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Forget Me Not: A Memoir

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* A personal account of one of the greatest losses in the climbing world * An elegant and gripping story of tragedy, as well as unexpected joy * An entree into the emotional world of climbers and their families * Benefits the Nepal-based Khumbu Climbing School In 1999 Jennifer Lowe's husband Alex Lowe died tragically in an avalanche on the Himalayan mountain Shishapangma * A personal account of one of the greatest losses in the climbing world * An elegant and gripping story of tragedy, as well as unexpected joy * An entree into the emotional world of climbers and their families * Benefits 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.


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* A personal account of one of the greatest losses in the climbing world * An elegant and gripping story of tragedy, as well as unexpected joy * An entree into the emotional world of climbers and their families * Benefits the Nepal-based Khumbu Climbing School In 1999 Jennifer Lowe's husband Alex Lowe died tragically in an avalanche on the Himalayan mountain Shishapangma * A personal account of one of the greatest losses in the climbing world * An elegant and gripping story of tragedy, as well as unexpected joy * An entree into the emotional world of climbers and their families * Benefits 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.

30 review for Forget Me Not: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Stroh

    From the title page on, you know you’re in the hands of a Romantic. But don’t be fooled or lulled to sleep. Jennifer Lowe-Anker has also inherited the pioneer strain, and there is a clarity, a lucidity, sometimes even a toughness to her writing that gives this book the balance it needs. These are the bittersweet memoirs of a Bozeman, Montana based artist coming to grips with the loss of an extraordinary husband, a professional athlete who died in the mountains, leaving the love of his life and t From the title page on, you know you’re in the hands of a Romantic. But don’t be fooled or lulled to sleep. Jennifer Lowe-Anker has also inherited the pioneer strain, and there is a clarity, a lucidity, sometimes even a toughness to her writing that gives this book the balance it needs. These are the bittersweet memoirs of a Bozeman, Montana based artist coming to grips with the loss of an extraordinary husband, a professional athlete who died in the mountains, leaving the love of his life and three small sons behind. I want to frame the book this way because it is better known in its celebrity context, inasmuch as the international world of high-altitude climbing produces global celebrities (and sometimes anti-heroes) on the order of Reinhold Messner or Jon Krakauer. Alex Lowe was the kind of guy that those guys hero-worshipped. A climber’s climber. He was the Lance Armstrong of mountaineering, only taller and handsomer and happier, and he was the real deal. The only thing that fueled Lowe up a climb, besides desire matched by an amazingly fit, strong body; a focused, creative mind; and a joyful, boundless disposition...was espresso. OK, from what I can tell, a lot of espresso. In 1999, Lowe was among the world’s best and most experienced alpinists when he was avalanched and killed. Lowe had been on a Himalayan expedition with one of his best friends, Conrad Anker, another star athlete sponsored by The North Face to lead trips and tackle first ascents for National Geographic and others. Anker survived the slide. Grief-stricken, he flew to Montana to comfort his friend’s family. In the tragic aftermath, with Anker grieving as much as the widowed Jennifer and her three fatherless children, the two adults fell in love. Whether and how to act on those feelings were palpable dilemmas for both. This matchup posed known dangers for Jennifer. In moving in with Jennifer, as a father figure who had survived the avalanche that killed the boy's father, Conrad would be shouldering the responsibility of a lifetime. Jennifer relates with equal doses of wonder and realism how a new family was born. Jennifer and Conrad married; Conrad adopted Alex’s sons and went on to equal, if perhaps never to eclipse, the feats of strength, artistry and spirit on the highest peaks of the world’s wildest places that were the hallmarks of Alex Lowe’s career. If the book lacks anything, it is suspense. All these facts are known by the reader before turning to the first page of the memoir. Lowe-Anker, who is not a professional climber, writes as well as any other mountaineer, historian or biographer. This book holds its own in that genre, one I’ve steeped myself in. But it really stands out as that rare bird: an honest account by a female American artist who is also a mother. We follow the author as her desires crystallize; as she makes far-reaching choices about how to live her life; as she experiences the joys and anxieties that resulted, the burdens, the isolation and ultimately the tragic loss she must have foreseen. Loss that might have shattered her to the core and silenced her creative voice. Instead, she found what it takes to keep to keep painting. And to keep loving. Jennifer Lowe-Anker paints folktales, fantasies and dreamlike reveries, often set against majestic backdrops in the natural world, in a style much like Marc Chagall’s. Like Chagall, the work of Lowe-Anker reveals the painter deeply rooted in her community, anchored in local culture, equally inspired by the great mystery of spirituality as by the risk-taker’s determination to look death in the face. She sells prints of her paintings to benefit the charities she and others have set up in Alex Lowe’s memory, and I have a couple of those hanging, framed in cowhide, in my own house. One, in particular, often reminds me of Chagall’s wonderful early painting, The Circus Horse. Like a Marc Chagall of the American West, Jennifer Lowe-Anker paints lucid dreams, and she’s given us one of her best in Forget Me Not.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cliff Cash

    It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book review, generally I find the process unsatisfying, like writing a term paper in college. So I guess this is more of a contemplation on Forget Me Not, a book I enjoyed immensely, and one that truly moved me. The book begins like a small campfire, inviting but not overwhelming. Then eventually it grows into something blazing, which fixated me, and I was unable to step away from it. It is her story of love with the late, great climber Alex Lowe, their jo It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book review, generally I find the process unsatisfying, like writing a term paper in college. So I guess this is more of a contemplation on Forget Me Not, a book I enjoyed immensely, and one that truly moved me. The book begins like a small campfire, inviting but not overwhelming. Then eventually it grows into something blazing, which fixated me, and I was unable to step away from it. It is her story of love with the late, great climber Alex Lowe, their journeys in climbing and raising a family, and his tragic death in an avalanche in the Himalaya. Following this is a great mourning, and the tale of the new love that was borne with her current husband, and world class climber himself, Conrad Anker, who was with Alex Lowe when he died. Conrad and Alex were also best friends. Alex and Jennifer’s first days of love were probably somewhat similar to many climbing couples, yet vastly different than most young lovers. They travelled the world together, visiting various climbing locales in the United States and abroad. They climbed together, and suffered the woes of travelling as well. One of Jennifer’s greatest skills as a writer is her brutal honestly, while she graces Forget Me Not with beautiful prose, her honest words sink deep into the reader’s psyche. She writes of Alex’s legendary drive for climbing, boundless energy, and pure enthusiasm, while also reflecting on his moodiness and gloom when he could not expend that energy. She writes of the joys of life, and the sorrow of death; both which Jennifer has fully experienced in her own existence. Interesting in its own right, is Jennifer’s path towards becoming an artist; she is a talented painter, and her work graces the cover of the book. In these pages are the journeys we all experience as humans, but especially climbers who want to have it all, the freedom of travel and climbing, as well as the foundation of a home and a family. There are lessons to be learned in Forget Me Not that climbers and non-climbers alike won’t easily forget. Eventually Jennifer’s own climbing is halted with Motherhood, and she no longer has the drive to take risks on major climbs. Alex, however, continued to explore the world as a guide and professional climber, to Yosemite, Denali, K2, Everest, Antarctica, the Himalaya, Baffin Island, the Great Trango Tower, Kyrgyzstan and beyond, all while Jennifer took care of their three sons, Max, Sam and Isaac. One part of this book that made it especially enjoyable is Jennifer’s use of Alex’s various letters he would write her, words of love when they were close and afar. If Alex would have lived long enough to getting around to writing a book it would have been beautiful and intriguing; he was someone who had a way with words. Reading his words reminds me of the importance of telling someone you love them in print. Thank you for that Alex Lowe. There are many other elements of Forget Me Not that make this book worth reading: Jennifer’s trust in her intuitive sense, her ability to put the frailty of life in words, reflection on the first days where the internet and climbing came together, and a Mother’s thoughts on risk and climbing. Eventually the book goes to a very sad place, we as a reader know it’s coming, and the way Jennifer writes made my entire psyche fixated in the pages of Forget Me Not. I absolutely could not put it down, surely the measure of a great book. I was relieved to read about the love she found with her current husband, Conrad Anker, and the love they share as a family with Max, Sam and Isaac. She writes beautifully near the end of the book, “it is love that seems to soothe the anguish wrought by love lost.” It’s been two days since I was engulfed in the final pages of Forget Me Not. That night left me feeling sad. The next morning though, I awoke, to the sun, another beginning, and a more enhanced realization of the preciousness of life. Forget Me Not is truly unforgettable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristy McCaffrey

    This memoir by Jennifer Lowe-Anker is a tribute to her late husband, Alex Lowe, considered by many to be one of the best climbers in the world at the time of his death. This is a love story and Jennifer shares their blossoming relationship, marriage, and family life with three sons in great detail. I couldn't help thinking what a wonderful gift this book is to her children. A climber herself, she understands her husband's deep need to push himself in the outdoors, but while motherhood calmed tho This memoir by Jennifer Lowe-Anker is a tribute to her late husband, Alex Lowe, considered by many to be one of the best climbers in the world at the time of his death. This is a love story and Jennifer shares their blossoming relationship, marriage, and family life with three sons in great detail. I couldn't help thinking what a wonderful gift this book is to her children. A climber herself, she understands her husband's deep need to push himself in the outdoors, but while motherhood calmed those urgings in herself, Alex was forever caught between his passion for the mountains and his deep love and loyalty to his family. While those on the outside may never understand this lifestyle, Jennifer shows what it means to love someone as they are, although she certainly wasn't always happy that he frequently spent months away from home. When Alex is lost in an avalanche on Shishapangma in 1999, she holds nothing back in sharing her grief, but also the healing. Her involvement with Conrad Anker, Alex's best friend and also a world-renowned climber, is also addressed. She and Conrad would marry and he would help raise Alex's sons. Perhaps only together could the two of them heal their grief over losing a man they both loved so much. I'm indebted to Ms. Lowe-Anker for sharing the stories of her life with Alex. His was a unique spirit, gone too soon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meghan O'Dea

    It's been a while since I couldn't put a book down, but this one took up two back-to-back evenings and I'm still thinking about it. I discovered Jenni Lowe-Anker after I watched the documentary Meru, about her third husband Conrad's ascent of a highly technical and previously unsummited Himalayan peak. This book details her marriage to her second husband Alex Lowe, his climbing career, the start of their family, and his tragic death in an avalanche. That alone is a compelling plot, especially if It's been a while since I couldn't put a book down, but this one took up two back-to-back evenings and I'm still thinking about it. I discovered Jenni Lowe-Anker after I watched the documentary Meru, about her third husband Conrad's ascent of a highly technical and previously unsummited Himalayan peak. This book details her marriage to her second husband Alex Lowe, his climbing career, the start of their family, and his tragic death in an avalanche. That alone is a compelling plot, especially if you've been inspired by Alex Lowe's mountaineering feats. But what makes this book really compelling is Jenni's detailed, lovely writing style. She clearly draws on carefully kept journals and letters, and this allows her to provide some really precise, immediate memories and descriptions of events. The way she describes the Tetons and Dolomites and Alps and the other places she climbed and lived with Alex have an artist and naturalist's flair and will make you long to live a similarly wild and authentic life.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    I liked this a lot. The author writes of her life with her husband, Alex Lowe, an amazing world-class ice and mountain climber. She herself was a skilled amateur climber, although she climbed much less as their three sons came along. This is a fascinating look at the life of someone who continually challenges himself, and the choices that must be made to support this lifestyle. Much of the story is told through Alex's letters to his wife and children, whom he clearly loved. Unfortunately, Alex w I liked this a lot. The author writes of her life with her husband, Alex Lowe, an amazing world-class ice and mountain climber. She herself was a skilled amateur climber, although she climbed much less as their three sons came along. This is a fascinating look at the life of someone who continually challenges himself, and the choices that must be made to support this lifestyle. Much of the story is told through Alex's letters to his wife and children, whom he clearly loved. Unfortunately, Alex was killed in an avalanche when their youngest son was three. Jenni lets the reader see and feel her grief (I shed a few tears), and her surprise as a romantic relationship develops with Alex's best friend, Conrad Anker. They have their grief and love of Alex in common, and Conrad soon bonds with the boys also. It was heart-warming to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    This is a bitter sweet memoir of Jennifer Lowe-Anker's life with her professional mountain climber husband. Living in the west, loving the mountains and having been in so many places where this book takes you, I loved this book. It is well written and takes you through happiness and the fear and tragedy of loss. This is a bitter sweet memoir of Jennifer Lowe-Anker's life with her professional mountain climber husband. Living in the west, loving the mountains and having been in so many places where this book takes you, I loved this book. It is well written and takes you through happiness and the fear and tragedy of loss.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ReBecca

    I devoured this book. I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone. It was a nice read, and it surprisingly did not make me cry as much as I was afraid it would. Very interesting, touching story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Heart-felt. Well-written. Sad, but also life-affirming.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gary Butler

    7th book read in 2013. Number 210 out of 299 on my all time book list. Follow the link below to see my video review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cljnl_... 7th book read in 2013. Number 210 out of 299 on my all time book list. Follow the link below to see my video review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cljnl_...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This is primarily a book for people who already care about Alex Lowe, Conrad Anker, and the climbing community. The story, while objectively sad – Alex Lowe, much-loved hero of the climbing world, husband, and father, dies in an avalanche and his family must find a way to continue without him – is narrated in a pretty emotionally bland way. If you aren’t a climber or connected to the characters, the book comes across as a bit, “Huh. That’s interesting/regrettable,” and then you move on. I picked This is primarily a book for people who already care about Alex Lowe, Conrad Anker, and the climbing community. The story, while objectively sad – Alex Lowe, much-loved hero of the climbing world, husband, and father, dies in an avalanche and his family must find a way to continue without him – is narrated in a pretty emotionally bland way. If you aren’t a climber or connected to the characters, the book comes across as a bit, “Huh. That’s interesting/regrettable,” and then you move on. I picked up this book because I was curious about the relationship dynamic between Alex Lowe and his wife, Jennifer Lowe-Anker (who wrote the book). He was away from home for months at a time climbing and she primarily stayed in Montana with their kids; yet, by all accounts, they had a remarkably strong marriage and supported one another despite drastically different lives. How did they make they work? It seemed an exemplary model for an age where more and more of might want things that take us to very different parts of the world than our partners. Unfortunately – and I think this comes back to the quality of the writing – there wasn’t much self-reflection in this story. It was a lot of, “this happened, then this happened, then this happened.” While I can observe the sequence of events and reflect on it myself (and it’s not inherently bad to make a reader work), the narration didn’t give me the author’s thoughts on any of this. My takeaway is, their marriage happened to work because Jennifer also loved outdoor adventure and rock climbing when she was young and then had high tolerance for months away from Alex, i.e., it was sheer dumb luck that they fit together so well. A few times, particularly when she was falling in love with Conrad after the death of Alex, she almost got the narration to a place where she was reflecting on the “why,” but never quite did. When the book is a memoir, and the very content is your life, this makes it challenging to engage. One part that stood out to me is the account of the first expedition Alex went on when they were expected to regularly post to a website and blog about their adventures. The presence of this technology – allowing the outside world to watch –devastated the dynamic of the group. Rather than focusing on climbing, there was jealousy and constant tension: who was getting the most photos of themselves posted, who was getting credit for leading or summitting. The dynamics of presenting their trip to the outside world (a necessary for sponsorship), rather than focusing on the core purpose of climbing itself, took away much of the joy of wilderness and nature and instead made it about performance and “me” culture. And this was only a basic website – think today of Instagram, YouTube, Vlogs, and the constant fight for social media attention to fund outdoor adventures. [Dewey Decimal Challenge: 920 - Biography, genealogy, insignia]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Xzs

    Jennifer Lowe-Anker’s memoir is an understated achievement. The humility and vulnerability expressed on the pages are life affirming and quite familiar. However her story is far from ordinary. She tells the tale of her husband, Alex Lowe, an extraordinary climber and mountaineer who tragically died in an avalanche. Lowe’s subsequent kinship with Alex’s close friend, and fellow climber who survived the avalanche, Conrad Anker, ultimately resulted in their marriage. It’s a tale of love, parenthood Jennifer Lowe-Anker’s memoir is an understated achievement. The humility and vulnerability expressed on the pages are life affirming and quite familiar. However her story is far from ordinary. She tells the tale of her husband, Alex Lowe, an extraordinary climber and mountaineer who tragically died in an avalanche. Lowe’s subsequent kinship with Alex’s close friend, and fellow climber who survived the avalanche, Conrad Anker, ultimately resulted in their marriage. It’s a tale of love, parenthood, familial bonds, honor, integrity, struggle, tragedy and the selfishness and selflessness that are inherent in the climbing ethos. Above all, Jenny’s humility shines through in her remarkable ability to honor, respect and praise the people in her life. In the end, I feel she is the biggest hero here, even though she somehow manages to take a backseat and paint everyone else as larger than life. She downplays her own abilities and talents, yet she appears to hold the resume of one hell of an accomplished climber as well as a talented and successful artist with a penchant for whimsical inspiration. She has been connected with so many talented individuals throughout her life, yet the one constant is Jenny herself. I believe she is the inspiration that has helped to propel so many around her to live their dreams.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The book is organized well and since I enjoy memoirs, I appreciated the book. I also like books about mountain climbing, not that I'd ever do what these people do. I've read a lot of books about climbing. One observation was just how many people die in climbing accidents. Her first husband seems to be a very strong athlete and how random that he ran one way in the avalanche and the two that ran the other way survived. In all these books, there is a real admiration or obsession or something about The book is organized well and since I enjoy memoirs, I appreciated the book. I also like books about mountain climbing, not that I'd ever do what these people do. I've read a lot of books about climbing. One observation was just how many people die in climbing accidents. Her first husband seems to be a very strong athlete and how random that he ran one way in the avalanche and the two that ran the other way survived. In all these books, there is a real admiration or obsession or something about Eastern religions. Seems like to be a serious climber you have to jump into that world of faith. It did seem fast that she entered into a relationship with her second husband, Alex's best friend. Yet, I could see the positive in it. He loved her boys and he did not just marry her as a sense of responsibility. That seems to be clear as they are still married. I saw online that one of her sons took Aker's name and he is a filmmaker, focuses on nature.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Forget Me Not is a memoir written by climber Alex Lowe's wife, Jennifer. Jennifer writes about their first meeting, their growing love, their growing family and ultimately, Lowe's dedication to his life as a climber. I became interested in their story when I saw documentaries about Lowe and Conrad Anker (Lowe's best friend). Lowe was killed in an avalanche during a climbing trip with Anker that was being filmed. Lowe and the photographer ran down the mountain as the avalanche started, rather to Forget Me Not is a memoir written by climber Alex Lowe's wife, Jennifer. Jennifer writes about their first meeting, their growing love, their growing family and ultimately, Lowe's dedication to his life as a climber. I became interested in their story when I saw documentaries about Lowe and Conrad Anker (Lowe's best friend). Lowe was killed in an avalanche during a climbing trip with Anker that was being filmed. Lowe and the photographer ran down the mountain as the avalanche started, rather to the side as Anker did. Lowe-Anker writes about her loneliness as Lowe climbs three-quarters of the year as she tries to maintain the family, of her support of his career (though that does waiver), and ultimately, her closeness and subsequent marriage to Anker after Lowe is killed. Lowe-Anker can definitely write, but there is just something about her statements and anecdotes that leave me wondering if she is being truthful about her feelings. The photos in the book are a nice touch.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Darla Ebert

    Riveting and heart breaking. I felt myself identifying with the author due to her style of writing and because of her husband's letters. The title is particularly apt due to the author's love of that flower, and her husband's often gifting her with them, even to giving her a ring that resembled a forget me not. My heart went out to her and her sons as the inevitable death (in the book) was approaching. At the same time I sensed what it would be like to be married to a person so absorbed in a dan Riveting and heart breaking. I felt myself identifying with the author due to her style of writing and because of her husband's letters. The title is particularly apt due to the author's love of that flower, and her husband's often gifting her with them, even to giving her a ring that resembled a forget me not. My heart went out to her and her sons as the inevitable death (in the book) was approaching. At the same time I sensed what it would be like to be married to a person so absorbed in a dangerous sport/hobby. The author handled her life's lot with grace and character, perhaps not always and every time, but enough to be impressive.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jean Dupenloup

    Jennifer Lowe-Anker’s memoir is a beautiful story of love, resilience, and new beginnings. Mrs. Lowe-Anker first tells the story of her adventurous youth by the side of her first love, climbing superstar Alex Lowe. Unfortunately, Mr. Lowe perished on an expedition to Shishapangma. His longtime climbing partner Conrad Anker broke her the news. He also helped her through her grief. Unexpectedly, the two fell in love, and the story of their life together forms the second part of this volume. The boo Jennifer Lowe-Anker’s memoir is a beautiful story of love, resilience, and new beginnings. Mrs. Lowe-Anker first tells the story of her adventurous youth by the side of her first love, climbing superstar Alex Lowe. Unfortunately, Mr. Lowe perished on an expedition to Shishapangma. His longtime climbing partner Conrad Anker broke her the news. He also helped her through her grief. Unexpectedly, the two fell in love, and the story of their life together forms the second part of this volume. The book offers a rare window onto the life of a high altitude mountaineer’s spouse, and of the devastation felt by those left behind...and, ultimately, of their inspiring ability to love again.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shweta

    Very poignant and heartfelt memoir. It gave me an introduction to the human side of Alex Lowe - how he made friends everywhere he went in addition to his mountaineering feats and his love for his family and his desire to make a better life for them. I could draw some parallels to Jenni and Alex's life as a couple and then a family with our own - balancing our desire to summit those beautiful mountains all over the world and also have a very normal life at other times, our desire to provide the b Very poignant and heartfelt memoir. It gave me an introduction to the human side of Alex Lowe - how he made friends everywhere he went in addition to his mountaineering feats and his love for his family and his desire to make a better life for them. I could draw some parallels to Jenni and Alex's life as a couple and then a family with our own - balancing our desire to summit those beautiful mountains all over the world and also have a very normal life at other times, our desire to provide the best for our kids yet achieve our own dreams in the outdoors. Also I loved Jenni's narration of her life in Montana and growing up so close to nature. This book will remain very close to my heart.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anu

    The story of Alex Lowe in itself makes for an inspirational tale, but what shines in this book is the independent and free spirit of Jennifer. Her love of nature, her fierce sense of freedom, the courage with which she moves through whatever life throws at her - what an amazing woman! Her writing is luscious - you want to be lost in the romantic descriptions of the Montana mountains and wildlife.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    A wonderful story of love, life and death. Alex lived life fully and loved fully as well. Written by his wife after his death in the mountains, similar to Into Thin Air. This book is for anyone who loves and appreciates the great outdoors.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kasi

    Jennifer Lowe-Anker achieves what she sets out to do - painting a portrait of her late first husband, Alex Lowe, in a way that ensures who he was is captured and never forgotten. This was a fascinating and heartbreaking read that I couldn't tear myself away from. Jennifer Lowe-Anker achieves what she sets out to do - painting a portrait of her late first husband, Alex Lowe, in a way that ensures who he was is captured and never forgotten. This was a fascinating and heartbreaking read that I couldn't tear myself away from.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Olive Hsiao

    Touching, vivid accounting of a vibrant life tangled with complexities of social norm, passion, and emotion.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I enjoyed this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lakwi

    For someone who is afraid of heights, I seem to read a lot of climbing books. 3.5 stars for this bittersweet book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Miller

    Alex Lowe (1958-1999) was one of the finest, strongest mountaineers of his time. Tragically, he lost his life in an avalanche on Shishpangma (in Tibet), leaving behind his wife Jennifer, and three young sons. This memoir, published almost a decade after Alex's death examines their 18-year relationship with clear eyes and deep love. As Jon Krakauer wrote in the book's introduction, "Forget Me Not is more than a biography of one of the world's most talented climbers. It is also a deeply felt medit Alex Lowe (1958-1999) was one of the finest, strongest mountaineers of his time. Tragically, he lost his life in an avalanche on Shishpangma (in Tibet), leaving behind his wife Jennifer, and three young sons. This memoir, published almost a decade after Alex's death examines their 18-year relationship with clear eyes and deep love. As Jon Krakauer wrote in the book's introduction, "Forget Me Not is more than a biography of one of the world's most talented climbers. It is also a deeply felt meditation on love, family, perseverance, the inevitability of loss, and the need to be true to one's nature for better of worse." The first few chapters of this book are steeped in the early lives of Alex and Jennifer, whose life together wasn't always smooth. They endured long separations so Alex could work as a professional climber while Jenni stayed home writing, painting, and raising their sons. Both shared a deep love of the outdoors, rugged athletic pursuits, the serenity of being close to nature, and the support of enduring and intimate friendships they developed with colleagues, neighbors, and family members. The second half of the book is spellbinding, as Jenni describes coming to terms with her husband's death, becoming a single parent, and trying to rebuild her life. Very touching and inspiring.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Therese

    $1.99 You don't have to be a climber or even an outdoors person to like this book, but considering the other reviews I've read, I am seemingly in the minority about the effect this book has on me. The author does a good job, especially considering she is not a writer but an artist, but Alex (in my opinion) seems selfish and never really grew up. He loved climbing. He needed it, and I don't have a problem with that. It is just that he left so much for his wife to do, not to mention all of the thin $1.99 You don't have to be a climber or even an outdoors person to like this book, but considering the other reviews I've read, I am seemingly in the minority about the effect this book has on me. The author does a good job, especially considering she is not a writer but an artist, but Alex (in my opinion) seems selfish and never really grew up. He loved climbing. He needed it, and I don't have a problem with that. It is just that he left so much for his wife to do, not to mention all of the things he missed with his children, and of course leaving her a widow at too young of an age. This is a different kind of story, a different kind of lifestyle, and while I like reading about it, I'm glad to be where I am. I also have issues with so many people spending such money, not just on climbing, but on seemingly using the Sherpas to further their sport. It takes money and I just wondered what they were paid. I am just over halfway done, and perhaps when I finish, I will have a better taste in my mouth for Alex, who this book is written for. I really wanted to give this book 4 stars, but I just couldn't learn to care much for Alex although I appreciated what the author has tried to do and what she herself has been through. However this great love story came to a quick end when Alex was killed in an avalanche that his best friend survived. Jennifer got together and married Conrad (Alex's best friend and survivor of that fateful climb) less than a year after the accident and married him shortly after that. It seemed rather sudden, especially considering the fact that Conrad had a fiancée at the time of the accident, but he stepped in to take care of Jennifer and her boys, something she seemingly needed a great deal of with all the loss that she has dealt with in her life. If you have read Into Thin Air, then this is probably a book you will like although I liked that book but not this one as much because of the characters. To each his own...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanebeck

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A love-letter to alpinist Alex Lowe

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Boucher

    I was intrigued to find this book in the Grand Teton National Park bookstore. I was familiar with the story: Alex Lowe, famous climber, is tragically killed by an avalanche. His friend, world-class climber Conrad Anker, survives, only to marry Alex's widow, Jennifer, shortly thereafter and provide for Jennifer and Alex's three little boys. Yowsa! This proves that real life is often stranger than fiction. That said, this memoir is disappointing in that it doesn't ring true. I'm not even sure why I was intrigued to find this book in the Grand Teton National Park bookstore. I was familiar with the story: Alex Lowe, famous climber, is tragically killed by an avalanche. His friend, world-class climber Conrad Anker, survives, only to marry Alex's widow, Jennifer, shortly thereafter and provide for Jennifer and Alex's three little boys. Yowsa! This proves that real life is often stranger than fiction. That said, this memoir is disappointing in that it doesn't ring true. I'm not even sure why Jennifer Lowe-Anker would write it. Is her marriage to Conrad Anker as passionless as it seems? That is what this book would have us believe. I realize the author has three sons, and I believe she loved her first husband deeply, so why write about something as painful and personal as his loss? That said, Jennifer Lowe-Anker is an impressive woman, and the background story is interesting, but as to the emotionally charged story of the moment, i.e. how Jennifer feels about Conrad Anker, and how he feels about her, I guess we, the public, will never really know.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janyne

    I didn't always like the personalities involved but I found that I wanted to keep on reading the book so it must have been well done. I have to admit, after reading "Three Cups of Tea" and later "Three Cups of Deceit," I was a bit skeptical about some of the people involved. I did have a really hard time with some of the decisions that the younger Alex made. There was a definite disconnect between saying things like "a deep appreciation for the wild," "nature's pageant" and "we were lovers of nat I didn't always like the personalities involved but I found that I wanted to keep on reading the book so it must have been well done. I have to admit, after reading "Three Cups of Tea" and later "Three Cups of Deceit," I was a bit skeptical about some of the people involved. I did have a really hard time with some of the decisions that the younger Alex made. There was a definite disconnect between saying things like "a deep appreciation for the wild," "nature's pageant" and "we were lovers of nature" and then working for oil companies with their horrible environmental track record -- even acknowledging their "callous treatment of the environment." All to make a buck to climb the next mountain. The younger Alex seemed to lack ethics. It's really not OK to take someone's ferry pass -- or food. I think that some of Jennifer's choices later in the book were a bit odd as well, but I didn't question them as much as their younger selves. Some parts of the book made me think about what is selfishness and what is selfishness.

  28. 4 out of 5

    AK

    forget me not is very well written memoir by Jennifer Lowe-Anker, the widow of the famous climber Alex Lowe and now the wife of Alex's dear friend and climbing partner, Conrad Anker. While it has been praised as a story of three people, it is really more about Jennifer and her relationship with Alex. After all, in relative terms, the story of her relationship with Conrad is yet to unfold, and in the aftermath of what she and Conrad have been through, some semblance of privacy is appropriate. One forget me not is very well written memoir by Jennifer Lowe-Anker, the widow of the famous climber Alex Lowe and now the wife of Alex's dear friend and climbing partner, Conrad Anker. While it has been praised as a story of three people, it is really more about Jennifer and her relationship with Alex. After all, in relative terms, the story of her relationship with Conrad is yet to unfold, and in the aftermath of what she and Conrad have been through, some semblance of privacy is appropriate. One is struck immediately by the openness, of the writing exposure really, on matters that must be as painful as they are sometimes joyous to recall. There is wonderfully detailed exposition of the nature of the great climber, Alex Lowe, but that is not what holds the reader. Rather, it is the recognition of the complexity of all relationships, and how much depth can be attained if one is willing to examine the details of life. Many of us would have such riveting stories to tell, if we could take the time and had the literary skills of Jennifer Lowe-Anker.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    My interest in reading this came from the fact that I live in Bozeman and even without being involved specifically in the climbing community, I have met or been in the presence of several of the people mentioned in this book. That, combined with the descriptions of familiar locations around Bozeman, and growing up with a mother who had a passion for hiking, brought this story home for me. Although I do not have a personal passion for climbing, I have certainly watched my mother pursue such a pas My interest in reading this came from the fact that I live in Bozeman and even without being involved specifically in the climbing community, I have met or been in the presence of several of the people mentioned in this book. That, combined with the descriptions of familiar locations around Bozeman, and growing up with a mother who had a passion for hiking, brought this story home for me. Although I do not have a personal passion for climbing, I have certainly watched my mother pursue such a passion, and through her I have heard stories of expeditions gone wrong, her dream of climbing Everest one day, and about the sublime beauty and peace to be found atop a mountain. It's not something I understood when I was younger, and in fact I resented that her passion took her away each weekend, but now I have a better respect for it, heightened even more by this book. One need not be a climber to appreciate this love story, for ultimately that is exactly what it is.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Ok, first can I just say that the cover of this book and the contents of the book DO NOT FIT ONE ANOTHER. The cover makes the story sound like a harlequin romance novel, but the book is actually a well written account of what it was like being married to the famous climber Alex Lowe. The book gives the most amazing accounts of their climbs in their early 20's, about the nomadic lifestyle they built together, exposes the struggles that come from being married to a professional climber who always Ok, first can I just say that the cover of this book and the contents of the book DO NOT FIT ONE ANOTHER. The cover makes the story sound like a harlequin romance novel, but the book is actually a well written account of what it was like being married to the famous climber Alex Lowe. The book gives the most amazing accounts of their climbs in their early 20's, about the nomadic lifestyle they built together, exposes the struggles that come from being married to a professional climber who always longs to be on the mountain, and ultimately the pain of losing someone you love to the very wilderness they love so dearly. The aftermath of Alex's death where Jenni and Conrad Anker find love and solace in one another is such a small part of the book, yet the cover and the back copy of the book make it sound like one big Lifetime movie! A great read, exposing the world behind the scenes of some of our nations most famous mountaineers.

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