A House in the Sky By Amanda LindhoutOne book that is getting a lot of buzz is a memoir by Canmore resident, and journalist Amanda Lindhout. In August 2008 Lindhout was abducted and held hostage for 15 months. At the time, her abduction was in the news and her plight became a political debate about whether the governments should pay ransoms for citizens held hostage in foreign countries. A House in the Sky, is Amanda's memoir about what she experienced during those months.
A House in the Sky starts with Amanda's childhood living in Sylvan Lake with her mom and brothers. As a young girl she becomes fascinated by the exotic places and pictures found in old copies of National Geographic magazines. What started as a means of escape from a less than perfect home life, becomes a passion for travelling that takes Amanda throughout the world.
It is during her travels that Amanda becomes a freelance journalist and decides to travel to Somalia. In Somalia, while on her way to visit a refugee camp Amanda and four others are taken hostage by a group of fundamentalists. For 460 days Amanda endures horrific conditions and both physical and mental abuse at the hands of her captors.
The book is about more than just the abuse suffered by Amanda; it's about her spirit to survive and not give into the despair of her situation. Throughout her ordeal and in the years that have followed, Lindhout maintains her belief in the goodness of people. She writes about her feelings now towards the people that abused her and she expresses an understanding for their actions. That stayed with me after I finished this book and it's why I couldn't pull myself away from her story.
Through the non-profit organization that she founded, Amanda Lindhout has worked to improve conditions in Somalia epecially in the area of education for women. And despite everything she has been through, she has even gone back to Somalia to do humanitarian work. A remarkable woman and a remarkable book.
A House in the Sky will be released in September and you can currently place holds on both the book and bookCD.