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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  851 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Whether chugging up the Congo on a paddle-wheel steamboat, rubbing elbows with pygmy chiefs (or wealthy colonial neighbors), being pursued through the dark by a stalking leopard, or visiting friend Dian Fossey and her mountain gorillas at Karioske, Carr found herself living a life of cinematic proportions. In the process, she witnessed a half century of the politics of a d ...more
MP3 Book, Unabridged, 0 pages
Published October 16th 2008 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1999)
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Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lit Bug
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
Wendy Unsworth
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Michelle Wu
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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.
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.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books and favorite heroines!
Thomas Ryan
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book and a great life!
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow the author managed to make her life sound less interesting than she really was. The style felt amateurish; I was surprised to check and find it was published by a regular publishing house, because the writing seemed similar to what you find in self-published/small press publishers. (No offense to small presses, but they put out those niche books that appeal to specific interests and don't need to work for mainstream. They're not amateurish, but the editing is different, or so it seems to ...more
Although the storyline is occasionally choppy--jumping back and forth in time in ways that are a bit confusing--Carr is able to make you see her home in Rwanda as the most beautiful place on earth and the most terrifying. Having never traveled anywhere in her life, she leaves New York with her husband in the 1940s and sails for Africa, not realizing that it will become her home for the rest of her life.

Her extreme love of both the Congo and Rwanda remain steady throughout the turbulent end of t
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An autobiography of another one of these amazing courageous, strong women. This time an American, born early in the 20th century, and the life she makes for herself in the Congo and Rwuanda, with and despite her husband (who is despicable). The great thing about this book is that it shows how she changed along with the century, although she was never as bad as many of the other white farmers who set up life in Africa. Clearly a few strong African men enabled her to do what she did. This book als ...more
Ted Olinger
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful book and all the more for doing what great stories do, in my view, which is to show how we do not know ourselves by accident, even if it is only through one accident of fate after another that we come to know ourselves at all. This is a stark and moving memoir of a young woman out of her depth in life and in love, a newlywed who emigrates from the U.S. to Rwanda in 1952 to find herself soon alone and learning to run a colonial era plantation on her wits and fortitude. Her story ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
I love the idea of this story, a true one of an American woman who follows the man she loves to Rwanda and lives an adventure about which I have dreamed. But in reality her writing style really bugged me, not to mention the fact that she repeated herself and treated the reader as incompetent at following the storyline on his/her own. It is Out of Africa-esque, but in my opinion a far cry from the depth of Karin Blixen's story.

In Belgium and France I met many Rwandais all of whom had loved ones
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow---What an amazing book. I always enjoy novels and non-fiction books about Africa, but this one really stood out. Rosamond Carr moved to the Congo in the mid 1940s at the age of 30 with her explorer husband. After the marriage ends, Rosamond takes over the management of a flower plantation in northeast Congo and lives a peaceful life in Belgian Colonial Congo. The years ahead bring turbulent uprisings as the Congo becomes independent in 1960 forcing Rosamond to move to neighboring Rwanda. She ...more
Marcia Call
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is the white settler book on Rwanda ... and what a beautiful piece it is. Of course, it was a different place in time, i.e. colonial times. However, Rosamond has a wonderful appreciation for the people who worked for her and with whom she worked. She also ended up turning over her plantation to a Rwandan national, which was unheard of in the day. Her candid views of colonial times, the independence of both Congo and Rwanda, the life and times of Dian Fossey, as well as her first-hand acc ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a very informative memoir of an American woman who married a British man who was an African explorer. They moved to central Africa in 1949 at the time it was colonized by the Belgians. She fell in love with the country and people of Rwanda and made it her home, leading a fascinating life that took her through a history of decolonization, peace time, political strife, war and revolution, and genocide in Rwanda. The writing is very good, although not poetic. She really cuts to the chase in ...more
Sarah-rose Gillespie
The author has lead an interesting life, especially for a single woman living mostly alone in Rwanda. I enjoyed her inside info and opinions on her friend Diane Fossey and her dedicated work with saving the mountain gorillas; I hadn't expected that at all. Overall I think it was a a good read but not a life changing one or one that I will remember for a long time to come like some other books I have read. It provides in a non-dry manner a clear view of politics and everyday life in Rwanda (then ...more
Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I might be going to Rwanda in June so this is the first book I picked up about the subject. An inspiring story about a womans life in Rwanda. Amazing how Carr refused to leave at the most dangerous times and wasnt afraid to forge out a life on her own during a time when being an independant woman in another country couldn't have been easy. She always overcame each obstacle she faced and manages to return to Rwanda against all odds as it becomes her home and she could not be happy anywhere else. ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredible book about an amazing woman! She moved to the Belgium Congo as a young bride and spent her entire life in Africa, mostly Rwanda. She experienced divorce, colonialism, Rwandan indepence, an interesting friendship with Dian Fossey, the Rwandan genocide, and so much more. At the time of writing (1999) she was in her 80's, running an orphanage for children who had lost their parents in the genocide. She said her only regret had been that she never had children, but at age 82 G ...more
Bas Bleu November 2015 Book a Month:

In the mid-1950s, Rosamond Halsey Carr married a hunter/explore and agreed to move to Africa with him. Years later, after their marriage broke up, Rosamond decided to stay on. She had fallen in love with the people and the area. So, she agreed to manage a flower plantation in Rwanda. After the Hutu-Tutsi genocide in 1994, she turned her plantation into a shelter for lost and orphaned children.

This book is a memoir of the
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