life and survives, ultimately finding transformative love through her great loss. From the valleys of Montana to the peaks of the Himalayas, this never-before told story exposes the controversial yet ultimately redemptive power of love.The foreword is by Jon Krakauer.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (1 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594850828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594850820
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 14.5 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jennifer Lowe-Anker is a successful artist whose often whimsical paintings are rendered in vivid colour and rich texture inspired by her Montana upbringing. Her work hangs in the private collections of Peter Fonda, Michael Keaton, and Jeff Bridges, as well as in the corporate collections of Patagonia. Lowe-Anker is founder of the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation and its Khumbu Climbing School, which trains Nepalese in climbing and guiding skills, enabling them to successfully work and climb in their home region.

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely book 23 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
A very good book, I enjoyed it very much. well written and credit to the author.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
327 of 351 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone 22 Feb 2009
By Eileen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jennifer Lowe-Anker is a very good writer and her late husband Alex was probably even more gifted with words. I found the story very sad and depressing. Alex never put his wife or children first in his life. His life was all about Alex and where he wanted to go and what he wanted to climb. He didn't care if he missed birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. He didn't care if he made Jenni move away from her beloved, dying grandmother. He probably needed that attitude in order to survive as long as he did taking huge risks in an extreme sport. That Jenni chose him for her partner was her choice but I felt really badly for their children. In the forward, Jon Krakauer wrote that Alex loved his family unconditionally. Not true. He loved them to not make any demands on him. Jenni wrote that he was unpleasant when he could not have his way and get away. She put up with a lot and excused even more. She even acknowledged that some other climbers found him to be a prima donna. I think she found it easy to fall in love with another man just months after the death of Alex because she never felt really bound to him.

I also found it sad to discover that because climbers from industrialized nations have the time and money for this expensive, dangerous sport, that they employ native Sherpas and Tibetans as their guides and carriers putting them at huge risk. For these impoverished people, how could they not be tempted by the money? I have since found that the death and injury rate among these native people is even higher than for the climbers who employ them. More selfishness.

So, although the book was very well written, I guess I am the oddball who was not enthralled by Alex Lowe. He regularly risked his life, his sons' father, for no other purpose than to feel like he was on top of the world. To me, a man is a hero when he puts his family and not himself first.
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, not so good relationship 7 Mar 2009
By H. hamel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I admire Jennifer Lowe-Anker for her accomplishments and capability to cope, but I felt very sad for her as she tried to live her life with out Alex ever really being there for her. His love letters were beautiful, but writing of love is a distant cry from acting out of love. I admired Alex for his love of nature, extreme drive and outstanding athletic ability. I am glad that he respected and was able to learn from other cultures. Those relationships seemed important to him, but of course they can only go so far and then the trip is over and it is time to go home. I hope that Jennifer has found true love with Conrad Anker. From her writing about him, I gather that she has.
170 of 193 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I the only one...? 31 May 2009
By J. Wahler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm sorry...but, am I the only person who thinks Alex Lowe was one of the most self-centered, self-absorbed people on the planet? I couldn't even finish this book. The writing style was nice, but it made me so angry to hear Jennifer make a steady stream of excuses and justifications for Alex and his ridiculously dangerous pursuits.

If you are a born adventurer...fine. If you love the adrenaline rush of extreme sports...fine. If you love risking your life in pursuit of your dreams...fine. But, don't bring children into the world who have no say in such things. My heart aches for Alex and Jennifer's children - for all of the birthdays, holidays and special events missed their dad chose to miss...for all the times their dad chose mountain climbing over them.

The whole story really turned my stomach. I choose not to glorify a man like this. A real man realizes that when he becomes a father, life is no longer just about him. It is about something much bigger. Unfortunately, the biggest thing in Alex Lowe's life was mountain climbing.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book catches hold and doesn't let go 9 Aug 2008
By Susan Schwab - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My husband doesn't typically cry. He's not opposed to emoting and doesn't think real men don't cry. He just doesn't find much to cry about, so when he tried to read a passage aloud to me from Forget Me Not, but couldn't make it through for the emotion clogging his throat, he got my attention. Likewise, when my sister spotted the book lying on my coffee table and picked it up to take a quick perusal but ended up having to take it home because she couldn't put it down, I took note. Their reactions to Lowe-Anker's book paralleled my own. Although our reactions were similar, the reasons were different. My husband was moved beyond words by the Lowe boys' loss of their father, whereas my sister was hooked by sheer adventure: "Why read somebody's made-up story when this adventure is so amazing and it happened to real people!"

I read memoirs and biographies for their lessons on living. Lowe-Anker's memoir offers a look at the human spirit and its capacity for compromise, empathy, patience, trust, and forgiveness. Although this story is primarily supposed to be about Alex Lowe, I was drawn to the story of the plucky young woman who chose him as her mate and was struck by the tragedy of suddenly losing him. To be able to, to want to move on into a new marriage is a testament to the depth of love Alex and Jennifer shared. Long before I read this book, I happened across an image of one of Jennifer's paintings in a magazine. There were two horses; both were running, and launching herself midstride from one horse to another was a cowgirl. Now I understand the painting to be a leap of trust and faith in both the journey of a new relationship and in the heart of her new partner.

Forget Me Not is a book that braids the strands of relationships, discovery, adventure, love, loss, and courage into a story you won't be able to put down.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Book 25 Jan 2011
By Wobbykat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have followed the climbing careers of Alex Lowe and Conrad Anker for many years, ever since I first met them when they were both working in Salt Lake City. I was actually in Tibet at the time Alex, David and Conrad were caught in the avalanche that took the lives of Alex and David. I got to meet Jenni in 2007. They are all people who are warm and loving, and this book brings that to the forefront. After reading it, I feel as if I've been admitted to their circle of best friends.
I see several reviewers bashing Alex for being self - centered. Obviously they never met him. They just do not understand the magnetism the mountains have for a certain group of people. Jenni understands it because she has it also. She made choices with full knowledge of the possibilities and the hardships, because it was worth it to her to have Alex in her life. As for myself, I feel privileged to know them, because of the strong positive Spirit they exude. I couldn't have been happier when I heard that Jenni and Conrad had married. They both lost their best friend, but found each other and continued happiness in the process. This book conveys the positive outlook and hope that they have been able to continue to enjoy in their lives, and I applaud them.
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