A House in the Sky

A House in the Sky

A Memoir

Large Print - 2013 | Large print edition
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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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2013, c2013
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410463791
Branch Call Number: LP 070.92 L6442H 2013
Characteristics: 653 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Corbett, Sara


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Jul 05, 2018

I'm surprised so many have said that the first chapters were slow and dragged on. I really appreciated hearing her travels and her descriptions of the exotic places that she visited. Places that most people will never in their lifetime visit.
What a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. I was in awe of the strength and resilience that carried her through.

May 29, 2018

A harrowing memoir of a young Canadian woman held captive in Somalia for 15 months. Unfortunately for Amanda, she was blamed and judged for her experience. Why was she in such a dangerous country etc.? I think she does a good job explaining how it all came about. Though some said the beginning of the book was slow, I think she needed to show her great experiences with travel before Somalia--even in countries she was told not to go to like Pakistan and Afghanistan. This set up her decision to go to Somalia (along with being young and naive). While being held captive she showed strength of mind and spirit beyond expectation. Especially frustrating and crazy was the description of her attempted escape. Great reading even if you don't think you like nonfiction.

Jan 22, 2018

I missed my bus stop while reading this it was so good! That said, the first 15 chapters or so drag on for far too long. If the first part had been condensed, I would have rated it 5 full stars.

Jul 21, 2017

Real and powerful, this story is still on my mind after eighteen months. Beautifully written.

Mar 26, 2017

What comes through for me is Lindhout’s honesty – her willingness to own her impetuous decisions that landed her in this harrowing 15-month ordeal. I admire her strong minded attempt to stay positive, her resilience and resourcefulness, and her empathetic decision after her release to start a non-profit to help educate young Somalis. It’s a balanced account of her experience, told with introspection and the fullness of her human spirit.

Mar 08, 2017

Though she claims twice in the book that she wasn't naive, she sure came across as naive or worse. That being said, the harrowing tale of her ordeal should not be faced by anyone. The book is presented in a matter of fact way on how she approached her captivity. Mostly interesting, it is worth reading if you are interested.

Jan 09, 2017

A haunting and powerful memoir. I did find the early days dragged a bit - could have condensed this. When Amanda was planning her trip to Somalia I thought why on earth would she go there!? The experiences she and Nigel endured were beyond what many of us could deal with. To compare these captors to animals is insulting to animals who don't torture and only kill to survive. Amanda's enduring strength and willingness to live despite everything is awesome.

Aug 23, 2016

A very grim read.

Jul 05, 2016

The book is powerful; I think that everyone who has read it will agree with that. So for that – five stars for it. But as this is a memoir, so the most talk is about real facts described in this book and the person who is behind them – Amanda Lindhout. There are lots of talks in internet about all that happened to her and to Nigel Brennan in Somalia. Mostly, after she published this book. Many, many people are blaming her for to put her and Nigel in very cruel situation – because she knew about dangers, but she was such an arrogant person, too much self-confident, that she thought - whatever happened to somebody else – never will happen to her. But as one of her captors said (from the book) – “Look, this is not Paris, not Toronto. This is Somalia”. One of the journalists from National Geographic, who was at the same time that Amanda and Nigel in hotel in Somalia and who had to be kidnapped, and not Amanda and Nigel, but because of set of circumstances, it did not work out as planned originally by kidnappers, wrote after the fact, that his first impression of Amanda after introducing herself in hotel was- “O, she will make kill herself or somebody who will be with her”. Many people are asking – why she went there? It did no good to anyone, including herself? It’s like to go directly to an open mouth of a hungry wolf.
Anyway. Her optimism is admirable. It’s unique in a way. There is a question - is (was) she mentally well? Maybe she has a masochistic personality? Could it be true? We don’t know.
But in her photos, including on the cover of this book, - there is not a bit of laceration, stress, suffering inside of her soul. The impression is that she is happy about everything. More - there is no TV or radio show where she is not participated – Amanda is everywhere! Glossy photographs – as a model from fashion magazines. I read memoirs of other kidnapped victims, including women, after such terrible experiences, they never ever were the same again, like before the ordeal, and you won’t see their pictures in fashion outfits - “modeling”, as it happens with Amanda.
There is something not an authentic in her – I cannot point it out, but it's hard to believe that after her captors did to her – she is “forgiving” them because they are also victims of the war – as she put it. That is not a normal reaction of a person who recently suffered so much. Contrary to Nigel. He seems more authentic. But who am I to judge?
Unfortunately the relations between her and Nigel deteriorated. You can find recent tweets of him about her. Not cordial or friendly at all. Cold. This is because he said that ransom was paid completely by ausie part, including his family and sponsors. And he is undignified, apparently, of not telling complete truth by Amanda about who paid ransom. That is sad. But it is life.
Amanda Lindhout right now shouldn’t put herself in public attention how she is doing so. She looks as an attention seeker. And what for all that foundation – to help Somalian women with a basketball? Maybe she should leave them alone; they probably do not need her. Between all of those women who she met during her captivity only one was willing to help her. The rest – were very agree with kidnappers.

May 05, 2016

So hard to think of the circumstances that she lived it is a common happening in so many places around the world; her faith and spiritual strength is admirable.

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Sep 07, 2018

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Jul 11, 2018

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Jan 26, 2016

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Oct 28, 2014


... Travel gave me something to talk about, something to be. That I'd just been to Nicaragua or was thinking about going to Ethiopia seemed, in the eyes of the people I encountered at work, to override the fact I hadn't been to college or that I was late in getting a round of dirty mojitos to table nine. It helped erase the past, too, allowing me to duck questions about where I'd grown up or who my parents were. Among travelers, talking about the past usually meant talking about the just passed. The expiration date on old experiences came quickly. What mattered most was where you were going next.


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