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A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda…
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A House in the Sky: A Memoir (original 2013; edition 2014)

by Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett

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1,0906019,021 (4.14)73
Biography & Autobiography. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML: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.
The dramatic and redemptive memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world's most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity—an exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and grace

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—"the most dangerous place on earth." On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives "wife lessons" from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.

Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.
… (more)
Member:AHRaymond
Title:A House in the Sky: A Memoir
Authors:Amanda Lindhout
Other authors:Sara Corbett
Info:Scribner (2014), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:New Grant Street Books, New High School Books
Rating:
Tags:memoir, hostage, courage, captivity, Afghanastan

Work Information

A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout (2013)

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» See also 73 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Human Spirit
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
Two stars because the writing was good. I found the story of this woman frustrating and pitiful. To embark on untethered trips to the most volatile parts of the world was utterly stupid. The fact that she survived and was not murdered is amazing. The fact that she is now cashing in on her ordeal - well good for her, but it's reprehensible that she put herself, Nigel, her family and friends through a 15 month ordeal because she pretended to be a real journalist and photographer. I kept reminding myself it's a memoir, which most of it could be corroborated, some of her story could not. ( )
  Suem330 | Dec 28, 2023 |
I am sure I am going to get negative responses to this review but here goes. This a mediocre book at best. Yes the writing is polished but my guess is the reason for this is the co author, who writes for the New York Times Magazine.
The first 140 odd pages details what a grossly naive person Amanda Lindhout is and her narcissistic belief that she can do anything. She seems to be the one of the highest grossing waitresses on the planet without taking off her clothes, and seems to think that surviving Central and South America was justification for traveling to Pakistan, Afghanistan , and unfortunately for her ultimately Somalia. All this did for me was easily predict how her reckless behavior would end up getting her in trouble. I have seen reviews stating she got what she deserved. This assessment is grossly ignorant. Nobody deserves to be raped and tortured. The problem I had with the book is the first half is boring and as I said easy to see how the second half would play out. Having traveled to Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, and Mexico and Dubai, I have often encountered young travelers who think they can do anything with no repercussions. There is criticism the Canadian and Australian governments were less than effective is securing their release. I think people need to know that if you are going to go to countries that your government highly recommends that you don't, then if something happens to you it is not their job to help you. Other criticisms have pointed out that it seems like she purposely did this to get the fame of a once in a lifetime story, but ended up getting more than she bargained for, I doubt this is the case since it would be a great way to get killed!
The biggest problem for me regarding this book was that after awhile I just didn't care about her or her ex boyfriend's ordeal. If she had a reason to be in Somalia like she was with the UN or a soldier, or with an NCO, I would say she was crazy to be there, but was hopefully briefed on the risks. But because she was either grossly naive and or ignorant, for me did not make this book worth the time I spent reading it. ( )
1 vote zmagic69 | Mar 31, 2023 |
For the past 3 years I have stopped reading voraciously. Life got complicated. Couldn't find books I enjoyed. Life. Time left seemed ridiculous to waste on mediocre fiction. So, I've read a lit of nonfiction. Not a lot. But besides the Thom Harris slew I raced thru I have read Jack And Jackie, a FDR biography, a Katherine Harris book, and now this book A HOUSE IN THE SKY. I was reading a Hemingway book, The Snow of Kilimanjaro but it became yoo distressing. I read Ellen Gilchrist book about teaching at an Arkansas college.....I've begun many and tossed them aside.

This book has awaken my live of reading and transporting my mind to places I've never discovered.

5 stars and I'm not finished yet.

Thought I'd welcome myself home. ( )
  Alphawoman | Mar 30, 2023 |
Listened to the audio book. The author is an amazing woman. I was just blown away by her ability to travel for months at a time with just a loose plan. You could feel her zest for life and adventure. Once the abduction occurs, this becomes a very dark story. I don't know how she and her friend survived those 15 months of captivity. ( )
  LittleSpeck | Feb 18, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amanda Lindhoutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corbett, Saramain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In the burned house I am eating breakfast. You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast, yet here I am.

- Margaret Atwood, from "Morning in the Burned House"
Dedication
For my mom and two dads & Katherine Porterfield
First words
Prologue --- We named the houses they put us in.
When I was a girl, I trusted what I knew about the world.
Quotations
I'd like to say that I hesitated before heading into Somali, but I didn't. If anything, my experiences had taught me that while terror and strife hogged the international headlines, there was always, --- really, truly always ---- something more hopeful and humane running along-side it. In every country, in every city, on every block, you'd find parents who loved their kids, neighbors who looked after one another, children ready to play. Surely, I thought, I'd find stories worth telling.
With this breath, I choose peace. With ths breath, I choose freedom.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Biography & Autobiography. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML: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.
The dramatic and redemptive memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world's most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity—an exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and grace

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—"the most dangerous place on earth." On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives "wife lessons" from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.

Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.

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