Reads For The Road: A House In The Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

I had heard that Amanda Lindhout's story A House In The Sky was a must-read (it has been hailed in Vogue, The Globe and Mail, Outside, The New York Times, and was a part of Oprah's Winter Reading List), but I was not prepared for the incredibly well written, shocking, heart-wrenching test of humanity that I would find within the book's pages. 

I don't know if it is because she is from a town only a few hours away from where I grew up, but the way that Amanda writes about travelling (especially travelling solo as a female) feels like she has put into words every unarticulated thought that I have had about my own journeys.

That is until she describes being kidnapped. 

People would say to me all the time, “It must be so hard to travel by yourself as a woman.” But I was finding that it was easier. I was sure about it. If you smiled, if you showed people that you were happy to be there, you were met most often with warmth. The swindlers backed off easily. The tuk-tuk drivers and beggars eased up and became more human, maybe even a bit protective.
— p 55 from "A House In The Sky" by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

Yup, I said kidnapped.

While working as a struggling freelance journalist, Amanda and her friend Nigel made their way into Somalia. On a trip outside of the capital city to take photos at a refugee camp, they were both kidnapped by a rouge group of men who immediately demanded ransom from their parents and from their countries, neither of whom who had any money to pay. 

Kept hostage for OVER A YEAR, this is the story of what she went through, how she stayed alive through horrific abuse, how she managed to retain her humanity, and how she was saved.

A warning though, once you get started, you won't want to put it down.