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Publisher's Summary

In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills combines the force of literature with the allure of women's fiction in a family saga that spans from Atlanta during the Civil Rights Movement to post-genocide Rwanda. At the heart of this novel that crosses racial and cultural boundaries is the search for family on a personal and global level.

In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills follows the intertwining stories of three women from vastly diverse cultures searching for personal peace in post-genocide Rwanda. Lillian Carlson, an African-American civil-rights activist now in her early 50s, traveled to Africa from Atlanta in 1970 to grieve the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. She dreamed of bettering the world, one child at a time, with an orphanage in Rwanda's rift valley.

Two decades later, in New York City, Rachel Shepherd, a white bartender in her mid-30s, lost and looking for her purpose in life, embarks on a journey to find the father who abandoned her as a child during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

When Rachel travels to Rwanda, searching for her father, she finds Lillian and a young Rwandan woman with secrets that bind her to her father. Together, they all discover something unexpected: grace when there can be no forgiveness.

"...more than a page-turning narrative; it's an embrace of the Kinyarwanda greeting amahoro--'peace.'" -- Oprah.com 

"I was deeply moved by this story." -- Wally Lamb, best-selling author, She's Come Undone 

"...a good choice for those seeking tales of hope after adversity." -- Booklist 

"The Rwanda described in the text is beautiful... like the main narrative, it is alive with people working to come together to heal." -- Publisher's Weekly

"In this intensely beautiful debut, [Haupt] shows that it's indeed the women who hold up half the sky." -- Library Journal

"Haupt's debut novel, which weaves together characters and their stories across four decades and two continents, is well worth reading." -- The Seattle Times 

"...this novel is a glittering gem." -- Powell's City of Books 

"This blazingly original novel is about the illusions of love, the way memory can confound or release you, and the knotted threads that make up family--and forgiveness." -- Caroline Leavitt, best-selling author, Pictures of You  

©2018 Jennifer Haupt (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 09-19-18

MLK's Dream to the Killing Fields of Rwanda

From the late 1960s Civil Rights scene in America to the post-genocide time in the late 1990s in Rwanda, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills is ripe with both the hope of Martin Luther King's dream AND the loss and horror of the people of Africa following the slaughter of more than 800,000 of their people. The raw beauty and yet harsh countryside descriptions of Africa nearly take your breath away, the wild animals roaming free, being captured only by the camera lens of Henry Shepherd. This is a complicated and messy story, like life typically is. And Henry is a flawed man. He left his beautiful young daughter, Rachel and his first wife . . . and went to Atlanta to a Civil Rights rally . . . to take photos . . . where he met a beautiful young black woman . . . where the very white Henry and Lillian both believed in Reverend MLK's dream . . . and in one another. Fast forward six years, and a 30 something Rachel, having lost her second child, living in New York with her husband, is mourning more than her two miscarriages . . . her mother has passed away, she has always felt abandoned by her father and now her husband is distant. She wants to get to the root of why Henry left her . . . she wants to find him. And settle it once and for all. An internet search helps her to find Lillian, in Rwanda . . . but Lillian has her own scars . . . deep ones. A correspondence of sorts begins . . . and Tucker, one of Lillian's adopted sons and a doctor who helps all of the children, begins to secretly answer Rachel's emails on Lillian's behalf. What follows is one of the most daring, touching and frightening stories of love, hope and confrontation that I've ever read/listened to . . . its unconventional, outside what is humanly possible, but not beyond an all seeing, all knowing creator who loves us all, red and yellow, black and white . . . don't miss this one . . .