A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
A House in the Sky is a beautifully written memoir by Amanda Lindhout. She grew up in Alberta in a not very fortunate family situation. As a child, she grew a sense of adventure, and escaped her home life by reading through any National Geographic she could get her hands on.
As a young adult, she worked to save money to travel to the places she had read and dreamed about, eventually dabbling into becoming a reporter. In 2008 Amanda traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia to cover stories about life there among all of the fighting. On her 4th day, she was abducted and held for 15 months.
I loved many things about this book. First being the description of the pure sense of adventure she had. I like to think that I love to travel, but was in awe of the places that Amanda traveled to. Second, the courage and attitude she exhibits throughout her time in captivity. And third, the style of writing, and telling of her story was just beautifully written. I was captivated at the beginning all the way through to the end.
Here are a few of my favorite passages...
I unearthed an old issue I had as a kid, with a story about a slab-like magical plateau somewhere in Venezuela called Roraima, covered in quartz crystals and drifting above the clouds. The names alone seemed delicious and made up. They ran through my mind like poetry as I walked home, erasing the blunt syllables of the place I lived, the places I came from. p. 27
For five months, we'd sat with Roraima on our coffee table in our little apartment in Calgary, its pie-wedge shape occupying the pages of our most treasured issue of National Geographic. And now the looking glass had flipped. We were like fantasy characters climbing around a picture that had gone three-dimensional. p. 35
I'd like to say I'd hesitated before heading into Somalia, but I didn't. If anything, my experiences had taught me that while terror and strife hogged the international headlines, there was always - really truly always - something more hopeful and humane running alongside it. p. 105
This is my eighth book read for the 11th Annual Canadian Book Challenge.