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on January 7, 2014
I couldn't write a review right away because I wasn't sure if I could review it fairly. With that said, I must say I found myself, as a woman, getting very frustrated with Amanda's decisions to travel into countries known for their violence, active wars and kidnappings. I thought that was very reckless thinking on her part,especially travelling to Mogadishu, Somali, notoriously known for its constant violence, killings and kidnappings of foreigners. Aside of that I admired her strength to survive in horrific conditions and treatment. I don't think just anyone could get through what she did. It's a tough read as far as the violence committed to her and her friend. This book is not for the faint of heart.
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on October 18, 2015
This was a tough book to read. Poignant, hopeful, yet full of despair and promise, all intermingling and emotionally catching and keeping you, pushing your own limits to finish the story. I admire her tenacity and strength and pray that God gives her peace and love.
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on August 29, 2014
Worth the time (maybe), but definitely not a "light read". Ms. Lindhout's tenacity is one thing, but I cannot imagine going into such a dangerous situation with so little experience and being surprised at the consequences. Perhaps her narcissism prior to her capture is what threw me off. I almost didn't complete the book because my response seemed to consistently be, "What was she thinking?" ... but I'm glad I read it to the end. I'm also happy to know she's now working toward something more meaningful than putting herself in seemingly untenable situations. Perhaps I'm being unfair. Maybe I should be more supportive of women who choose to wander into a mine field in the interest of "journalism." I just don't understand why a young woman would intentionally put herself in such a dangerous situation. Things in Africa and the Middle East, where women are concerned, are not likely to change in any significant way over the next many years. The reality of this book was that, to me, there were no real surprises, and I'm not sure what the author expected.
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on August 29, 2014
This is such a well written memoir it almost reads like a novel. I would put it in the same category of writing as Jeannette Walls' "Glass Castle". You just can't make this stuff up. I have always thought that truth is stranger than fiction and this is proof of that. I applaud Ms Lindhout for sharing her extraordinary and horrifying experiences with all of us armchair travelers. The strength to endure such trauma is a quality few of us have, I would think. It is also a cautionary tale that should make any young person think twice before going off on an adventure that is ill-advised.
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on October 8, 2015
I heard of this book from a friend. I knew it was not an easy read nor feel good story, however I am glad I read it. Living in the south of Africa, the hostage problem rears its head from time to time in the news. I had never read anyone's personal story of being A hostage in Somalia. We have many Somalian refugees here in our country and this book has given me some first hand insight as to why people flee their families and friends. It is a very tough life there. I think Amanda was very brave given what she went through. I also love travel and can understand her wanderlust personality which led her there. She was obviously naive not to understand how dangerous it is, but when we are young, adventurous and have no fear, we believe we will "beat" the odds. I wish Amanda a happy future and hope that as time passes the horrors will become more and more distant in her mind and that she finds fulfillment in whatever she does.
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on January 29, 2015
The book is unsettling and driven. Amanda's account of her time held captive leads the reader through her amazing thought process of survival and determination. I enjoyed that she never degraded Islam and showed the humane side of her captors, not everyone could do this. Her story is a wonderful learning experience for everyone. It also gives the reader a beautiful journey around the globe.
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on January 20, 2015
I recommended this to our book club and really glad I did. It was a great read, though hard to experience Amanda's pain and suffering, and as a mother, I could only imagine the horrible pain this caused her family and friends back home. The writing is beautiful especially in the beginning, where several passages literally caused me to catch my breath and reread them several times. The voice changes after she is captured, but still remains a rich, detailed retelling that paints such an engaging picture I felt I knew Amanda and could share her hope as well as her pain. A gut wrenching story that was hard to stop reading because even though I knew how it ended, I wanted to know and absorb every detail. As an adventure seeker myself, I connected with her desire to travel, see the world and experience life, but I truly wanted to take Amanda and shake some sense into her for being so naive and making some of the choices she made. She did pay dearly for her choices, though, and hopefully others will learn to be properly cautious from reading her story.

I would be very interested in reading Nigel's story from his point of view, because despite understanding Amanda's overriding desire to stay connected to another human being in that situation, I couldn't help but feel enormous anger at Nigel for his cowardice when he threw Amanda under the bus knowing she'd be brutally tortured. What man does that, much less to someone he supposedly cares about? Found it difficult to like him very much and would like to know more about how he is living with the choices he made in captivity. I ended up having a great deal of respect for Amanda and what she did to survive her ordeal. A book I will remember for a very long time.
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on May 2, 2016
This book is heart breaking and inspirational all in the same breath. That someone could survive such an ordeal and still have humanity let alone compassion is flabbergasting. That someone is brave enough to share the details of her personal tragedy shows she has a strength that few possess. The fact the she has been able to heal enough to give to others is beyond my comprehension as it what it must have been like for their families. What breaks my heart most is what a messed up and backward world we still live in. Perhaps each of us should pray everyday and do our part for change. God bless anyone who has been tortured at the hands of their fellow human beings. Help us all
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on October 16, 2013
My overwhelming feeling after finishing this book was one of gratitude: I was thankful to Ms. Lindhout for her courage in sharing her experience in this book. To begin with, I couldn't put the book down. It was a page-turner, primarily because it wasn't possible to imagine what might happen to Ms. Lindhout next or how she might be rescued. But more important than the suspense of Ms. Lindhout's individual experience, the book gives an inside look at the forces and realities in Somalia that drove Ms. Lindhout's kidnapping and her treatment in captivity, and it does so dispassionately. The book shines a light on the experience of many women in Somalia and the poverty that pervades the country. Yet this isn't a political book, nor does it condemn Islam. Instead, the book honors the complexity inherent in both human relations and in systems of religious belief. Even more astonishing is the fact that Ms. Lindhout is at times able to describe her captors with empathy, as young men unable to rise above a system that promises them little hope. I honestly don't know how Ms. Lindhout survived, much less how she seems to have forgiven the men who harmed her. But I applaud her for making her struggle public. It's impossible to know whom the book may reach. But there seems no question that the book will do some good.
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on September 12, 2015
A fantastically unbelievable account of this woman's journey into the belly of the beast and how she survived. I couldn't put it down. This lady needs lots of hugs and a nuclear bomb so she can go back and even the score. Kidding (sorta)!! Seriously- her experience taught me to embrace the fantastic life we've been allowed to live in the U.S. and just how important our freedom and liberty and values are, and an unimaginable glimpse into the dark side of humanity.
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