A House in the Sky: A Memoir of a Kidnapping That Changed Everything

4.2 avg rating
( 33,813 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780670920860: A House in the Sky: A Memoir of a Kidnapping That Changed Everything

"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.At the age of eighteen, Amanda Lindhout moved from her hardscrabble Alberta hometown to the big city--Calgary--and worked as a cocktail waitress, saving her tips so she could travel the globe. As a child, she escaped a violent household by paging through National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. Now she would see those places for real. She backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each experience, went on to travel solo across Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a TV reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia--"the most dangerous place on earth"--to report on the fighting there. On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted. An astoundingly intimate and harrowing account of Lindhout's fifteen months as a captive, A House in the Sky illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of her young guards and the men in charge of them. She is kept in chains, nearly starved, and subjected to unthinkable abuse. She survives by imagining herself in a "house in the sky," looking down at the woman shackled below, and finding strength and hope in the power of her own mind. Lindhout's decision, upon her release, to counter the violence she endured by founding an organization to help the Somali people rebuild their country through education is a wrenching testament to the capacity of the human spirit and an astonishing portrait of the power of compassion and forgiveness"--

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2013: Amanda Lindhout’s story starts as a breathless travelogue, inspired by National Geographic: as a kid in rural Alberta, Lindhout scavenged bottles to buy thrift store copies of the magazine, escaping through its pages from a violent home into a vast, vibrant world. In her twenties, she sought out every amazing place she’d always wanted to see, then kept going, loving the rush of pushing beyond the next border. Travel became her education, and a desire to make it her vocation as a freelance journalist draws her to Afghanistan, Iraq, and finally Somalia, where a hungry young reporter with guts might make a name for herself. Lindhout’s hubris can be frustrating: intellectually, she knows Somalia is the “most dangerous country on earth,” but she still talks her former lover, freelance photojournalist Nigel Brennan, into coming along. By this time, both of them have moved through so many unpredictable places unscathed that the possibility of real peril is a hazy abstraction, and their abduction by armed extremists comes as a shock. As their captors hold out for a ransom of $1.5 million, Lindhout and Brennan defensively convert to Islam and try to remain sane through covert communication, but after a botched escape, Lindhout endures severe torture and repeated rape--and survival means drawing on her every reserve. Written with uncommon sensitivity (by Lindhout and cowriter Sara Corbett), A House in the Sky becomes a moving testament to her ability to cultivate resilience and a kind of spiritual transcendence, even in profound darkness. Witnessing her experience left profoundly grateful for everything I have, more sharply aware of how I choose to react to circumstances beyond my control. Most of us will never live a day like the 460 Lindhout spent in captivity, but we all have our trials, and we can cultivate our own resilience. --Mari Malcolm

Guest Review of A House in the Sky

By Susan Casey, author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean

Growing up in the small town of Red Deer, Alberta, Amanda Lindhout dreamed big. She was a young girl with a curious streak the size of the Rockies, and though her wrong-side-of-the-tracks provenance seemed to promise only a flatline future, Lindhout decided to change her own fate. Out there, she knew, beyond a horizon dotted with oil rigs and trailer parks, magic awaited, a vast map filled with all things "lost or unexplored, mystical or wild."

How did Lindhout know this? National Geographic. Paging through worn copies of the magazine, she was transported to every spectacular place she’d never been: “The world arrived in waves and flashes, as a silvery tide sweeping over a promenade in Havana or the glinting snowfields of Annapurna. The world was a tribe of pygmy archers in the Congo and the green geometry of Kyoto’s tea gardens. It was a yellow-sailed catamaran in a choppy Arctic Sea."

And so, fueled by waitressing wages and determination, Lindhout’s travels begin, at first in idyllic ways, then accelerating and acquiring a degree of difficulty that would daunt any seasoned explorer. In short order, Lindhout—working as a freelance journalist—ventures into places like Kabul and Baghdad, Addis Ababa, the back alleys of Cairo, and then, finally, Somalia, where the stakes become nothing less than life or death.

Lindhout’s story is exhilarating and harrowing and several other brands of extreme, and it would be riveting however it was told. But in A House in the Sky, readers will find a rare and beautiful alchemy: writer Sara Corbett captures Lindhout’s voice and spirit with utter mastery on the page, and a kind of ferocious grace that I found breathtaking.

I know that’s a strange phrase, ferocious grace. Lindhout’s desire—her need, even—to live on all cylinders burns bright in this book, but Corbett deftly reminds us that even when chipping away at cement, “covered in grit and cobwebs,” while attempting a desperate escape from her prison, Lindhout is still that unassuming and hopeful girl from Red Deer, Alberta. The one who wrote to her mother from India, “I am going to Jodhpur. It is a city in the desert, called the Blue City, as all the buildings are painted blue! I am having the BEST TIME EVER!”

In fact, it’s Lindhout’s contradictions that make her such a rich character. She can be naïve and driven, generous and opportunistic, ambitious and fitful, sometimes all at once. At the same time she’s heading for danger, she’s making friends. And even after she is taken hostage by an extremist group, and her situation descends into darkness, she finds small measures of beauty and even optimism in her captivity. And within that simple, brutal paradox, Lindhout manages to stay alive.

What Lindhout endured during her 460 days in captivity is difficult to absorb, but Corbett is brilliant with the telling detail, and her writing is so strong that she can paint readers a vivid picture with only a few brush strokes.

A House in the Sky is a true story of a young woman’s radical adventures. It is absorbing and inspiring and textured. It is terrifying. It illuminates. It is the best book I have read in a very long time.

About the Author:

Amanda Lindhout is the founder of the Global Enrichment Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports development, aid, and education initiatives in Somalia and Kenya. For more information, visit AmandaLindhout.com and GlobalEnrichmentFoundation.com.

Sara Corbett is a contributing writer to "The New York Times Magazine". Her work has also appeared in "National Geographic"; "Elle"; "Outside"; "O, The Oprah Magazine"; "Esquire"; and "Mother Jones".

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A House in the Sky is the dramatic and redemptive memoir of Amanda Lindhout, 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, 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. For fans of the award-winning blockbuster Captain Phillips and readers of Kate McCann s Madeleine, Natasha Kampusch s 3,096 Days and Greg Mortenson s Three Cups of Tea.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. For more information, visit and globalenrichmentfoundation.comSara Corbett is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. Her work has also appeared in National Geographic; Elle; Outside; O, the Oprah magazine; Esquire; and Mother Jones. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780670920860

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A House in the Sky is the dramatic and redemptive memoir of Amanda Lindhout, 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, 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. For fans of the award-winning blockbuster Captain Phillips and readers of Kate McCann s Madeleine, Natasha Kampusch s 3,096 Days and Greg Mortenson s Three Cups of Tea.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. For more information, visit and globalenrichmentfoundation.comSara Corbett is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. Her work has also appeared in National Geographic; Elle; Outside; O, the Oprah magazine; Esquire; and Mother Jones. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780670920860

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
Published by Viking 2014-04-03 (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Viking 2014-04-03, 2014. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-LBR-01277684

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.93
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.98
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Amanda Lindhout; Sara Corbett
Published by Viking (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Viking, 2014. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # EH9780670920860

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.54
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Lindhout, Amanda, Corbett, Sara
Published by Viking
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Softcover Quantity Available: 17
Seller:
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Viking. Book Condition: New. Presents 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. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: 1HFGS; BM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 24. Weight in Grams: 272. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780670920860

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Lindhout, Amanda, Corbett, Sara
Published by Viking (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Softcover Quantity Available: 17
Rating
[?]

Book Description Viking, 2014. Book Condition: New. Presents 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. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: 1HFGS; BM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 24. Weight in Grams: 272. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780670920860

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.68
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
Published by Viking
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Viking. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 067092086X *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2122637321

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Sara Corbett Amanda Lindhout
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST067092086X. Bookseller Inventory # ST067092086X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Amanda Lindhout; Sara Corbett
Published by Viking (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New Softcover Quantity Available: 20
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Viking, 2014. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780670920860_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.88
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 2014-04-03, London (2014)
ISBN 10: 067092086X ISBN 13: 9780670920860
New paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 2014-04-03, London, 2014. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780670920860

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.98
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book