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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful memoir
If you only read one memoir this year, make it A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett.

Amanda Lindhout is from Alberta, Canada. As a young child living in a turbulent household, she collected and cashed in bottles. And what did she spend her money on? Old National Geographic magazines. Amanda escaped into the pages,dreaming of one day visiting...
Published 15 months ago by Luanne Ollivier

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3.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking
A story told in a vey precise way regarding a kidnap that went on for over 400 days
The author pulls no punches about the trauma she went through. In the current climate this should be a must read for any one contemplating a visit to a war torn country where hostage taking is ,regrettably,a way of life
Published 5 days ago by Leomaster


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful memoir, 18 Sep 2013
By 
This review is from: A House in the Sky (Hardcover)
If you only read one memoir this year, make it A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett.

Amanda Lindhout is from Alberta, Canada. As a young child living in a turbulent household, she collected and cashed in bottles. And what did she spend her money on? Old National Geographic magazines. Amanda escaped into the pages,dreaming of one day visiting the exotic places pictured.

At nineteen she has saved enough money from waitressing to make those dreams a reality. Her first trip abroad is to Venezuela.

"I had seen this place in the magazine, and now we were here, lost in it. It was a small truth affirmed. And it was all I needed to keep going."

Lindhout repeats the cycle, earning, then travelling. She visits most of Latin America, India, Burma, Ethiopia, Syria, Pakistan, Sudan and dozens more. Her joy in exploring and experiencing new places and people is tangible. But, each trip she takes is a little further off the beaten path. And finally, she's travelling to some of the most war torn countries in the world.

In Kabul, Afghanistan she begins a career as a fledgling freelance /journalist/photojournalist - with no formal training, associations or contacts. With some success under her belt, she heads next to Baghdad, Iraq to work as a reporter for Iran's Press TV. Moving on from there she decides to head to Mogadishu, Somalia in 2008 - bigger stories might help her career take off faster. She wonders if an old flame, Nigel Brennan, an Aussie photographer wants to join her. He does.......and four days after their arrival in Somalia, they are kidnapped by insurgents from an Islamic fundamentalist group. And, they are held.... for 460 days.

"It was here, finally, that I started to believe this story would be one I'd never get to tell, that I would become an erasure, an eddy in a river pulled suddenly flat. I began to feel certain that, hidden inside Somalia, inside this unknowable and stricken place, we would never be found."

A House in the Sky is Amanda's recounting of those 460 days. She is beaten, starved, chained up, kept in the dark, raped and tortured. These are the facts.

"There are parts of my story that I may one day be able to recover and heal from, and, to whatever degree possible, forget about them and move on. But there are parts of my story that are so horrific that once they are shared, other people's minds will keep them alive."

How she survives is a story that had me tearing up, putting the book down and walking away from it so many times. It's a difficult read, but is such a testament to the human spirit and will.

Amanda names each of the houses they are held in - Bomb-Making House, Electric House, Tacky House and more. But it is the House in the Sky that had me freely sobbing - at the worst of times she builds a house in her mind, filled with the people she loves and the memories she treasures, the future she dreams of.

"I was safe and protected. It was where all the voices that normally tore through my head expressing fear and wishing for death went silent, until there was only one left speaking . It was a calmer, stronger voice, one that to me felt divine. It said, 'See? You are okay, Amanda. It's only your body that's suffering, and you are not your body. The rest of you is fine.' "

The journey to their release is gut-wrenching, incredibly powerful and impossible to put down. I stopped many times to look at the smiling author picture of Amanda on the back, wondering how in the world she survived. Survived and forgave. And as I turned the last page, I just sat. Sat and thought. This is a book that will stay with you, long after that last page. Read an excerpt of A House in the Sky.

Amanda Lindhout is the founder of the Global Enrichment Foundation - "a non -profit organization that supports development, aid and education initiatives in Somalia and Kenya
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave story from woman who instead of revenge offers compassion and forgiveness, 7 Mar 2014
By 
Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A House in the Sky (Hardcover)
"A House in the Sky" by Amanda Lindhout is the real story of the author's abduction in Somalia when she was kidnapped during her travel.
A year and 3 months later she was released, she again won their freedom, but her life was forever changed.
Therefore she decided to share the memory of her days in captivity with all of us...

This book was told in a really brave way, making it hard to be put on shelf until it's read completely.
It's sometimes tough to even read it, and even further to think how she felt during countless months of imprisonment and to go through it all once again to be able to write this book.

She described her captivity vividly, with so many details and although a reader knows that in the end she was freed you can't stop yourself turning pages to make that happen as soon as possible, and stop her suffering.

But on the other level this book is more than picturing of young woman's tragedy, this is story about tragic consequences of fundamentalism on all those who might accidentally find themselves at the wrong time in the wrong place, or they are of other color, or a different religion.

However it's also a story about forgiveness, about no matter what the author had experienced she also had the power to forgive afterwards, and to show compassion no matter how her captors' actions were inhumane.
With her story it seems that she is trying to make this world at least a bit better place to live, to show that we should respond to violence and oppression with reason and compassion.
Due to that reason she didn't just wrote this book, but she also decided to establish humanitarian foundation that has goal to educate Somalia and Kenya women, in order to make their societies more developed.

"A House in the Sky" is an honest and brave story about young woman who was forced to grow up and harden in a day.
Some may object that the author went too deep into details but she did it on purpose, she wanted us to experience how she felt, how much she was scared, what were her thoughts and how much human can desire freedom, incredible as it can sound to us who never longed for it.

Due to all above-mentioned I can assure you that you'll go through this book quickly, not enjoying it because of its theme but that you'll feel the same admiration for Amanda as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A house in the sky., 11 April 2014
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A very gripping book and story of this very brave. Young lady she endured Terrible things whilst held captive but came through it after 15 months. A book you can't put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man's inhumanity to women, 6 Nov 2014
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This story of courage and endurance lays bare the responsibilities each of us have to each other. The horror of Amanda's experience is really incomprehensible to those of us who selfishly inhabit our cosy little ordered lives.We are witnesses to the brutal power of man over women and are reminded again and again of how easy it is to abuse that power. It is incredible Amanda survived her ordeal and even more incredible that she has gained purpose from it. A breath catching story factually told without any sensationalism or embellishment. Alan Spence
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4.0 out of 5 stars Let me say first I am very happy she lived to tell her story but I have ..., 16 Oct 2014
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I have mixed feelings about the author of this book. Let me say first I am very happy she lived to tell her story but I have seen before. this folly of heading straight into danger unnescessarily just to prove a point and not listen to sound advice. She wanted to add another country to her list of countries visited.Amanda Lindhout never stays long enough to emerge herself into any of the cultures before her,learn the language or attempt to be part of life as lived in these faraway places. 20 or 30 years old copies of National Geografic Magazine does not make a worldtraveller nor did the woman(don't remember her name) who went around the world on foot and who missed out on some of the most wonderful sights just because they were not on her itinerary,sad! I have travelled myself to some of the places Amanda has travelled to (and a few she hasn't been to) but I take my time and avoid on the whole turists and compatriots. Good advice,let the embassy know where you are headed(or consulate) and travelling as a lone woman always look up the head-women of the villages first. They will look after you and protect your back and make you feel you are part of their extended family. That is travelling at its most seductive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want to put it down. But then didn't want to finish it, 8 May 2014
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A very moving well written book. I wanted to know what happened later in her life. Would recommend this to anyone. Makes you see just how lucky you are .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read, 8 May 2014
By 
Denise Maguire (Bedfordshire england) - See all my reviews
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An excellent, gripping, horrific true record of this girl who was taken hostage. Well written and gripping, I wish Amanda well in her future life and hope that she can put this ordeal behind her and live her life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 6 May 2014
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P. Bosworth - See all my reviews
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I bought this book after reading an excerpt in The Times. I don't buy or read many books, but this one is a must. I became engrossed in the story and could not put it down. such courage and fortitude in the face of such degrading cruelty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story, 5 May 2014
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Quite unbelievable at times questioning how one would cope with such a dreadful experience . Very well written a book not easy to put down. Congratulations in having the courage not only to survive but for reliving your experience for us to share.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing account of one woman's abduction and torture in Somalia., 4 May 2014
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This is the story of the kidnapping and imprisonment of Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian national who naively wandered into Somalia to report upon the news emanating from one of the most dysfunctional societies in the world.
The narrative describes her tortuous ordeal at the hands of her captors and is highly descriptive of her various emotional states as she struggles to survive the mostly unremitting brutality and inhumane treatment she receives over many months of captivity.
It is unquestionably a very harrowing account and is frequently deeply disturbing to read.
However, although the book is well-written, it lacks any indication that Ms Lindhout appreciated, or understood the vile nature of the fundamental religious beliefs which underpinned the actions of her captors. There is very little here by way of critical analysis, or indeed condemnation of the poisonous nature of religious fanaticism. I was constantly waiting for some considered judgement of the faith, which inspired the barbaric actions of her jailers, but none was forthcoming. This was both disappointing and worrying, as it passed up an opportunity to condemn the bronze-age desert beliefs which played such a central part in her ordeal.
I hope that in the future Ms Lindhout is more circumspect in choosing which countries to visit and that she continues to recover, and perhaps, reflect upon the true nature of the religion which was responsible for her appalling imprisonment and torture.
I wish her well.
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A House in the Sky
A House in the Sky by Sara Corbett (Hardcover - 11 Dec 2013)
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