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In The Shadow of 10,000 Hills

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,000 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Follow the intertwining stories of three women from diverse backgrounds, all searching for family and personal peace in post-genocide Rwanda. At the heart of this inspiring novel that bestselling author Wally Lamb calls "an evocative page-turner" and Caroline Leavitt calls "blazingly original" is the discovery of grace when there can be no forgiveness.

In 1968, Lillian Carl
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Central Avenue Publishing
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Jennifer Haupt Actually, this story is fiction but it is based on real experiences -- both my experiences and the stories I heard from genocide survivors while I was…moreActually, this story is fiction but it is based on real experiences -- both my experiences and the stories I heard from genocide survivors while I was in Rwanda. Thanks for asking!(less)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa
”After her family was murdered, she didn’t speak for a month Maman tells her, although it felt longer. She stayed in her bedroom, listening to the rustle of the pines in the forest that seemed to cry for her; the fear had drained her of tears. Most of the people in her village were dead. It was being alive, not the deaths, that was somehow shocking. Her existence seemed to be an accident of fate, her life spent waiting in this room in Lillian’s home, this room that was not hers. She was paralyze ...more
Elyse  Walters
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
UNBELIEVABLE... UPDATE: Kindle daily special is selling this book for only $.99 today!!! Unreal!!!!! Highly recommend it!
Definitely a bargain!!! Much to enjoy!!!!

Lillian knew what her life was about. She felt a personal responsibility to do her part in changing the world. She wanted to use her gift of her education to teach children.
Her clarity of purpose took her too Rwanda. By the time we meet her - she’s been living in Rwanda for 30 years. She is no longer teaching in a school - she takes m
Angela M
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I remember when I saw the film, Hotel Rwanda . I was horrified and ashamed that I had paid so little attention to what happened in Rwanda in 1994. I wondered why the world had done so little to stop this genocide with over 800,000 people murdered. While this novel is about the horrors of the genocide, it’s also about how deep sorrow and inexplicable loss give people the strength and power to move forward and take care of each other, to find peace - amahoro . Jennifer Haupt in a brief introductio
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

"Here's a bit of wisdom from your old man: It's the search that really matters, the adventure of living your life."

Rachel Shepherd has been thinking about her father who abandoned her as a small child. Her Mother has recently passed away and Rachel is dealing with loss and heartbreak. She yearns to connect to her father and learn why he left her all those years ago. She would also like to find him in hopes of reconnecting with him. When Rachel finds a link to her father online, she beg
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
10,000 stars to In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I’m pretty lucky in my reading life. I enjoy the vast majority of books I read, including many, many that I love. So when I read a stand-out, something mesmerizing and completely memorable, like this book, I want to shout from the hilltops (rooftops simply aren’t tall enough, and I can never resist a pun!) - READ THIS BOOK. Here’s why.

Lovable characters. So many of my book friends thrive on lovable characters. In the Shadow of 10,000 Hill
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am always fascinated by stories that take me to lands so far from my reality - especially in areas that have history, and even here in Rwanda where tragedy and atrocities took place not so long ago.

Rachel in her quest to heal her own hurting heart, searches for her own history and her father in the land of Rwanda. What she discovers is a raw account of what it means to be a survivor. Of neighbours, once friends, turned into demons of war; of the ghosts past that continue to haunt the present a

4.5 Stars

”’You must tell, so that justice can be served. It’s your responsibility. No she will not tell anyone about the massacre at the church that they called the Hutu glory. She will not remember, at least not during the daylight. But late at night when she becomes so tired that it is impossible to stay awake even with the Internet, that’s when the punishment begins all over again. There is no controlling what comes to her in dreams.”

The stories of three women, Rachel
Jennifer Haupt
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I’m so pleased to kick off the prelaunch of my debut novel, out April 2018. (Enter the current Goodreads ARC giveaway and get a notice when it’s available for pre-order!) I began writing this story, without knowing it, while visiting Rwanda in December 2006, as a journalist, interviewing survivors of the genocide 12 years earlier and humanitarian aid workers drawn to this still-grieving country. During that month, I discovered the stories of amahoro that would serve as the bones of a novel, incl ...more
I'm borrowing the first paragraph of the blurb for my review.
Follow the intertwining stories of three women from diverse backgrounds, all searching for family and personal peace in post-genocide Rwanda. At the heart of the story... is the discovery of grace when there can be no forgiveness.
For me this book was about forgiveness on an imaginable scale. And then to accept the hope and Amahoro(peace)that must conquer the bad nightmares and memories.

I've read another book on the events in the ch
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills essentially deals with broken families and the search for answers. The catalyst for the broken families is Henry Shephard, photographer, husband and father to Merilee and Rachel. Who in 1974 leaves his family in the US in search of Lillian, a black activist from the US now living in Rwanda. Following Lillian to Rwanda Henry establishes another family with her and a number of adopted orphaned children. In 2000, Rachel Shepherd, while dealing with her
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel that sheds much needed light on the atrocities of the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s. Again, a book has educated me about an event in history that I knew nothing about. In many ways I think it’s easier to pretend that events like this never really happen to shield our belief in humanity. However, we must learn that left forgotten the survivors of these events also become its victims. I commend Haupt for giving these victims their voice. 5 stars.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
4.5 sad but ever so relevant stars

It is always difficult to think about the events of genocide. The words never again seem to ring in our minds and yet never again has happened so many times since the horrendous Holocaust set in place by Hitler.

In this novel, we look at the survivors of the Rwandan genocide. How does one continue onward knowing that they have survived and wondering often why me? The characters in this novel are wonderfully diverse and the author offers an insight that is both po
Michael Ferro
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Haupt has written a knockout novel telling a deeply engrossing story of understanding. The human condition and delicate emotions that ebb and flow throughout the search for peace in our lives is intricately examined in both a dynamic and evocative fashion. A story that satisfies both the heart and the mind, and one I would recommend to any reader in search of a touching mystery.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“In Rwanda, they have a word ….: Amahoro. It means peace, but so much more.” 

Jennifer Haupt writes of the word “Amahoro” often when she is writing about Rwanda. It means a quest for peace, the type of peace that comes within your soul, your essence, when you have truly forgiven someone and now are at rest with the past. It is a difficult state to achieve, much more difficult if you have been through trauma, but it is this peace, the quest for it and the journey taken along the way, that is at th
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 STARs
You have got to love books. From your chair, you can travel the world and historical periods with just a flip of the page. With this book, I have landed in Rwanda. I was in Rwanda in 2011, to visit my son who was teaching there and of course to go gorilla trekking. This book with its vivid descriptions of the countryside brought me back to when I was there. It is a beautiful country- lush, green and yes, it does have 10,000 hills.
Amahoro-a Kinyarwanda word meaning peace, something all o
Anna Quinn
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
‘Amohoro’ means ‘peace be between us in this encounter’ and is the common greeting used in Rwanda—the primary setting for this exquisite novel. Haupt vividly captures the respect and depth of amohoro as she relays an extraordinary multicultural account of women, men and children attempting to knit together hope and forgiveness from horrific pain and turmoil. Offering us rare insights about the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, the 1990’s Rwandan genocide, and the complexities of family, we can’t hel ...more
Caroline Leavitt
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.”
Stephanie Anze
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rachel was eight years old the last time she saw her father, Henry Shepard. A photographer by trade, Henry took off one day and never came back. Rachel always wandered about her father but its not until she suffers heartbreak that she is compelled to look for him. His most famous photo, that of a young Black woman next to Dr. King, leads Rachel to Rwanda and to a woman named Lillian. Lillian is the young woman in the photo turned caregiver of orphans on her farm called Kwizera. Rachel travels to ...more
What an astounding and beautiful novel. Three women, each searching, each holding on, each afraid to let go, each needing to let go, each needing to move forward.

Dearest Cricket...Here's a bit of wisdom from your old man: It's the search that really matters, the adventure of living your life. You can quote me on that.

Rachel has been searching. Searching for her father. He left when she was a little girl, and she wants to understand why. Did he ever think of her? Did he miss her? Why would h
Sharon Metcalf
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2018
Sometimes you just know, almost as soon as you start reading, that you're going to love a book.   This was one of those times.   I started In the Shadow of 10000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt with high expectations and not for one moment was I disappointed.  The note from Michelle Halket, Publisher,  set the tone perfectly.

" This 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
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Haupt's debut novel is a stunner. "In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills" weaves the devastation of Rwanda's genocide inside the emotional trauma of abandonment. Haupt does not shy from this country's horror. Front and center, it plays out as we travel with the main character, a woman named Rachel, who is determined to find the father who left her when she was a young child. Although we have questions --What happened to Henry, Rachel's father, a photographer who bore witness to the murders? Wha ...more
Jessica Keener
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Haupt is a gifted writer and a big talent. Her beautifully told story manages--with grace and compassion and deep wisdom--to embrace the journey of heartache and restoration of an American woman in search of her father's truth as she wrestles with the mysteries and vagaries of love. This debut has a timeless quality to it. Splendid and memorable--put this one at the top of your reading list.
Joy D
Historical fiction about three women coming to terms with grief and seeking personal peace in Rwanda. Each of the three primary characters has experienced loss. All are connected to Henry Shepherd, a photojournalist, who has abandoned two families. The storyline revolves around the unraveling the mystery of Henry’s disappearance, while gaining an understanding of how the people of Rwanda are coping with the aftermath of the 1994 genocide.

This is an American look at an African tragedy. It is abo
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful well written novel about a horrific event in world history - the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s. It's about love and creating our families not from blood but from the people who mean the most to us.

The book follows the intertwining stories of three women. Lillian who left the US after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and went to Rwanda hoping to help children in Rwanda. She runs a small orphanage taking care of children both physically and mentally. Nadine, one of
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
In The Shadow of 10,000 Hills is unlike any other book I've ever read. In Jennifer Haupt's review of her novel, she says it took her 11 years to bring this story together, and I personally believe that hard work really paid off for her. This novel is so original, and I felt the author's connection to the story she's presented here.

The prose is earnest and astute, the characters so well formed, the story so engaging. This book took me on a journey and evoked feelings of yearning and desperation
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Haupt's heartbreaking novel is set in Rwanda, a few years after the mid 90's 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 she longs to resume her relationship with her father. What Rachel ultimately finds in Rwanda is much more valuable than she im ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer is a master at evoking a particular time and place in history. Her writing gently invited me to discard what I thought I knew about the US Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the Rwandan genocide in the late 1990s, in order to gain a more complex and intimate understanding of some of the stories that emerged. Her sensory descriptions make it easy to step into each scene, particularly the landscapes and townscapes of Rwanda. I have never traveled there but Jennifer's writing made me f ...more
James Martin
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How does one create a novel out of the unspeakable horror that occurred in the mid-nineties in Rwanda? One way would be to look at it from the present, weaving in characters affected, directly or indirectly, by the genocide of some 800,000. Then create one character whose actions, whereabouts, and links to the other characters provide a mystery readers will want solved. Add to this some dazzling description that takes you from London to New York to the lushness of a Rwanda forest. Once pain, rev ...more
Laura Sandonato
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In her introduction to In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, Michelle Halket admits that she was never one to follow the news. But the news about Rwanda in 1994 consumed her. She writes, “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 worl ...more
Amy Doan
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills is a searing, large-hearted and beautifully written novel about three women whose lives connect in Rwanda post-genocide. It’s a difficult subject, but Haupt manages to find the light within the shadows, the "amahoro" that endures after loss both personal and global.

The plot is intricate but gripping; in page after page of luminous prose, Haupt skillfully braids one moving story out of three seemingly disparate lives.

Lovely and true.
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Play Book Tag: In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt - 4 stars 1 9 Dec 14, 2019 06:53PM  

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Jennifer Haupt is the editor of ALONE TOGETHER: Stories of Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19. Her essays and articles have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, Parenting, The Rumpus, Spirituality & Health, The Sun and many other publications. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills was awarded the Foreword Reviews Bronze Indie Award for Historical Fiction. Her second nove ...more

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