I just finished reading another book (I know, shocking, right?!) that is a fairly new-release titled, “A House in the Sky” by Amanda Lindhout.
I found out about this book a few weeks ago when Amanda was featured on one of my favorite shows, Dateline. Her story is nearly impossible to recount in a 45-minute television program, but even then, what she shared on the show sounded like a story I wanted to hear more about, and so I got the book from the library.
Amanda is a freelance Canadian journalist with a true passion for adventure and traveling. The first half of the book discusses her early life, how she began her journalism career, and how she traveled to so many exotic and frankly, dangerous places. Most people leisurely travel to places relaxing or interesting — Paris, London, Phuket, Cancun — but not Amanda. She wanted to travel to the most remote, obsolete places of the earth that most of the world has no desire to visit such as Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. She willingly goes to these places on her own accord because as a freelance journalist, she had to go find stories on her own to later sell to publications. She felt as if there was so much more to places such as Afghanistan; more than the terrifying and upsetting news that is portrayed in the media today. There was actually stories of “good” to be told from a war-torn country and she wanted to find them and tell them to the world.
So, she decides to go into Somalia to find these stories that really, no one else in the world was reporting. She compared her journey to Somalia to Dan Rather’s “hurricane” story that essentially made him one of the most famous American journalists in modern times. Somalia was “her hurricane” and this was going to be her big break that she truly longed for her career.
Then, within a few days of her arrival in Somalia, along with another freelance photojournalist from Australia, she was captured by a group of young men and was held captive for over a year. Her story is without a doubt remarkable. It is a story of human resilience, determination, and really portrays the sheer power of the human mind. It is a story that personally, I see the hand of God weaving throughout, but I can’t say that others (including Amanda) can say the same. Her story is so powerful that it is almost inspiring (is it strange to call a story of kidnapping ‘inspiring’?) and certainly moving.
While it is difficult to read and imagine her stories of being raped by her captors, it is part of her story that shows the brutality of her kidnapping. As crazy as it sounds, I was glad as a reader that she did not hide any part of her story from her readers.
Have you read “A House in the Sky”? What did you think of it?