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A House in the Sky: A Memoir [Hardcover]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this book Sept. 17 2013
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
If you only read one memoir this year, make it A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett.

Amanda Lindhout is from Alberta, Canada. As a young child living in a turbulent household, she collected and cashed in bottles. And what did she spend her money on? Old National Geographic magazines. Amanda escaped into the pages,dreaming of one day visiting the exotic places pictured.

At nineteen she has saved enough money from waitressing to make those dreams a reality. Her first trip abroad is to Venezuela.

"I had seen this place in the magazine, and now we were here, lost in it. It was a small truth affirmed. And it was all I needed to keep going."

Lindhout repeats the cycle, earning, then travelling. She visits most of Latin America, India, Burma, Ethiopia, Syria, Pakistan, Sudan and dozens more. Her joy in exploring and experiencing new places and people is tangible. But, each trip she takes is a little further off the beaten path. And finally, she's travelling to some of the most war torn countries in the world.

In Kabul, Afghanistan she begins a career as a fledgling freelance /journalist/photojournalist - with no formal training, associations or contacts. With some success under her belt, she heads next to Baghdad, Iraq to work as a reporter for Iran's Press TV. Moving on from there she decides to head to Mogadishu, Somalia in 2008 - bigger stories might help her career take off faster. She wonders if an old flame, Nigel Brennan, an Aussie photographer wants to join her. He does.......and four days after their arrival in Somalia, they are kidnapped by insurgents from an Islamic fundamentalist group. And, they are held.... for 460 days.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Stumbles and Strengths of One Woman Oct. 16 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was an eye opener. It led me into places I have never seen and most certainly do not understand.

I commend Ms. Lindhout on leading us through the drama and terror of her days and months of confinement, in her attempt to help us understand her adventurous spirit and the situation she found herself in. Though I often questioned her naivety and the decisions to put herself in harms way, I applaud her bravery and reasoning during her captivity.

Fear, anger, sadness, and horror, my emotions were tripping over each other as I turned the pages of this memoir.

I would recommend this book, if for no other reason, than to better understand the world we live in and what is happening out there, and how vulnerable we can be when we intrude into the lives of others who see us through very different eyes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read Nov. 1 2013
By Mianke
Having lived in Red Deer, AB during this time, I followed Amanda's story closely, wishing and praying for her quick release. That's not to say there weren't doubts as the longer it dragged on, the less likely it appeared she would be freed. But to see how the community came together to raise funds for her release was heartwarming.

I found her book to be very well written and very blunt. I found myself gasping to catch my breath as she and Nigel made their escape; running through the streets of godknowswhere, hoping to reach freedom. How she endured being held captive for that long is truly amazing. It shows her character and resiliency in making a bad situation bearable.

It truly is a book you'll find hard to put down once you start it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulously written account Sept. 7 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had been following the story of Amanda since the initial kidnapping in Somalia many years ago and the ordeals she was forced to undergo as dimly reported in national newspapers. It was horrifyingly fascinating due to, what we must admit to straightaway, the great physical beauty of Amanda, and the desolation of being captive in Somalia, said to be the most dangerous place on earth, which even aid groups like medecins sans frontiers had abandoned. Equally shocking was the idea that ordinary folks (her family) would have to raise a million dollars as ransom without the help of government or she would be killed. So I definitely jumped on the book when I saw it was finally out because I wanted to hear 'her side' of this big news story, especially the big question: why be so foolish to travel into Somalia? And how bad did it get, really?

The book does a great job of explaining her motivations, based on her free-spirited backpacker days obsessed with travel and seeing the world (and in fact these early chapters are really beautiful for those who like me are highly interested in travel too), thereafter the appeal of freelance journalism arises to fund her travels, which, due to its lack of success in for ex. Baghdad, led to the idea of venturing into Somalia which was underrepresented in journalism for obvious reasons.

Equally powerful is the understanding she brings both to her situation, her self-awareness of the mistake she had made, the situation inside Somalia, and the islamicism of her captors combined with their immaturity (mostly teenagers) and the absolutely soul-breaking experience of being captive for 15 months, thinking so often that death was a minute away.

What was a pleasant surprise to me was how beautifully well-written the book was.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I'm very pleased with the book.
Published 2 hours ago by wilma esau
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
It was so hard for me to remember that this was a true story as I was reading this book....
Published 14 hours ago by Margaret Popkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep reflection on life and pain
Just finished reading this book. Beautifully written, it includes deep reflections on life, pain, and redemption, for Amanda Lindhout herself, bu interestingly, also for her... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Idil Issa
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend it to everyone
Excellant!! Could not put it down!! Recommend it to everyone!,
Published 3 days ago by Geri zacharias
5.0 out of 5 stars What a brave, strong and amazing woman!
Oh...my...god! There are no words. I was an ugly crying, blubbering mess for the last part of this book. I cried myself to sleep! Read more
Published 3 days ago by suekitty13
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to finish it
I could not put this down. Terrifying, heartbreaking, poignant. It shows the strength of a human being even under extraordinarily harsh and cruel circumstances. Read more
Published 4 days ago by June Aylsworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Incrediby fast shipping too
Published 6 days ago by Jessica Ewing
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, could not put it down
Fantastic book,could not put it down.
Published 16 days ago by Helene Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
riveting story -a courageous young women
Published 23 days ago by Bernice
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An amazing story, told very well.
Published 23 days ago by V. Mait
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