Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In The Other Side of the Mountain: Part II, E. G. Valens continues with his description of the life of Jill Kinmont. In this second volume, he describes her not as a glamorous skier confined to a tragic life but as an intelligent, insightful woman with physical limitations and special needs. This is a more introspective book than the first volume, originally entitled A Long Way Up: The Story of Jill Kinmont (1966), which emphasized the excitement of racing and the grueling realities of rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury. The first volume was a fast-paced account of her days as an athlete, filled with exciting races and athletic risks, that then moved to a new theater of challenges after her accident.

This second book concentrates instead on detailing Kinmont’s everyday life and is very honest in describing her personal relationships with members of her family, as well as prospective husband John Boothe, her friends, and the Hollywood acquaintances who wrote, directed, and starred in the two film versions of her life. The second book describes her fears and frustrations in building a new life for herself after she has returned to society and learned to cope with her limitations. The continual point made by the author in the description of conversations and interactions between Kinmont and her friends and family is that her only limitations are those that she sets for herself. Incident after incident shows that she is able to...

(The entire section is 520 words.)