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.
Amanda Lindhout’s story is honestly incredible. I normally don’t enjoy reading biographies and tend to stick to fast-paced, action-packed, epic fantasy or paranormal novels – but I couldn’t stop reading this!
Amanda has been through so much in her life, and the suffering she endured is unimaginable, but I felt like I was right there, watching her, as I followed her through her story. The Travel, the love, and the adventures prior to her capture made me feel alive just to read about it. It made me want to see the world, experience new cultures, and meet new people and lifelong friends.
I know that a lot of people have given this book two or three stars, saying that the book was kind of pathetic as Amanda and Nigel were incredibly naive and that nothing that happened in the story surprised them. And yes, I agree that they were naive, and so do they. They understand the sever mistakes they made in life that lead to them getting captured. But that doesn’t make this story any less amazing, exciting, scary, or inspiring.