Monday, December 28, 2015

The Price of Life by Nigel Brennan, Nicky Bonney and Kellie Brennan

About a year ago I read the book A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. It is the true story of Amanda's abduction and 15-month captivity in Somalia. Taken alongside Amanda was Nigel Brennan, an Australian photogropher with whom she had previously been romantically involved. The Price of Life is Nigel's account of their experiences.

Amanda's story talked about what she dealt with during their time in captivity. As a woman, Amanda was treated horribly and was abused in every imaginable way. It was clear from her account that Nigel's experience was different so I was interested to read his version of the events as well. It has taken me this full year to get the book from the library.

Nigel's story is co-authored by his sister and sister-in-law, who tell what it was like for them back in Australia during the time of Nigel's kidnapping and everything the family had to do (while working with Amanda's family in Canada, and both country's governments) to try to get them free. One review I read before I read this book said the reader hated that part of the story and skipped over it, but it was my favourite part of the book. Imagine having a family member captured in a dangerous part of the world. Wouldn't you do everything you could to get them free? I found it a bit difficult to follow because there were so many people involved in getting Nigel and Amanda released (no spoiler alert, we already know they've been released because they're writing their books) but on the whole their accounts gave a great perspective to the story.

Nigel gives an honest account of all that happened and you really feel the toll it took on him emotionally and physically. Amanda's story told a bit of her PTSD after she returned home but Nigel's didn't really get into that. I would also like to hear what the transition home was like for him and how he dealt with his return to day-to-day life.

So if you've read A House in the Sky I do recommend this one as a good follow up to get the whole story. But get in line at the library because the wait is long. As this is an Australian book it isn't widely available in print copies in North America, but digital copies are for sale. A heavy, upsetting read, but very interesting.

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