A House in the Sky
A profusion of yellow National Geographic magazines seem to come along with this book, the memoir du jour "A House In The Sky." From Canadian explorer Amanda Lindhout, and writer Sara Corbett, who assisted beautifully, comes a true story of how one girl could survive the most horrific of all horrors, her survival, the aftermath in all colors of the rainbow and, of course, the emotions and flickering chaos post-trauma. The fighter, the captain and the survivor in Amanda Lindhout is what makes the story clap hard and satisfying like a shot in the dark, but it is the earnest prose that keeps the suspense utterly enchanting.
Amanda Lindhout, a beautiful and slightly ambitious girl that comes from a nowhere world in Canada manages to escape a small life with the help of coins spent on National Geographic magazines. Escaping her parents' decay she travels on the pages to Peru, Kenya, India and everywhere else. She learns about deep seas, high mountains, ancient tribes and ultimately herself. The moment she has found her feet in life she ventures off to find a job as a waitress and manages to earn enough to set off traveling. First, she goes to South America and only later she ventures off script to the dark continent of Africa.
Lindhout endured 460 days in captivity. Away from everything she understood, she managed to romance even her captors with her bright smile and kind eyes. Her essential goodness won out with ease it seems. Somalia, a land of no return, changed Lindhout, and this book is her oeuvre. Sensitive, beautiful, harrowing and essential it crosses a boundary where the questions of sanity and reality that come hand in hand with travel is somehow laid bare. But so is Lindhout, she lays bare her deepest heart strings and strums them so ferociously that you cannot help but fall in love with her and her courage.
The book is the summer's page-turner according to the critics, but it goes much deeper than that. Lindhout, and of course Corbett, craft an alchemy of life, a sweetness that pours deep into the sour wounds of Africa's destruction of one person. That sweetness is Lindhout's remarkable decision to forgive, and then to give her life back to the very thugs' country that broke her in the first place. She might not be an author, yet, but she's certainly an ambassador for humanity.
"A House In The Sky"
Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett