Jennifer Haupt's heartbreaking novel is set in Rwanda, a few years after the mid-1990s genocide. Rachel, an American, travels to Rwanda to try to track down her father, Henry, who disappeared when she was a child. Her search leads her to Lillian, who spent 20 years living with Henry. Rachel is at a crossroads — wracked with grief, in search of answers to her questions, and longing to resume her relationship with her father. What Rachel ultimately finds in Rwanda is much more valuable than she imagined. Told in lovely prose, Haupt clearly knows her subject, and pens a beautiful, poignant tribute to Rwanda. Exploring themes of grief, abandonment, loss, love, healing, the horror of violence, the barbarism of prejudice, and the complications of family, this novel is a glittering gem. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 amongst the gaping wounds of a healing country, follow the intertwining stories of three women who discover something unexpected: grace when there can be no forgiveness.
“Jennifer Haupt's In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills is both an evocative page-turner and an eye-opening meditation on the ways we survive profoundly painful memories and negotiate the complexities of love. I was deeply moved by this story.” Wally Lamb, author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True
“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. Profound, powerful, and oh, so, so moving." Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author
“This astonishing debut novel about an American woman's search for her father in Rwanda knits together intricate, complex stories of love and the destructive forces of society that tear families apart. Haunting and delicately told, Jennifer Haupt enters the heart of Rwanda's darkest hour and shows us where to find the light." Jessica Keener, author of Strangers In Budapest
About the Author
Jennifer Haupt has been a journalist for more than 25 years, writing primarily about women prompted by their own depression and grief to reach out and help others to heal. Her essays and articles have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, Travel & Leisure, The Seattle Times, Spirituality & Health, The Sun, and many other publications. Her Psychology Today blog, One True Thing, is a collection of essays contributed by and interviews with bestselling and emerging authors. In the Shadow of Ten Thousand Hills is her first novel.
Jennifer has traveled to Africa five times, as well as to Haiti, Lebanon, and other locations for business and pleasure. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and Duck Toller.