This is a beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and grace. At the age of eighteen, Amanda Lindhout moved from her hardscrabble hometown to the big city and worked as a cocktail waitress, 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 went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to 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. A House in the Sky illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of Lindhout's young guards and the men in charge of them. She is kept in chains and subjected to horrific abuse. She survives by imagining herself in a "house in the sky," finding strength and hope in the power of her own mind. Her story is a moving testament to the power of compassion and forgiveness.
This is one of the most powerfully-written books I have ever read. Harrowing, brutal, hopeful, graceful, redeeming and true, it tells a story of inhumanity and humanity that somehow feels deeply ancient and completely modern. It is beautiful, devastating and heroic - both a shout of defiance and a humbling call to prayer -- Elizabeth Gilbert
Amanda Lindhout is the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Enrichment Foundation which raises money to help Somali women gain a university education, set up after her year-long incarceration by Islamic extremists in the country. She has been featured on featured on the pages of publications including ELLE, Canadian Living and The Globe and Mail and has appeared on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and the BBC, describing her ordeal. Amanda divides her time between Alberta, Canada and Nairobi, Kenya.