A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
A Memoir

90%

13 Critic Reviews

With the assistance of New York Times Magazine writer Corbett, Lindhout, who was held hostage in Somalia for more than a year, chronicles her harrowing ordeal and how she found the moral strength to survive...A vivid, gut-wrenching, beautifully written, memorable book.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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).
 

About Amanda Lindhout

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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.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.
 
Published September 10, 2013 by Scribner. 385 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 29 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for A House in the Sky
All: 13 | Positive: 13 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 30 2013

With the assistance of New York Times Magazine writer Corbett, Lindhout, who was held hostage in Somalia for more than a year, chronicles her harrowing ordeal and how she found the moral strength to survive...A vivid, gut-wrenching, beautifully written, memorable book.

Read Full Review of A House in the Sky: A Memoir | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jun 24 2013

Canadian journalist Lindhout gives a well-honed, harrowing account of her 459-day captivity at the hands of Somali Islamist rebels.

Read Full Review of A House in the Sky: A Memoir | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Eliza Griswold on Sep 06 2013

Her tale, exquisitely told with her co-author, Sara Corbett, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, is much more than a gonzo adventure tale gone awry — it’s a young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph.

Read Full Review of A House in the Sky: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Times

Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Cindy Wolfe Boynton on Nov 16 2013

Engrossing from the first page, “A House in the Sky” is a story as monstrous as it is moving, as terrible as it is transforming. Its examination of evil and goodness asks readers to not just consider the contents of others’ hearts but, perhaps more important, the contents of their own.

Read Full Review of A House in the Sky: A Memoir | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Laura Eggertson on Sep 06 2013

A House in the Sky is the compelling account of the then-27-year-old Canadian's 15 months in brutal captivity as a hostage, along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan, at the time her former lover.

Read Full Review of A House in the Sky: A Memoir | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Saleem Khan on Sep 19 2013

Lindhout ends on an uplifting note, emerging an advocate for young Somali women in particular — an inspiring outcome as unlikely as a house in the sky.

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Grace Bello on Sep 09 2013

Keenly observed and sprinkled with arresting details, "A House in the Sky" is more than one woman's heartbreaking tale of captivity. The book sheds light on a conflict area not often painted with nuance. It dares to explore the outer reaches of human empathy. A stunning, haunting, and redemptive read...

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USA Today

Good
Reviewed by Korina Lopez on Sep 07 2013

With the superb craftsmanship of co-author Sara Corbett, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Lindhout has created a brave, compassionate and inspiring triumph.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Saleem Khan on Sep 13 2013

Lindhout ends on an uplifting note, emerging an advocate for young Somali women in particular — an inspiring outcome as unlikely as a house in the sky.

Read Full Review of A House in the Sky: A Memoir | See more reviews from National Post arts

A Bookworm's World

Excellent
Reviewed by Luanne on Sep 17 2013

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.

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Book BagLady Reviews

Good
on Jul 08 2013

This book affected me on so many levels, emotionally and spiritually mostly. I honestly and sincerely don’t believe I could ever have survived what this young woman did.

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Literary Hoarders

Excellent
on Sep 20 2013

It has been well over a week since finishing and still I am unable to stop thinking about Amanda and her experience. It is an often intense read but written in an amazing manner that keeps you glued to your seat, eyes never leaving the page. Her strength and spirit is truly inspirational.

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http://blog.shelfari.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Susan Casey on Aug 30 2013

What Lindhout endured during her 460 days in captivity is difficult to absorb, but Corbett is brilliant with the telling detail, and her writing is so strong that she can paint readers a vivid picture with only a few brush strokes.

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