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In High Places Hardcover – March 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...as a suspense-filled cliffhanger ... it will keep you on the edge of your seat." -- Cindy Crosby, faithfulreader.com

"I'm extraordinarily impressed. This is easily Morrissey's best work, and now I'm truly interested to see what he does next." -- Tim Frankovich, christianfictionreview.com

"In High Places is a wonderfully written story full of colorful imagery, and realistic characters." -- Laura V. Hilton, faithwebbin.net

"Morrisey's experiences as a travel-adventure writer make this a page turner, one that will leave you stunned." -- Heather Ivester, christianwomenonline.net

"This book would make a great gift for Father's Day or to a teenage or college-age boy." -- Tyler R. Tichelaar, readerviews.com

"I recommend this book to anyone who loves a detail-rich story with plot depth." -- Alyssa Curry, Christian Book Previews.com

"Morrisey paints a more realistic picture than many Christians novels, making it a more satisfying read..." -- Randy Brandt, contend4thefaith.org

About the Author

Tom Morrisey is the author of four novels and short stories, a world-renowned adventure-travel writer whose work has appeared in Outside, Sport Diver (where he serves as Executive Editor) and other leading magazines. He holds an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Toledo and an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764203460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764203466
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,655,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Review by David White

In High Places is not an average coming of age story. It's a story of continued hope and faith made real by the fact that even years later the narrator continues to struggle with those events.

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Seneca Rocks in West Virginia in 1976, we're introduced to our main character, Patrick, and his father as they climb. At first it seems like an adventure story, giving an intimate account of what it's like to be a climber. In High Places does indeed give its readers an in-depth look into the life of a climber, sharing the experience with unexpected clarity and honesty.

The death, an apparent suicide, of Patrick's mother causes Patrick's father to move from their home in Ohio to Seneca permanently, where they set up a small climbing shop and can escape their pain. Of course, their loss follows them, and while Patrick's father only finds solace by making terrifying solo climbs, Patrick is befriended by the beautiful Rachel who helps him make a new life for himself.

Of course, Rachel is not any beautiful girl; she's a pastor's daughter, and religious folks have always been viewed with skepticism in Patrick's family. His infatuation brings him back to church week after week with even more frequent visits to her house. Patrick's conversion is not miraculous. If anything, it is accidental. It's his father's reaction that is of Patrick's greatest concern.

Revelations about Patrick's mother's death, and the faith she apparently came to just before it, brings about two major shifts in the novel. While both draw Rachel and Patrick closer together, they also bring unexpected consequences. If anything, In High Places is about such consequences.
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Format: Hardcover
Tom Morrisey's best novel to date, IN HIGH PLACES, cost me a good night's sleep and a set of chewed-off fingernails. As a young boy's coming-of-age story, it is superb; as a suspense-filled cliffhanger (pardon the pun), it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I found I couldn't put it down until the very last page.

In several previous novels such as YUCATAN DEEP and DEEP BLUE, Morrisey (executive editor of Sport Diver magazine) took readers under the water in scuba thrillers. This time, he takes the adventures topside. Morrisey poignantly unfolds the first-person story of Patrick Nolan, a 16-year-old rock climber who returns from a father-and-son climbing trip to his home in Toledo to discover his mother's apparent suicide. Patrick and his dad leave Toledo to open a climbing shop in West Virginia, where Patrick must grow up fast in matters of family, faith and love.

Morrisey has always been a good adventure writer (his work has appeared in the adventurer's Bible --- Outside magazine --- as well as other publications). What sets this book apart from Morrisey's previous efforts is the appealing first-person point of view, strong, tight editing, refusal to succumb to clichés and lovely prose. His chapters begin and end so compellingly, you can't help but turn the pages.

The opening lines are especially beautiful, almost poetic:

"It was not the rock --- it was never the rock; it was the air. Air: gusts and threads of it, rustling my hair at the edge of my faded red rugby shirt collar. Air: swaying the thin red climbing rope that dropped beneath me in a single, brief, pendulous loop.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave Tom Morrisey five stars for his excellence in telling a dramatic story in his book "In High Places." What a spine chilling story, listening to the descriptions of a father and son as they climb mountains in West Virginia. That was their thing, and they perfected each and every aspect of their desire to climb difficult mountains, meanwhile bonding as father and son. In the midst of this, they lose the wife and mother most unexpectedly, and move to set up a store to sell climbing supplies together and buy a house. And there is a new love interest by the son which we watch develop and cherish.
This is a very clean story and young adults on up can appreciate this lovely book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first book of Tom Morrisey that I have read, although I do have some others on my TBR pile. The story addresses some really hard subjects. And hard choices. And while I have no desire to be a mountain climber, Morrisey gave enough information that I could totally understand why Patrick and his father would. Was Patrick really being selfish when he went on the dangerous hike? I really do not think so. Sometimes a woman can ask too much from her men. If you like action/adventure I would expect you to enjoy this book very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learned more about rock climbing than I ever dreamed of knowing while I followed this first person telling of Patrick’s life. The majority of the story takes place when he is sixteen. I loved the author’s willingness to place it in the late 70s. Many publishers and agents believe readers aren’t interested in this time period. Well, Tom Morrisey proved them wrong with the touching and adventure-filled story. The surprising plot twists like treacherous rock faces kept me turning pages amazed at the path we were heading down. Well-crafted story by a skillful author. This is the second of his novels I’ve read, and once again I was not disappointed.
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