At 18, Amanda Lindhout moved from her Canadian hometown to the big city, saving tips as a waitress to travel the globe. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a reporter. In August 200, she travelled to Somalia to report on the fighting – and was abducted.
Her story illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of her guards and the men in charge of them. She survived by finding strength and hope in the power of her own mind. A House in the Sky refers to the place Amanda went to during her abuse. A place of peace and happiness she built for herself in the sky and this story is a moving testament to the power of compassion and forgiveness.
Since her release after 460 days in captivity, she has devoted herself to the cause of the rights of women and girls in Somalia, founding the Global Enrichment Foundation charity which funds women’s education projections and offers support for survivors of sexual violence.
A House in the Sky has its opening pages set right in the midst of the kidnapping and the writing allays all fears of a story written for the sake of tearing at the emotions. The events happened and they were real and someone survived them. And then there’s life that comes after that and strength and determination.
“This is one of the most powerfully-written books I have ever read. Harrowing, hopeful, graceful, redeeming and true. It tells a story of inhumanity and humanity that somehow feels deeply ancient and completely modern. It is beautiful, devastating and heroic – both a shout of defiance and a humbling call to prayer,” is how Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love describes it and I couldn’t agree more.
A House in the Sky: A Memoir of a Kidnapping That Changed Everything Published by Viking Paperback on April 3, 2014