- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (May 14, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476725160
- ISBN-13: 978-1476725161
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 427 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six Hardcover – May 14, 2013
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Author Q&A with Jessica Buchanan
Q. The descriptions of both Jessica’s captivity and Erik’s ordeal waiting are so vivid. Was it difficult to revisit that point in your lives?
It was difficult to revisit such traumatic incidents in our lives, but we also found the process incredibly therapeutic in some ways. We felt fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a fantastic writer such as Anthony Flacco, and in doing so, Erik and I soon discovered, that through the writing process, we were able to have conversations with each other that maybe we never would have had before. The hardest things to do, are often the most healing and healthy things, in the long run.
The writing process for Impossible Odds was a bit unconventional—as Anthony remained in Seattle writing, and Erik and I were still living in Nairobi during the writing of the book. I was too far along in my pregnancy to travel, so we decided the only way to move forward on our collaboration was to talk over video Skype. Throughout power outages, Internet connections going down, and an 11-hour time difference (as well as a brand new baby!) The three of us somehow were able to connect and lay to paper detail upon detail, of our lives, the kidnapping and captivity, as well as the rescue. It was difficult to stir up all those memories, but Anthony was so kind, intuitive and understanding, we both found ourselves looking forward to our sessions with him. We found that we were able to process through all the past events in a safe environment with Anthony. He was committed with us, to produce a technically accurate and emotional account of our experience. We couldn’t have asked for a more sensitive and respectful writer to work with.
Q. What made you decide to write Impossible Odds? And, why now?
When I first came out of captivity, so many people were encouraging me to record and relay the experiences I had been through—but I knew it was not the right time for me. I knew that I would know when the time was right, if it was ever right, to share my story. Our main objective in writing Impossible Odds was to relay our gratitude to those involved in securing my freedom, and also to friends and family all around the world. As for the time frame—I can’t explain it, other than that I knew it was the right time.
Q. What do you hope readers take away from Impossible Odds?
Our hope for readers who read Impossible Odds is that they will be inspired to help those in need, and also to be reminded that the human spirit is impenetrable—we are so strong, capable and possess such fortitude, no matter what our situations we may be experiencing. It’s our responsibility to pass on the message that no matter what kind of impossible situation you may be facing, there is help along the way.
Through this experience, I learned that the human spirit is indeed indomitable. It’s amazing how you can manage to find strength in such small happenings, no matter how hopeless your situation may seem—you just have to choose to look for them. Every night, before I would go to sleep, I would try to list five good things from that day. Oftentimes more than not, it was an extreme challenge to find something good, but it gave me something to do. My colleague often said “Optimism is what makes us sleep at night.” And I added to the thought that “Negativity keeps us up at night.” So we needed to stay positive, hopeful, and above all else, without despair.
To those who find themselves in a hopeless situation, I encourage you to remain hopeful in something. When you need it the most, life, God, love, will give you that extra measure of strength to dig a little deeper, even when you feel you are completely empty of any resources or hope. You will be surprised to find that you are able to scrape out just enough to get through that day. It may not be more than enough—but just enough has got to be ok, and as I have experienced day after day after day—just enough will do just fine.
Top customer reviews
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Jessica at the age of 27 got off of an airplane in Nairobi Kenya ready to start teaching the children of Somalia. It had been her dream to teach the children of Somalia. She was enthuisiastic abou her assignment. Her and her associate teacher Paul Thisted began the journey from Kenya to the wild lands
of Somalia. After crossing into Somalia the teaching duo run into a huge problem. Their car is stopped and they are taken hostage by Somalian bandits.This
is a bad bunch.They are continuosly chewing on khat when is widely used in Somalia. It is actually a strong narcotic. The Somalian bandit gang begins moving their hostages so that they will not be detected.After being shuffled about they finally turn in a ransom demand. This begins negotiations between
the bandits and the authorities located in Kenya. The negotiation process would drag on for an extended period of 93 days. All this time Jessica fears being killed or raped or raped by the bandits. Jessica and Poul Thisted are moved on a regular basis. Jessica becomes critically ill with a kidney
infection. After determining that the kidney infection could be fatal President Obama orders Seal Team 6 to launch a rescue operation. On the night of the State of the Union address Seal Team 6 lands on Somalia. The 9 bandits who are holding the hostages are all killed by the Seal Team members. The Seal Team
members cover Jessica and Poul with their bodies to protect them. Next the hostages are extracted by helicopters. The Seals conducted a sucessful mission
and Jessica was rescued. This is a very good book that is definitely reccomended reading.
When I have done missions overseas, I learned this in greater depth than I realized, I promise!
A minor criticism, the picture of the helicopter on the front cover of the book is an AH-64 Apache; the editors probably should have used a picture of a UH-60 Black Hawk. Also, I wish that the afterword had included some information on what happened to Poul Thisted after the rescue.
The book underscores the extreme difficulties in working in a failed state like Somalia. Folks like Jessica, her co-worker Poul, and her husband Erik deserve our profound thanks and appreciation for their aid work in one of the most wretched parts of the world.
My "must have" in order to give a book five stars is that I be guided by the written word to "see"what I am reading. This book reads in just that way. In addition to seeing, Jessica made me feel her fear, pain, and ultimately confusion upon her rescue, along with the joy of reuniting with Erik. Her words of spiritual renewal were refreshing, and Eric's understanding that God is love were absolutely soul stirring. Her story would not have been finished without the narrative of her appreciation for Seal Team Six, and her near star-struck feelings in light of their powerful performance in successfully bringing Jessica and her fellow-captive, Poul, from the brink of hell back to their family circle.