Reviewing “A House in the Sky”: A Memoir
This harrowing and well-written book (by Amanda Lindhout with Sara Corbett) will make you think twice about travelling to places with security warnings. With the world in a rather disruptive state to say the least, I think back to my husband and my frequent decisions not to go into what were at the time unrest areas (such as Borneo or Paraguay ) with more than a little relief. It doesn’t mean, however, that one will always be in the right place at the right time; a lot of course, depends on luck.
Amanda Lindhout was not one of those lucky people. Travelling with her friend Nigel Brennan on a reporting mission (they were both photojournalists) into Somalia, she and Brennan were kidnapped with their entourage by Islamist insurgents. Held for 15 months, Lindhout was tortured and assaulted in unspeakable ways while her family and Brennan’s tried to raise an unrealistically high ransom. The book is from her perspective. Brennan wrote his own called: The Price of Life, which I have not read.
This account, however, is well constructed and leads you through Lindhout’s early life to the kidnapping and final release. And although you know she and Brennan will get out, you are kept enthralled and morbidly fascinated throughout.
Remarkable for me also was how similar my own outlook about travelling is to Lindhout’s at the beginning of the book. This and the fact that she is still travelling – now on philanthropic missions, including to Somalia where she was kidnapped.
A remarkable story by a remarkable woman.
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