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A House in the Sky: A Memoir [Hardcover]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 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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14 of 15 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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6 of 6 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read Nov. 1 2013
By Mianke
Format:Hardcover
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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars House in the Sky
The start of the book was a bit slow.

But once the author started her travels it became very interesting - the dangers, the discomforts, the courage for a woman to go on... Read more
Published 5 days ago by elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading
The book was slow at first, but in the end you see why she included the details of her childhood and previous adventures. Read more
Published 12 days ago by hol u
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very emotional story.
Published 12 days ago by Jules
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account. Amazing strength of survival
Excellent account. Amazing strength of survival. Look forward to movie.
Published 17 days ago by David B. Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this!
I loved this book and couldn't put it down! So sad to hear this true life story, but yet such a good read.
Published 19 days ago by Kimberly M.
5.0 out of 5 stars A House in the Sky
An excellent book, I could not put it down, I admire her courage, tenacity. In spite of all she is going though, she is concerned about the anguish she is putting her family and... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Colette
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...
Dark, dank spaces haunt Amanda Lindhout. As a child in small-town Alberta, she lived in a squalid basement apartment where her mother often suffered beatings at the hands of her... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Reader Writer Runner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
After hearing about the story I was hesitant to read it, as I didn't think I would like reading about someone being held captive.
I decided to read this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by alex
5.0 out of 5 stars a book that I found hard to put down--well written ...
a book that I found hard to put down--well written and hard to believe that this was a true story
Published 1 month ago by Margaret R Speirs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best ever!
Published 1 month ago by Elsabe de Jager
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