Publication Date: February 1, 2022
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“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
When Silvia’s mother called her home to Peru, she knew something finally had to give. A Latinx hero in the elite macho tech world of Silicon Valley, privately, she was hanging by a thread. She was deep in the throes of alcoholism, hiding her sexuality from her family, and repressing the abuse she’d suffered as a child.
Her visit to Peru would become a turning point in her life. Silvia started climbing. Something about the brute force required for the ascent—the restricted oxygen at altitude, the vast expanse of emptiness around her, the risk and spirit and sheer size of the mountains, the nearness of death—woke her up. And then, she took her biggest pain 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, their strength 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, gratitude for the strong women in our lives, and faith in our own resilience.
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