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Shadow of the Mountain


A gripping novel dealing with grief and loss, with coming of age and the need to take responsibility for ourselves and our relationships with others.

Maybe there is no 'right way' to deal with grief.

But, just maybe, there’s a wrong one.


Geneva's world has been blown apart. All she knows is there's no way back – not to the person she was, not to the family she had.


The tragedy that hit Geneva's world did more damage than anyone could have predicted; destroyed more lives than her own. As she struggles to find a way to continue, to reconnect with the life she once had, she finds nothing fits any longer. Her old friends are gone, moved on or maybe not moved at all. And it turns out she can't help pushing away the people who might be able to help.


But some things you just have to do for yourself. Even when they risk your family, your friendships. Even when they risk your life. Maybe we are all destined to repeat the errors of the past.


Angus’s feet dropped to the ledge with a thud. ‘What happened? Did you hurt yourself?’


Geneva shook her head.


‘You haven’t told him?’ Keith asked. 


‘Told me what?’

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Cover image for Anna Mackenzie's Shadow of the Mountain

Published 2008

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Sample Chapters

The Story Behind the Story 

Teaching Notes

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Story behind the story – Anna says:


Shadow of the Mountain hits many emotional chords for me. It’s a coming of age story, but also a story about grief.


When I started writing it I was interested in exploring the impact of loss and the different ways we have of coping (and not coping) with the emotional backwash of grief. Midway through my own life took an abrupt swerve, and I had to set it aside – it was too close, too raw.


When I went back to it (having in the meantime written The Sea-wreck Stranger), it became a far better book for the personal shadows that stood behind the story. I have no doubt that my fresh understanding of grief and our unpredictable and varied responses to it made Shadow of the Mountain a stronger and more powerful book. Reading it still makes me cry.

What the Reviewers Say


‘A stunningly accurate and moving portrayal of grief … I am left with a deep admiration for Mackenzie’s power as a writer.’

– Booknotes 164/summer 2008


'Faced with a tragedy, Geneva and her parents have to rebuild their lives, and Anna Mackenzie shows the process, carefully, compassionately and convincingly.'

– Trevor Agnew, Magpies Magazine


Anna MacKenzie writes confidently, realistically capturing the interplay and emotional intensity of Geneva’s relationships as well as the physicality of the sport which brings her to the brink if disaster. Highly recommended.'

– Ellen Carter in Magpies Magazine


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Read sample chapters

Awards & Nominations


CLF/Storylines Notable Book 2009

Teaching Notes


There are comprehensive Teaching Notes available for all of Anna's books.


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