A House in the Sky

A House in the Sky

A Memoir

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
57
2
1
 …
Rate this:
"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"--
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2013.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451645613
1451645619
9781451645606
1451645600
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Corbett, Sara

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

n
Newmommy09
Jul 21, 2017

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

s
sgcf
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.

s
stewstealth
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.

e
Eil_1
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.

d
dbrh852
Aug 23, 2016

A very grim read.

p
Pisinga
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.

c
coelho21
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.

u
UnionvilleMama
Mar 23, 2016

It was hard for me to read this book, knowing that she was going to get kidnapped. I felt like the early parts of the book weren't necessary but perhaps she wanted to help give us perspective as to why she would travel to dangerous locations. While some may feel that Amanda made some "bad" choices, it doesn't justify how poorly she was treated.

Her ability to try to see a bit of good in every day while she was kidnapped was amazing.

I am going to read Nigel's book: The Price of Life: A True Story of Kidnap & Ransom as it would be interesting to see his point of view.

K_ROK Mar 16, 2016

This is a memoir that reads like a novel. I am so impressed with Amanda's courage and strength throughout the whole ordeal. Her perspective was inspiring and it shows a lot about her character with her willingness to forgive her captors. A must read!!

CatherineG_1 Mar 11, 2016

The inspiring memoir of Amanda Lindhout, a freelance journalist who traveled to Somalia where she was kidnapped and held captive for 15 months. The background story of how she came to love travel was interesting but not necessary for the book. Personally, I loved her strength, her daily coping and survival skills as well as her overall courage in the face of circumstances that were horrific.
Most impressive to me was how she came to forgive and understand her captors. Lindhout also kept a promise to start a foundation to educate Somali women. Her school name translates into the word, "hope."

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

Stephanie Gisela Mckenzie thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

c
coelho21
Jan 26, 2016

coelho21 thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

Quotes

Add a Quote

s
sky123
Oct 28, 2014

P.43

... 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.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at OPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top