Monday, 13 April 2015

I Read... A House in the Sky

I'm back in the swing of things after Easter break.  I got a lot of good reading time in.  The best book that I read over the break was definitely A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett.  I've had it for a while, but I wasn't sure if I would enjoy reading the book.  I had heard about Amanda Lindhout's kidnapping in Somalia, and I thought that I might find her story too uncomfortable, too frightening to enjoy.  I was dead wrong.  As soon as I picked up the memoir, I was drawn in to the story and the engaging voice through which the story is told.  I kept finding excuses to take time to read throughout the day and finished in record time.

If you're someone who thinks that they don't like memoirs, give this a try.  It reads just like a thrilling novel.  I knew the ending from watching Amanda's story on the news, so I had that relief knowing that Amanda would return home.  The story kept me on the edge of my seat, however, as I read about Amanda's growing love of travel, her adventures around the world, and her eventual kidnapping.  Reading about how her experience in Somalia deteriorated- my heart broke for her toward the end of her time there- painted a picture of how it must feel to be in such a terrible, often hopeless, situation.  Amanda's strength comes through no matter what is going on around her- her empathy for others is inspiring.

While there is some mature content and language, I think that this would be a great read for anyone high-school aged and up.  It kept me hooked and wanting more, and it gave me a new perspective on a world and lifestyle that is far removed from myself.  I found myself considering the perspectives of everyone involved- Amanda's mother, townspeople who observe Amanda, her captors, her friend Nigel who has also been captured.  A book that has the power to expand your mind and capacity for empathy is definitely worth checking out.

Food for thought... what are your favourite memoirs?

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