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Publisher's Summary

“In climbing the Seven Summits, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado did nothing less than take back her own life—one brave step at a time. She will inspire untold numbers of souls with this story, for her victory is a win on behalf of all of us.”—Elizabeth Gilbert

This audiobook is read by the author.

"Through her narration, Vasquez-Lavado, whose first language is Spanish, conveys a lifetime of warmth, humor and steely determination."—Bookpage  

"Complex and compelling, Vasquez-Lavado’s quest to heal herself from the deep wounds of patriarchy is also a vibrantly feminist celebration of female resilience."—Kirkus Reviews

"Making history is nothing new for adventurous mountaineer, explorer, entrepreneur, author, and activist Silvia Vasquez-Lavado."—Out Magazine

Endless ice. Thin air. The threat of dropping into nothingness thousands of feet below. This is the climb Silvia Vasquez-Lavado braves in her pulse-raising memoir following her journey to Mount Everest. 

A Latina hero in the elite macho tech world of Silicon Valley, privately, she was hanging by a thread. Deep in the throes of alcoholism, hiding her sexuality from her family, and repressing the abuse she’d suffered as a child, she started climbing. Something about the brute force required for the ascent—the risk and spirit and sheer size of the mountains and death’s close proximity—woke her up. She then took her biggest pain as a survivor to the biggest mountain: Everest.

“The Mother of the World”, as it’s known in Nepal, allows few to reach her summit, but Silvia didn’t go alone. She gathered a group of young female survivors and led them to base camp alongside her. It was never easy. At times hair-raising, nerve-racking, and always challenging, Silvia remembers the acute anxiety of leading a group of novice climbers to Everest’s base, all the while coping with her own nerves of summiting. But there were also moments of peace, joy, and healing, with the strength of her fellow survivors and community propelling her forward.

In the Shadow of the Mountain is a remarkable story of heroism, one which awakens in all of us a lust for adventure, an appetite for risk, and faith in our own resilience. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company.

©2022 Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Dear Listener,

What do I hope you will take away from my story?
"I hope that you will find courage, hope, and be inspired to tackle your own emotional mountains—whatever they are. In the Shadow of the Mountain is an unbelievable roller coaster of a ride, a true adventure—not just an external one, but also an internal one of the soul. It is a very honest, vulnerable, and sometimes painful story. But it is a story of all of us. Many of you will see pieces of yourselves reflected in this book.
I hope this book will give you the courage and strength to embrace any of your hardships and understand the unlimited resilience that lives inside all of us. Our spirit is unbreakable, and we can overcome the most when we heal together. When we come together, share our stories, and walk side by side in nature or wherever we are—we can end up in amazing and transformative places.
I hope In The Shadow of the Mountain inspires you to take that first step toward embracing your own Everest." – Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, writer of In the Shadow of the Mountain

What listeners say about In the Shadow of the Mountain

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Next?

Left me wanting more! More about her life after she conquered Everest, which had to be easier than overcoming the torment of her childhood abuse. An absolutely amazing woman!

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great story

A very well executed woven of stories.
starts with a exciting story follow up by the reality of a traumatic story while holding you and making you feel tight,.

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Inspirational

This book was an interesting listen. I enjoyed listening to the author, in her own words, give an account of her life and difficulties she had to navigate to get where she is now.
This would be a great listen to any young person encountering difficulties, or older individuals who assist those with difficulties or who have lived through difficulties of their own.
This is not my normal genre, but I am sure glad I picked this book as one to listen to!

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amazing!

Silvia, tell us her migration story a detail and immerse us with her. I cried, I laughed and I felt many times like her. Silvita please Part II!!!

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As Majestic as Everest!

This book is beautiful, well-written, and encouraging in the most amazing of ways. I walked away amazed at her story. I’ve meet her in person and she is as vibrant, positive, and energetic as her book. Initially her accent is a bit strong; I love it because it is who she is. If you liked “Wild” or “Eat Pray Love” this book is for you!

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Thank You Silvia

Your amazing and courageous journey hit close to home. Thank you so much for sharing. Though Ive never imagined climbing mountains, your descriptive words captivated my senses. You are my heroine🙏🏽

Renetta Ann Trujillo

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boring

I heard the author being interviewed on NPR and was excited to hear/read her book! Annoyingly there was so much tedious detail that it became quite boring. The few intense moments were drowned out in lengthy dull descriptions. The author’s voice didn’t help. I stayed on as long as I could, finally abandoning it at mid chapter 15.

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Beautiful and courageous!

What a heart wrenching book! I could feel the incredible rawness of the author’s pain and what she endured to try to get beyond and heal that brokenness. At times, I could feel my own tears forming for the precious little girl, and later for the suffering young woman. The writing flows so well between the author’s times as a child, student, young working professional, etc., and all of her complicated and heartbreaking relationships. The descriptions of the experiences of the other young women were so visceral as well. The author’s description of the ascent of Everest captivated me also. I felt like I was right there with her.

Thanks for an amazing book!