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In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills

In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills

In 1968, a disillusioned and heartbroken Lillian Carlson left Atlanta after the assassination of Martin Luther King. She found meaning in the hearts of orphaned African children and cobbled together her own small orphanage in the Rift Valley alongside the lush forests of Rwanda.

Three decades later, in New York City, Rachel Shepherd, lost and heartbroken herself, embarks on a journey to find the father who abandoned her as a young child, determined to solve the enigma of Henry Shepherd, a now-famous photographer.

When an online search turns up a clue to his whereabouts, Rachel travels to Rwanda to connect with an unsuspecting and uncooperative Lillian. While Rachel tries to unravel the mystery of her father’s disappearance, she finds unexpected allies in an ex-pat doctor running from his past and a young Tutsi woman who lived through a profound experience alongside her father.

Set against the backdrop of a country grieving and trying to heal after a devastating civil war, follow the intertwining stories of three women who discover something unexpected: grace when there can be no forgiveness.

An evocative page-turner and an eye-opening meditation on the ways we survive profoundly painful memories and negotiate the complexities of love.”
Wally Lamb, author of I Know This Much is True

Praise

  • “An intensely beautiful debut.” — Library Journal
  • Finalist – National Reading Group — Great Group Reads 2018
  • Finalist – Foreword Indies Book of the Year
  • “Good choice for those seeking tales of hope . . . and it may prove popular with book clubs.” — Booklist

Happy Book Birthday, IN THE SHADOW OF 10,000 HILLS!

Today is the official release day of Jennifer Haupt’s beautiful and captivating debut novel, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills.

As a young person, I never cared much for the news, local or international. Perhaps I was too involved in my own middle-class North American issues to care too much about what else might be going on in the world around me. Or perhaps the news cut me more than I wanted it to.

When I heard about the genocide that was happening in Rwanda in the mid 1990’s, I couldn’t stop reading about it. I couldn’t believe that this was happening in this day and age. I mean, weren’t these type of things ancient relics of wars that just didn’t happen anymore? Hadn’t we learned that differences in race, religion and culture didn’t matter?

A few years later, I was working at a large firm and met a woman from Rwanda. My face dropped and she said to me in surprise, “You know?” I told her that of course I do, doesn’t everyone? She looked immensely sad, lowered her face and said, “No, they don’t.” I’ve carried her face and words with me since then: the world didn’t know (or care) about Rwanda.

Fast forward many years later, and Jennifer Haupt’s book crosses my desk. All I can think is, “Oh, I sure hope this book is good.”

Fast forward an afternoon later, after I’ve finished reading the entire thing in one go, and all I can think is, “Oh, I sure hope Jennifer elects to go with me instead of a big 5 publisher, because this book is so good.”

This is isn’t the kind of book that hits you over the head with the gore of what happened over twenty years ago when a million people perished. Sure, it’s a book about something the world needs to know. But it’s also a book about three women from vastly different cultures that find the ties that bind them in the most unlikely of circumstances. More than anything, it’s a book about finding family, love and grace when there can be no forgiveness.

Fast forward to now, when the world again seems to need a lesson in respecting each other. I humbly present it to you and hope that it resonates with you as much as it did with me.

Jennifer’s debut has been touted by The Seattle Times, Wally Lamb, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Caroline Leavitt, SIBA, and a slew of early readers. She’ll be appearing at multiple events over the next few months, and you can find out where she is at jenniferhaupt.com/events.

Jennifer Haupt

Jennifer Haupt

Jennifer Haupt went to Rwanda as a journalist in 2006, a decade after the genocide that wiped out over a million people, to explore the connections between forgiveness and grief. She spent a month travelling in the 10,000 hills with a guide, interviewing genocide survivors and humanitarian aid workers, and came home to Seattle with something unexpected: the bones of a novel. Haupt has travelled to Africa five times, as well as to Haiti, Lebanon, and other locations for business and pleasure. Her essays and articles have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, Psychology Today, The Rumpus, The Seattle Times, Spirituality & Health, The Sun, Travel & Leisure, and many other publications. In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills is her first novel.