Book Review: The Next 15 Minutes

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 10/11/11 •  3 min read

Pity me, the poor fiction writer. I’ve written two mystery novels, which meant I had to make up all sorts of stuff. My life just isn’t that exciting.

This isn’t the case for Kim Kircher. Without making up a single thing, she’s been able to produce  a book that’s both exciting and inspirational. A great combination.

I’ve interviewed Kim in this blog before (go here), and yes, she’s pretty amazing. A ski patroller at Crystal Mountain, Washington, Kim is not only intelligent, beautiful, and a fantastic skier, but she’s part of the family that owns Boyne Resorts. Yes, THAT Boyne resorts — owner of Crystal Mountain, Big Sky, Loon, Sugarloaf , Sunday River, and Brighton, among others.

Sounds like a charmed life, right? Not quite. Because as usual, things are not always as they seem. For one thing, she’s a diabetic, which has its own set of complications. And for another, during her first year of marriage, her husband, John, was diagnosed with liver cancer.

And that’s where the book, The Next 15 Minutes, comes in. In it, Kim takes us from the time of her husband’s diagnosis all the way through his liver transplant, giving us an inside look at what it’s like to be closely tied to someone who’s so ill you don’t know if they’re going to live or die. But don’t think this book is anything like a weepy Lifetime-original movie. Hardly. Like many people, Kim sees skiing as a metaphor for life. And this is where the book really shines. The Next 15 Minutes is chock full of Kim’s skiing exploits, from which she draws the strength she needs to deal with her husband’s illness. Whether she’s throwing bombs to control an avalanche, climbing Kilimanjaro, spending the night in a summit hut during a blizzard, or administering CPR to an accident victim on the slopes, Kim uses the lessons learned from these experiences to get through her current ordeal. And the result is quite fascinating. We get to see what it takes to be a patroller in the rugged Cascades (there are lots of explosives). And we get  to go along on some incredible ski adventures: heli-skiing in Alaska, skiing the Haute Route in the French Alps  — things I’m sure I’ll never have the chance to do.

What does the title, The Next 15 minutes mean? During his hospitalization, Kim’s  husband, John, is permitted to self-administer pain medication only at 15 minute intervals. Kim finds herself breaking time into quarter-hour increments, thinking that if they could only get through this next 15 minutes, they’d be all right. For you, it’s an indication of what you’ll be doing for the next  15 minutes…and the next….and the next…. once you start reading this captivating book.

Kim’s book is published by Behler Publications, and is available on Amazon.

And yes, she’s a Ski Diva.


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