I recently finished reading A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout. The memoir describes her time traveling the world as a freelance journalist, and her eventual kidnapping by Muslim extremists in Somalia, where she was raped, beaten, and held for ransom for over a year.
Amanda is a Canadian girl, she grew up only a few hours away from me, so this story hit home for me even more. She came from an unstable home, and moved out as soon as she was old enough. She spent time as a waitress in Calgary, and managed to save a lot of money. She had never left the country, or done any traveling, but she booked herself a ticket to South America, where she traveled around for months.
She began returning to Calgary to earn enough money to travel, and then spending six months at a time away traveling the world, eventually making her way to the war torn countries of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where she began working as a freelance journalist and photographer as a way to earn more traveling money, even though she had no experience or schooling.
From there, she went on to Somalia, hoping for her “big break” as a journalist. After only 3 days in the country, she was taken.
It was a really great read, I knew what the memoir was about before I started reading, but even though I knew where her story would eventually lead, I was still envious over her travels, and entranced with her descriptions of her adventures and all of the amazing places she was able to visit.
It was difficult to read about her terrifying ordeal, every time it seemed like things were about to turn around for her, they would actually get worse, but she was very brave, and lived to tell her story.
Amanda still travels the world, and she started a non-profit foundation to help provide education and aid in Kenya and Somalia.
You can order A House in the Sky here.