About the book

As a Canadian medical student, Karen Trollope-Kumar went to India to study social and preventive medicine and met a young pediatrician named Pradeep. His dream of working in the Himalayan foothills captured her imagination, and the man captured her heart. They married in a Hindu wedding ceremony and pledged to share a life of service and spiritual growth.

In this poignant, heartwarming, and gently humorous memoir, Karen recounts an eleven-year chapter of their unusual lives. She and Pradeep worked as medical doctors in the Himalayas, first in a rural hospital and later in remote mountain villages. When disaster struck — an assassination, an earthquake, a political crisis — their ideals, their safety, and their relationship are put at risk.

The Cloud Messenger is a story of adventure and idealism, culture and medicine, faith and love, and it raises enduring questions: How can we cross religious and cultural boundaries? What happens to our dreams in the face of danger and disillusionment? And when dreams diverge, when one spouse can no longer continue on a certain path, what path do we choose?

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Cloud Messenger is a moving, honest account of two people honouring their commitments of love to each other and service to remote and rural communities living in the headwater areas of the Ganges River in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is, at turns, a story of compassion, idealism, spirituality, dedication, hardship, joy, sacrifice and discovery. Karen Trollope-Kumar is a gifted, self-aware writer whose sympathetic interest in the wellbeing of others shines through. 

— Michael V. Hayes, PhD
Professor, School of Public Health and Social Policy
University of Victoria


“This is a wise book, with profound thoughts about culture, spirituality, values, and family life. There is subtle, gentle humour, and lyrical descriptions of mountain scenery. There is so much to enjoy as well as so much to learn, so much to make you think, that this is a book to own and to reread."

— John M Last, OC, MD Emeritus Professor, University of Ottawa


"Dr. Karen Trollope-Kumar is a superb stylist, with rich imagery, delightful humour, and scintillating dialogue throughout this treasure of a book.”

— Robert Nielsen, President, Potlatch Publication