A House in the Sky: A Memoir

A House in the Sky: A Memoir

by Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
4.6 65


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A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett

BREAKING NEWS: Amanda Lindhout’s lead kidnapper, Ali Omar Ader, has been caught.

Amanda Lindhout wrote about her fifteen month abduction in Somalia in A House in the Sky. It is the New York Times bestselling memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most remote places and then into captivity: “Exquisitely told…A young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph” (The New York Times Book Review).

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself visiting 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 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.

Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is “a searingly unsentimental account. Ultimately it is compassion—for her naïve younger self, for her kidnappers—that becomes the key to Lindhout’s survival” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451645613
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 53,025
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

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.

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A House in the Sky: A Memoir 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
HopeLife More than 1 year ago
An amazing account of life as a captive in war torn Somalia. The writing is fresh and easy to digest. The details are superb and make you feel the fear. It is an astonishing portrait of bravery and forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! Read the whole book in about a day, kept me on edge waiting to find out how she was rescued! Very heartbreaking story, but so happy she hung on and survived the horror she endured!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A disturbing but enthralling account of lives changed by extremists. The experiences portrayed in this book are at times unbearable to read, imagining the terror, pain and loneliness. I literally could not put this book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A riveting account of an amazing young woman whose early and troublesome home life spur refuge in National Geographic magazines as a means of escape to distant lands. Reality soon leads her into some of the most troubled and dangerous countries of today. She is fueled by her courageousness and fortitude, and when held prisoner and forced into extreme brutality, it is her indomitable spirit to survive that is almost beyond comprehension. BJBNC
Twink More than 1 year ago
If you only read one memoir this year, make it A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. Amanda Lindhout is from Alberta, Canada. As a young child living in a turbulent household, she collected and cashed in bottles. And what did she spend her money on? Old National Geographic magazines. Amanda escaped into the pages,dreaming of one day visiting the exotic places pictured. At nineteen she has saved enough money from waitressing to make those dreams a reality. Her first trip abroad is to Venezuela. "I had seen this place in the magazine, and now we were here, lost in it. It was a small truth affirmed. And it was all I needed to keep going." Lindhout repeats the cycle, earning, then travelling. She visits most of Latin America, India, Burma, Ethiopia, Syria, Pakistan, Sudan and dozens more. Her joy in exploring and experiencing new places and people is tangible. But, each trip she takes is a little further off the beaten path. And finally, she's travelling to some of the most war torn countries in the world. In Kabul, Afghanistan she begins a career as a fledgling freelance /journalist/photojournalist - with no formal training, associations or contacts. With some success under her belt, she heads next to Baghdad, Iraq to work as a reporter for Iran's Press TV. Moving on from there she decides to head to Mogadishu, Somalia in 2008 - bigger stories might help her career take off faster. She wonders if an old flame, Nigel Brennan, an Aussie photographer wants to join her. He does.......and four days after their arrival in Somalia, they are kidnapped by insurgents from an Islamic fundamentalist group. And, they are held.... for 460 days. "It was here, finally, that I started to believe this story would be one I'd never get to tell, that I would become an erasure, an eddy in a river pulled suddenly flat. I began to feel certain that, hidden inside Somalia, inside this unknowable and stricken place, we would never be found." A House in the Sky is Amanda's recounting of those 460 days. She is beaten, starved, chained up, kept in the dark, raped and tortured. These are the facts. “There are parts of my story that I may one day be able to recover and heal from, and, to whatever degree possible, forget about them and move on. But there are parts of my story that are so horrific that once they are shared, other people’s minds will keep them alive.” How she survives is a story that had me tearing up, putting the book down and walking away from it so many times. It's a difficult read, but is such a testament to the human spirit and will. Amanda names each of the houses they are held in - Bomb-Making House, Electric House, Tacky House and more. But it is the House in the Sky that had me freely sobbing - at the worst of times she builds a house in her mind, filled with the people she loves and the memories she treasures, the future she dreams of. "I was safe and protected. It was where all the voices that normally tore through my head expressing fear and wishing for death went silent, until there was only one left speaking . It was a calmer, stronger voice, one that to me felt divine. It said, 'See? You are okay, Amanda. It's only your body that's suffering, and you are not your body. The rest of you is fine.' " The journey to their release is gut-wrenching, incredibly powerful and impossible to put down. I stopped many times to look at the smiling author picture of Amanda on the back, wondering how in the world she survived. Survived and forgave. And as I turned the last page, I just sat. Sat and thought. This is a book that will stay with you, long after that last page. Read an excerpt of A House in the Sky. 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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Couldn't wait until the end to see how they were rescued (since it was a true account, I already knew they were eventually safely rescued) but I was hooked from the first pages to go on this journey with Amanda. Very insightful memoir. I also learned a lot about Somalis, thus coming on the heels of the attack in Kenya so it made the book all the more real and scary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible, once i started reading i, i did not put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw amandas interview on the today show and i just had to read this book. Its a "i cant believe what im reading" type of book. Hard to read at times for the sole fact of what her and nigel endoured but it was a good read. I enjoyed the traveling stories; i envy the ability/ambition to travel and see the world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing true story. I couldn't put the book down! Excellent writing, the author really did a great job of putting you right in the moment. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply an excellent read. One of the best books so far this year that I have read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose this book to read quite by accident and can offer no higher recomendation. If this read dosen't move you, you are immovable. Her experience is sometimes difficult tp read but leaves you with a new perspective on mans imhumanity to man. She is a survivor, a writer, and an inspirationt to anyone who should have given up hope, but didn' t. I hope this is not her only book.
Cindabella More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully written. I really enjoyed the first few chapters getting to know Amanda and her travel philosophy and what lead her up to the point of venturing to Somalia. The book tugged at your heartstrings and at points I was crying while reading the pages. A really beautiful approach to such a horrific tale. Def a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
excellent book. i have about 50 pages left. Very sad and compelling. think twice before traveling in the middle east.
MDT More than 1 year ago
I recently read A House in the Sky. It was the type of book that you will not want to put down. Easy reading, but descriptive and realistic. You could almost feel as though you were experiencing what Amanda went through during her captivity. If non fiction is your book of choice, I highly recommend you read this memoir. As a world traveler myself, I could relate to Amanda's wanderlust. I also find setting foot in a new destination, a thrilling experience It is too bad that she had to endure what she did...no doubt she is a stronger woman today in spite of it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is s must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every time I started to read this book. I fell asleep.  I can't believe I paid $13.99 for such a boring book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read nonfiction constantly. I inhale biographies and eat memoirs for lunch. This book is the ultimate exciting read. I finished it in twrlve hours, staying up until dawn, and then picking right back up the minute of waking up. Wow. I just cannot say enough about it. A classic of travel adventure. You wl love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a trrue story full of sadness and unending hope. It is the heartbreaiking story of the torturous treatmeent imposed by Somali rebels on two adventurous young people. Their 13 months of imprisonment waiting for a 2 million dollar ransom made a testament of determination. A book that is hard to read at times, but will stay with you forever.
libraryworm More than 1 year ago
What a powerful, compelling biography. It is very well written, gripping, emotional and quite the page turner! If you have one biography to read, make it House in the Sky.
Meghan_LaNice More than 1 year ago
This book was heart wrenching and inspiring. The things these people endured and overcame seem impossible to survive. I read every chance I got.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An incredible story of survival, that will keep you surprised at the strength one individual could possess.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very important story, very well told
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Speechless. A horrifying account of the author's capture in Somalia and her incredible will to survive. Beautifully and captivatingly written. A must read!
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing, sobering book. The heart-breaking story of Lindout's time spent as a ransom prisoner in Somalia conveyed in absolutely gorgeous prose. I so admire and appreciate this woman telling her story and moving on with her life of helping others. I def recommend this book. You may also want to read The memoir by Jacee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart's My Story and The Witness Wore Red.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WARNING - Trigger for abuse victims. I read this book and was amazed by the stark beauty of the prose. Riveting, gut - wrenching and ultimately unforgettable.