A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

I'm working my way through my all-time favourites, and A House in the Sky is #3 on the list! If you want no spoilers at all- stop reading and just go buy the book. You won't be disappointed.

A House in the Sky is a memoir by Amanda Lindhout of Red Deer, Alberta and co-written with journalist, Sara Corbett in 2013.

Amanda’s desire to become a credible journalist drew her into dangerous locations in the middle east. Following a lead in Somalia is what led to her kidnapping by a group of teenage militants. Amanda spent a torturous 480 days as a captive, waiting for her ransom to be paid. Her memoir explores religious fundamentalism, failed humanity (so heartbreaking), despair, bravery and the will to survive. It’s a difficult book to process, but it’s also one of the most inspiring memoirs I’ve ever read (due in part to the healing journey mother and daughter had to navigate to overcome the damaging events that occurred in 2008).

I was lucky enough to see Amanda and her mother take the stage together in Winnipeg, MB. Here I am, pictured with Lorinda and Amanda at the Winnipeg Art Gallery after their emotional presentation. Amanda’s mother, Lorinda Stewart shared her traumatic experience as lead negotiator with her daughter’s captors. 

I would also like to recommend Lorinda’s book called One Day Closer, because it takes you into her home-turned-command-station where she was coached on negotiating tactics to bring her daughter home. Speaking with a tremor on stage (a side-effect of living under crippling stress for so long, permanently damaging her vocal cords), you can’t imagine what she endured while her daughter was being tortured on the other side of the world. Afraid she would say the wrong thing and end communication with the boys who held her daughter’s life in their hands, she lived with the persistent fear that she may never see her daughter again. 

At this time, there was a movie in the works with Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actor) set to portray Amanda. However, it seems the movie never made it to production. 

I will not give you any further spoilers, but AFTER you have read the book, do some googling to find out more about how the RCMP saw to it that justice was served. You really won’t believe it.

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