A House in the Sky, A Memoir; Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
I had read about A House In the Sky in all the magazines that came out in September; Elle, Vogue, etc. It is the story of a young woman, Amanda Lindhout, who is kidnapped and held for ransom in Somalia.
She finally told her story to a journalist, Sara Corbett, who she connected with through colleagues a few years later. The book is really well written and flows easily. It begins when Amanda was a young girl so the reader can learn about the life she grew up in that perhaps influenced the decisions she made later in life. Her parents were divorced and her mother ended up with a slew of not very nice men who lived with them. Her father came out of the closet and lived with a guy and she visited them often. She went from a house that was stable, her father, on the weekends to her Moms house that was frenetic and always on edge. Money was tight. She spent time coveting National Geographics with this dream that she would travel the globe at one point.
Eventually she began to travel. She would make enough money as a waitress in high end clubs and then take off anywhere from a few months to a year. She became bolder on where she would go as the years continued. There are many other travelers, like herself, that she met and knew on the road. Eventually she began to write and take photographs and get paid as a journalist including media stations. Even though she traveled everywhere she was naïve. She was a free spirit that didn’t really educate herself on the politics of each country. She felt invincible.
She ends up going to Somalia thinking that she could take great pictures and write about something that would be a game changer for her career. Instead she gets kidnapped with a prior boyfriend after being there for only two days.
Amanda ended up being held for ransom for a year and a half. The story shares all the thoughts going through her head, the terrible things that happened to her, how the body dislocates from the mind in terrible circumstances. It is an unbelievable story. It is truly amazing she is alive today. It took her years to recover.
Highly recommend the book. A story of courage and resilience.