** A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

The author of A House in the Sky, a freelance journalist on a tiny budget, was kidnapped while in Somalia, beaten, raped, starved, taken to a couple of mock executions, held for over a year but eventually released after her family and that of a fellow journalist paid a ransom to the terrorist group that had taken them. The story is tough, even if we know, unlike the author at the time, that she will make it out of the series of increasingly bleak hiding places where she and her friend are shuffled to avoid the civil war.

What made the book interesting for me were two things. First, the back story of the author, raised under very modest conditions in a small town in Alberta, Canada, but who dreamed of adventure from a young age. And second, the resiliency she shows during her captivity, as she seeks to establish human ties with her captors, combs through the Koran for sayings that she can use to gain privileges, gratefully recognizes every shred of assistance she was given during her ordeal, often by other women, and finds every opportunity to manufacture hope for herself and her fellow captive.

On the other hand, her blithe disregard of danger seems quite foolish — and although it’s wonderful that she made it back, the ransoms paid by families (and governments) seems to all but ensure that every Westerner is seen as a walking ATM…


1 Comment

Filed under New fiction

One response to “** A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

  1. Pingback: * Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed | FT's Books

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