A House in the Sky: A Memoir Hardcover – Sep 10 2013
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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Amazing story of the human spirit. Highly recommend this book.Published 18 days ago by Jocelyn Schmidtke
Very powerful and thought provoking book that illuminates the power of the mind when pushed to limits. Inspirational!Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
I first liked this book because the title and cover intrigued me, when I was looking for a book to purchase and read the main storyline I was interested. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Jen1482
Loved it and would recommend this book to anyone who has no hope. I would read it again. Not many books bring me to tears but this one did.Published 1 month ago by Deb Zed
Thank you Amanda for having the courage to share your story. A powerful story of human endurance under most horrid conditions and mostly one of the power of hope and our... Read morePublished 1 month ago by CHARLANE
Great book, I couldn't put it down, but warning it is heart wrenching especially to know it's a true story.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I could not put this book down and consequently finished it in two days. It is well written, enthralling and memorable.Published 2 months ago by Beverley
This is the second novel I have read about a kidnapping in Somalia. This is toyally different in nature than yhe other one, however nonetheless very interesting, and the strength... Read morePublished 2 months ago by trekster71