An impossible quest. An epic love story. A mesmerizing debut.
In 1924, the English mountaineer Ashley Walsingham dies attempting to summit Mount Everest, leaving his fortune to his long-lost lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson—whom he has not seen in seven years. Ashley’s attorneys search in vain for Imogen, but the estate remains unclaimed.
Nearly eighty years later, new information leads the same law firm to Tristan Campbell, a young American who could be the estate’s rightful heir. If Tristan can prove he is Imogen’s descendant, the inheritance will be his. But with only weeks before Ashley’s trust expires, Tristan must hurry to find the evidence he needs.
From London WWI archives to the battlefields in France to the fjords of Iceland, Tristan races to piece together the story behind the unclaimed riches: a reckless love affair pursued only days before Ashley’s deployment to the Western Front of the Great War; a desperate trench battle fought by soldiers whose hope is survival rather than victory; an expedition to the uncharted heights of the world’s tallest mountain. Following a trail of evidence that stretches to the far edge of Europe, Tristan becomes consumed by Ashley and Imogen’s story. But as he draws close to the truth, Tristan realizes he may be seeking something more than an unclaimed fortune.
The Steady Running of the Hour announces the arrival of a stunningly talented author. Justin Go’s “debut is ambitious in many ways…it depicts a love that transcends time and disdains convention; and it fluidly moves between past and present” (Publishers Weekly).
Go's debut is ambitious in many ways: it evokes a time of privileged daring in which British climbers, defying post-WWI disillusionment, climb Mt. Everest with foie gras at the ready; it depicts a love that transcends time and disdains convention; and it fluidly moves between past and present. The contemporary story concerns Tristan Campbell, an aimless 20-something who stands to inherit a vast fortune if he can track down documents that prove he's descended from Ashley Walshingham, a mountaineer, and Ashley's lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. Go amps up the pressure on Tristan by giving him only two months before the will's provisions expire. Tristan is a dogged researcher who's willing to trust his luck, digging through libraries and archives across Europe and uncovering letters drenched in love and sorrow, but he doesn't initially find the evidence he needs to show that he is Ashley and Imogen's heir. He falls in love with a Frenchwoman, but their connection lacks spark. Meanwhile, Tristan delves further into Ashley and Imogen's love and its destruction by the forces of war and convention. Their story, as told in flashback, feels heartfelt but overwrought, and the trench warfare and climbing scenes, while competently executed, mine an oft-depicted period without adding much that's new.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The steady running of the hour
I loved this book! The writing was beautiful and the story was filled with descriptions and stories that felt so real, as if I were experiencing them myself. By intertwining the past and present,the author created a timeless experience of love, war, honor, expectations and survival. I wish the ending had a definite conclusion but I will be thinking about this book for a long time, still trying to figure out all its pieces.
A total waste of time
This story starts off slow and gets worse as it goes along. There's no conclusion at the end and I wish I could get my money back!