Angela's Reviews > A House in the Sky

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
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's review
Sep 20, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

This book is our reading group choice and I believe there will be a lot to discuss. A House in the Sky is a memoir about the author being kidnapped and held in Somalia by insurgent Jihadists for ransom (to fund jihad, not for political reasons) but it somehow does not demonize Muslims.

I don't understand how Amanda Lindhout can write so "fairly" about her captors but I believe she's said that writing about the ordeal has been a part of her recovery. And even though we know the ending (she's alive to write the book, obviously) the telling of the story is so suspenseful and harrowing as to keep you holding your breath for certain scenes throughout. It's never (so far anyway) so blunt as to offend the senses--we listened with a baby in the car and only winced for him to hear some of the (necessary for the telling of the events) bad language. In fact, Amanada Lindhout somehow tells her story in a wry style that showcases her considerable sense of humour! None of the situation is funny--and it's not exactly black humour--but her take on things shows a spirit fully alive and unsupressable. Is that even a word?

**Update** Now that I've finished the book, I'm even more astonished at how Amanda Lindhout refrains from bitterness. The second half of the book contains her more sickening experiences including rape and torture. But even as the author describes these terrible things, she doesn't give us graphic details, rather she describes her psychological response and ways of coping. Never does she gloss over what harm she has suffered, and, in my opinion, never does she present her story to make herself look better, in fact she's had to forgive herself for making decisions that led to her being unsafe in the first place.

At any rate, I'd recommend this book to anyone as it is an intelligently written and devastatingly described human experience. I'm very interested to read the memoir of Amanda's co-captive Nigel Brennan The Price of Life by Nigel Brennan

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Reading Progress

September 20, 2014 – Shelved
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 3, 2014 – Started Reading
November 4, 2014 –
November 6, 2014 – Shelved as: non-fiction
November 12, 2014 – Finished Reading

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