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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,021 ratings  ·  132 reviews
In 1949, Rosamond Halsey Carr, a young fashion illustrator living in New York City, accompanied her dashing hunter-explorer husband to what was then the Belgian Congo. When the marriage fell apart, she decided to stay on in neighboring Rwanda, as the manager of a flower plantation. Land of a Thousand Hills is Carr's thrilling memoir of her life in Rwanda--a love affair wit ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Plume (first published 1999)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  1,021 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Kathryn in FL
I read this 20 years ago and it had a huge impact on me. The story was well written and quite uplifting even though there were great horrors that occurred. I greatly admire Mrs. Carr and in my mind she is a hero, though few know her name in the West.
This story is one instance in the midst of horror and despair, this woman had courage, compassion and purpose to make the best out of a situation of devastation.
Talk about life giving you lemons and making lemonade out it!
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rosamond Halsey Carr's life in Rwanda, spanning approximately 50 years in the country, was memorable and inspiring. Her memoir is beautifully written, full of details that are earthy and human but also elegant and, at times, tragic. She never wallows in self-pity, even when she is rebuilding her home at age 82. Perhaps a whole book could be written about her friendship with Dian Fossey or her experience during the 1990s war and genocide, but those are just a few chapters in this fascinating memo ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Amazing reminder of how beautifully a life will bloom when we don't close up just because we step into thorns along the way. Thank you, Roz, for showing us hOw to bloom even in our own thorn bushes.
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you've seen Gorillas in the Mist or read Dian Fossy's book by the same name you will recognize Rosamond Carr as the caring woman who befriended Dian when others would only criticize. Rosamond Carr's story of the four decades spent in Rwanda is captivating, frightening, beautiful, and thoroughly amazing. She went to Africa with her much older husband in 1949 and fell in love with the beauty and people of Rwanda. After their divorce, she could not tear herself away from the country and remained ...more
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Through this well written memoir you get to learn a lot about Africa, specially about Rwandas history. Rosamund's life story is very interesting, the choices she made, the oportunities life offered to her and that she took. It's great to see all the good deeds she made and the things she achieved inspite of all the caos Rwanda has gone through in the last decades. She takes care of lots of orphan kids and shelters them at her property. She does her best to help these kids become the best they c ...more
Lit Bug
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a thought-provoking memoir of the author's life in Rwanda, leaving behind her prosperous and promising life in the First world. Married to a renowned hunter Kenneth, she followed him to Belgium-ruled Africa where their marriage disintegrated and resulted in divorce, but her affectionate relationship with him remained stable till his death nevertheless. Her separation from him, however, granted her a new life - an adventurous life as a plantation manager-turned owner, her remarkable frien ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my top ten favorite books and of course it's a memoir. I would love to see it made into a movie. The author is portrayed by an actress in Gorillas in the Mist already though as she was a friend of Dian Fossey. Now I have to go find Gorillas in the Mist. I don't think I've ever seen it since it came out in the 80's when I was just a kid.
Wendy Unsworth
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
I was keen to read this book, gifted to me by a friend from my own, old ‘Africa’ days. Modern travel can be, I believe, exciting and fulfilling and adventurous and certainly much easier and quicker than of old, but I do love to read accounts of those who ‘went before’.

Rosamund Halsey-Carr was a young woman, living in New York, who, in 1949, fell in love with and married big-game hunter Kenneth Carr and subsequently moved with him to, what was then, the Belgian Congo. The marriage didn’t last bu
Lisa (Worsham)
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. If I could summarize this memoir with one word, it would be Endearing. Full of warm joy and cold tragedy in equal measure, this book is ultimately the real life story of a woman's endearing love for a colorful country and it's beautiful people who become her family.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book, this really touched my heart. What a life lived with such integrity. I wholly recommend this memoir.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
An amazing woman. This was the first exposure I had to what a great place (by African standards) Rwanda was before the genocide in the 1990's. It really brought home how tragic those events were. But, the book wasn't all about that - it was really just a story of an extraordinary and fascinating life.
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and a page turner for sure. Makes me want to read "Gorillas in the Mist" and other books to learn more about Rwanda. Highly recommended!
Julian Walker
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

What starts out as an interesting and immediately engaging biography, turns into an acutely personal observation of nature at its best, and mankind at its worst.

And from out of the depths of despair, a determined spark which breathes life and hope into a new generation. A heroine for anyone to look up to.

A quite extraordinary tale about a remarkable woman, whose down to earth nature makes her even more of an icon.

Beautifully written and highly emotive. A book for everyone's library shelve
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda by Rosamond Halsey Carr with Ann Howard Halsey.

This is a memoir about Rosamond Carr's life in Rwanda. She moved to Rwanda in the mid 1950's and lived there until the 2000's. The writing is excellent and the story telling is moving. I feel like I could have been friends with the characters in the book.

I would highly recommend Land of a Thousand Hills by R H Carr to readers who like: memoirs, stories about Africa, especially Rwanda and
Michelle Wu
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: at-home-bought, 2017
Definitely worth a read! This woman's life story is extraordinary, and the ending left me in tears. Some other reviews disliked the author's voice, saying she made an inspiring story seem less fascinating. I disagree. I found her tone to be matter-of-fact, and it appeared to match her 'this is how it is and let's move forward' attitude. Carr was transportive, beautifully describing a country, its people, and the events that took place during her lifetime.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Always been fascinated by the generation of Brits/other Europeans to go live in the "colonies" of Africa. The world was SO different from what they grew up in, yet they loved dragging fine china and furniture, had lavish dinner parties, employed natives as household help. Interesting. Why this woman stayed as long as she did, although alone, was amazing.

Got a bit tedious toward the ending (mostly because many many other books are calling to me from my TBR), but I did enjoy it.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and enjoyed learning more about Rwanda, its history, and the genocide. My husband and I visited Rwanda in 2013, where we spent much of our time in Kigali, visited schools in Kigali and in the country, and traveled to the Virunga Mountains and spent an hour with a family of mountain gorillas. Rosamond Carr was a remarkable woman, who genuinely and deeply loved Rwanda and its people.
Hope Sherman
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-biography
Unforgettable, fascinating and heartbreaking at times. I was intrigued from the early pages and found it to be hard to put down as I kept wanting to see what would happen next. I loved her stories of day to day life, and her love of the land and of course the people of Rwanda. It was read with bated breath knowing the history about to unfold in the pages, but still chilling and horrifying nonetheless when I got there. Quite a woman, I'm so glad she told her story via this book.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid three and a half stars with a few four star parts. Amazing memoir of a woman who was independant and knew her heart. She loved Rwanda and once she arrived, stayed her entire life, except for one time when she evacuated. Side story of friendship with Dian Fossey is interesting, especially within the context of genocide and the ravages of civil war on our natural resources.
Becky Durstenfeld
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book. It was easy to read, except when really bad things happened, but those things really happened. I learned a lot about Rwanda - the people, the land, the culture, the history, the tragedies, etc. I really liked Rosemond - she was a special lady and her story is well written. I recommend this book.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
Fascinating Story:
I thought I had read this, then realised I hadn't! An autobiography of an American woman who moved to Rwanda and made her life here. Not particularly well written but the story and interest aspect more than makes up for it.
May 31, 2017 added it
What a story of love for a land, fearlessness and courage. I knew of some of the issues between tribes at that time but this filled in all the horrible details. Excellent.
Thomas Ryan
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book and a great life!
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books and favorite heroines!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing biography, learned so much about Rwanda and about a strong, brave woman.
Terry Tracz
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a brave woman, Rosamond Carr! Especially enjoyed reading after Gorillas In The Mist by Dian Fossey, as the lives of these two women overlapped in Rwanda.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book of an amazing life and courageous people. Tragic history of Rwanda told by the personal story of an 82+ yrs old woman with an ever present fierce love for this country and its people.
Nancy Ortberg
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

With every page I was in Rwanda, the sights, smells and soul of a country contained in the heart of a woman
A Gough
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books.
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
I leave for Rwanda in less than two weeks. I have read a number of books on the country. Most of them are about its recent tragic history. Important to read, there is no doubt, but I wanted to go to the country with an open, positive approach. I had to put a rest to those other books as my mood was turning dark. I did find though that I was still picking up books on this country when I was at the library, needing to know more about Rwanda.

I am very pleased to have found this book. It is a story
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In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
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“Rwanda in 1949 was a land of enchantment—a wilderness where people and animals lived in harmony untouched by the outside world. Shepherds led their cattle to drink at the lakes and pools until evening, when elephants began to migrate toward the watering holes to drink and bathe. Time was told by the sun, and the moon was the calendar. A house could be built in a few days, made from trees and bamboo gathered from the forests and roofed with grass. Men prayed that the weather would be favorable for their crops, young boys dreamed of owning large herds of cattle, and little girls cradled and sang to their dolls made of spiky flowers called red-hot pokers, imagining a baby of their own. The markets were social gathering places and trading centers where a finely woven grass mat was exchanged for forty pounds of potatoes or a basket for storing grain.” 0 likes
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