A House in the Sky – A Safe Place
—An exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and unbelievable grace and compassion. A young woman from Alberta, Canada, Amanda Lindhout, escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locations. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress, she began saving her tips so she could travel the world. 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”s abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.
Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, gratitude and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured. Part of what also kept her sane all those months in captivity was her awareness that the group of young men working as her jailers are themselves victims of strange circumstance.
“You could see these scars on their bodies from the violence round them.”
The title of the book harbours their reality as well as hers – the house in the sky is the place she built in her dreams to escape her brutal surroundings, but it also evokes the Muslim belief in the transcendence of the afterlife. Definitely a must read! The story captures so vividly the way that, no matter the depths of its suffering, the human spirit will always rise and win!
Get the book here.