IN THE SHADOW OF 10,000 HILLS is a riveting family saga that spans from the turmoil of Atlanta during the Civil Rights Movement through the struggle for reconciliation and forgiveness in post-genocide Rwanda. At the heart of this literary novel that crosses racial and cultural boundaries is the search for family on a personal and global level.
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.
“…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, bestselling 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.” — Caroline Leavitt, bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World
“Jennifer Haupt has woven an intricate and moving tale of family and culture, of conflict and love, and of the challenges of healing after unthinkable loss. Told with remarkable compassion and grace, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills is a story everyone should read.” — Therese Anne Fowler, bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
“In the Shadow of Ten Thousand Hills is a beautifully written novel that tells a compelling story. I was deeply moved by it. Jennifer Haupt is a gifted writer, whose heart is as large as her considerable talents.” — Steve Yarbrough, author of The Realm of Last Chances
“Jennifer Haupt takes readers on a journey that spans from the turmoil of Civil Rights Era Atlanta to an orphanage in Rwanda born of unspeakable tragedy. In this hopeful story that transcends race and cultural differences, Haupt guides both the survivors and readers toward the courage to believe in love again. An important story reminding us that when a crime is unforgivable, only grace will do.” — Susan Henderson, Founder of LitPark blog, author of Up From the Blue and The Flicker of Old Dreams
“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.” — Jessica Keener, author of Night Swim and Strangers In Budapest