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A House in the Sky

A Memoir
Lindhout, Amanda (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
A House in the Sky
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"The spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somalia--a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace.At the age of eighteen, Amanda Lindhout moved from her hardscrabble Alberta hometown to the big city--Calgary--and worked as a cocktail waitress, saving her tips so she could travel the globe. As a child, she escaped a violent household by paging through National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. Now she would see those places for real. She backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each experience, went on to travel solo across Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a TV reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia--"the most dangerous place on earth"--to report on the fighting there. On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted. An astoundingly intimate and harrowing account of Lindhout's fifteen months as a captive, A House in the Sky illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of her young guards and the men in charge of them. She is kept in chains, nearly starved, and subjected to unthinkable abuse. She survives by imagining herself in a "house in the sky," looking down at the woman shackled below, and finding strength and hope in the power of her own mind. Lindhout's decision, upon her release, to counter the violence she endured by founding an organization to help the Somali people rebuild their country through education is a wrenching testament to the capacity of the human spirit and an astonishing portrait of the power of compassion and forgiveness"-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Lindhout, Amanda
Title: A house in the sky
a memoir
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2013
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: "The spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somalia--a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace.At the age of eighteen, Amanda Lindhout moved from her hardscrabble Alberta hometown to the big city--Calgary--and worked as a cocktail waitress, saving her tips so she could travel the globe. As a child, she escaped a violent household by paging through National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. Now she would see those places for real. She backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each experience, went on to travel solo across Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a TV reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia--"the most dangerous place on earth"--to report on the fighting there. On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted. An astoundingly intimate and harrowing account of Lindhout's fifteen months as a captive, A House in the Sky illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of her young guards and the men in charge of them. She is kept in chains, nearly starved, and subjected to unthinkable abuse. She survives by imagining herself in a "house in the sky," looking down at the woman shackled below, and finding strength and hope in the power of her own mind. Lindhout's decision, upon her release, to counter the violence she endured by founding an organization to help the Somali people rebuild their country through education is a wrenching testament to the capacity of the human spirit and an astonishing portrait of the power of compassion and forgiveness"-- Provided by publisher.
Additional Contributors: Corbett, Sara
ISBN: 9781451645606
1451645600
9781451645613
1451645619
Statement of Responsibility: Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
Subject Headings: Lindhout, Amanda Journalists Canada Biography Hostages Somalia Biography Somalia History 1991- BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs. bisacsh BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women. bisacsh BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Political. bisacsh
Topical Term: Journalists
Hostages
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY Personal Memoirs
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY Women
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY Political
LCCN: 2013016015
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Aug 20, 2014
  • ksoles rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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 boyfriend. With pocket change procured from collecting bottles, Lindhout found escape perusing copies of National Geographic she bought from the local thrift shop and dreaming of seeing exotic destinations. Years later, after much travel, Lindhout found herself incarcerated in another nightmarish room, this one in Somalia. "A House in the Sky" recounts her harrowing, 15-month captivity filled with beatings, rape and torture. It proves an extremely difficult and emotional read, but one that ultimately rewards its audience with wisdom and hope.

With talented wordsmith Sara Corbett, Lindhout has released a clear and powerful memoir. Though parts of the first 100 pages contain youthful platitudes and tedious biographical information, the story goes great guns when Lindhout turns 19. Most fascinating may be her description of the mental strategies she used to cope during her imprisonment and her elucidation of the dynamics between herself, Brennan, and their teenaged jihadist guards. After converting to Islam with hopes of receiving better treatment, she and Brennan were physically separated and Lindhout deeply resented the fact that Brennan, as a man, had greater freedom while she was left shackled in a windowless room.

A chapter describing Lindhout and Brennan’s bold, Shawshank Redemption-style escape leaves the reader breathless but even more profound is Lindhout's post-trauma mindset. She has managed to forgive her captors and considers the dire circumstances faced by millions of Somalis the story’s real tragedy.

The week after I finished reading this book my sister, nephew, and another Calgarian couple were held up in their home at gunpoint for 2 and half hours, assaulted and robbed. They are all fine. In Costa Rica.
I believe that kidnapping was a possibility but the robbers lacked the resources to pull it off.
She is going back though- not going to let the bastards get her down.

Aug 07, 2014
  • patriciabooth rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a compelling true story that is beautifully written. It provides a unique and fascinating insight into the Somalian culture and jihadist beliefs and practices. It is well worth reading.

Jul 29, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Harrowing is indeed the word here. The first 100 pages or so of the book do not take place in Somalia, instead we get a look into the author's childhood and history of backpacking and traveling and minor journalistic work, but once the group sets foot in Somalia everyone feels that something is different here than in the other war zones that they've been to. I've read plenty about people saying that they should have known better and that they never should have been going there in the first place. While probably true it is far from fair to say that what happened next was deserved. The rest of the book is telling of the well over a year that Amanda and Nigel spent in captivity and how different Amanda was treated in relation to Nigel. You get the odd look at what the families and the governments of Canada and Australia were doing (or not doing) to bring them home. It's a terrible experience to read about but you can't put the book down and quite honestly you can't help but admire Amanda in her looking for compassion for her captors and choosing to forgive them.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Heroic and exhausting at the same time - this is how I would describe the character and events in the true story of Amanda Lindhout, a budding journalist/photographer who travels into Somalia for a news story, is kidnapped for ransom, and finally is set free some 400 days later. On each and every written page Amanda shows the reader how truly amazing the human spirit is and what the body can endure despite loneliness, torture, malnourishment, and extreme conditions.
Ms. Lindhout begins her book by describing the dysfunctional Alberta home she grows up in, the escape she realizes once she begins to travel abroad as an adult, and the many and varied life experiences the world affords her. But then she makes that one critical mistake - to trust in those with extreme desperation in a war-torn country. Her saving grace is the joy she finds in the everyday and ultimately, the will to forgive her captors and move forward to help the very citizens of Somalia.
I hear they are going to make a movie about her experiences in A House in the Sky; I'd very much recommend you not wait till that comes out - instead, pick up this novel from the library for your next summer read."

Jun 05, 2014
  • spudwil rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow. Couldn't put it down.

Apr 28, 2014
  • kelly1980 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

What a harrowing ordeal. Well recounted.

Mar 30, 2014
  • mclarjh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I had heard Amanda speak about her ordeals prior to reading the book, so I didn't find much new or surprising in the book, but I liked it better than I expected.

Mar 28, 2014
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Some readers have found the background details of the book describing the author's life as a kid growing up and a young woman attempting to find her place in society, boring, unwanted, or unneeded. But I see that background detail as illustrating how a fairly ordinary person when faced with extraordinary circumstances, can somehow reach previously unrealized levels of bravery and strength. It illustrates the power of the human spirit and tells of the choices we all make, most of us in much less newsworthy circumstances, between adding more hate to the world, or rising above and adding more forgiveness and understanding to the world.

This is an amazing book about strength, guts, determination and survival. Once captured Amanda goes through incredible abuse physical, mental, and emotional. It is beyond me how she survived the daily abuse heaped on her. A superb read and one that will stay with you for a while. Unforgettable - a true story that will make you want to reflect on the treatment of humans, especially women, by other humans. In addition this book is really well written, a page turner. And she still has found space in her heart to help those who abused her. This is one incredible woman!

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app06 Version sidamo (sidamo) Last updated 2014/09/17 15:16