In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage

Macmillan Audio. Feb. 2022. 15:32 hrs. ISBN 9781250840097. $32.99. MEMOIR
Humanitarian and mountaineer Vasquez-Lavado’s debut memoir centers on trauma and all the fallout that surrounds it. In this inspirational tale, Vasquez-Lavado tells the story of how mountaineering helped her process the traumatic events that shaped her life, including childhood sexual abuse, destructive alcohol use, and owning her identity as a queer woman. As they immerse themselves in Vasquez-Lavado’s piercing narration, listeners will trek alongside the author as she navigates both her life and the peaks she climbs. Vasquez-Lavado’s narration is serious and poetic, as she bravely shares details from her harrowing childhood. Above all, however, her message is that healing is possible. This book is described as a “memoir of courage,” and courage is certainly an important part of Vasquez-Lavado’s story. Even so, listeners may feel that the word “conquer” better captures her spirit, as she proves that she and others like her can conquer their fears, their trauma, and any mountain standing in their way.
VERDICT This beautiful and important audio is highly recommended, particularly for listeners seeking stories of empowerment, resilience, and strength.
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