An instant national bestseller and "a beautiful story of what love can do to conquer the impossible" (Jann Arden).
On the day my daughter was kidnapped by outlaws in Somalia, my life split into two parts: Before and After. This is the story of both parts, and of how I fought to bring my daughter home.
On August 23, 2008, Amanda Lindhout, Lorinda Stewart’s daughter, is kidnapped outside of Mogadishu in Somalia. The kidnappers’ demand is simple: pay $2.5 million or Amanda will be killed. For the next 460 days, Lorinda does everything in her power—and beyond—to get her daughter back alive.
This brave, small-town mother with no experience in hostage negotiations is called upon by the RCMP to be the lead communicator with Adam, the Somali who identifies himself as the English-speaking negotiator for Amanda's kidnappers. In a secret “war room” in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Lorinda joins forces with federal officers and begins to answer calls from Adam, establishing a fragile rapport of trust with the man who holds her daughter’s fate in his hands. She learns how to demand POLs—proofs of life—from Amanda’s hostage takers and even how to react to “bad calls”—when she is forced to listen to her daughter’s desperate cries for help, fearing she is being abused and tortured.
What’s supposed to be a short negotiation stretches on, and weeks become months. Lorinda finds herself increasingly on her own as negotiations break down. But she never gives up hope, even as the conversations become more traumatic. Faced with the terrible possibility of her daughter’s death, she decides to take control, bringing in private hostage negotiators and fundraising ransom money from donors. But will it be enough?
This is the true story of one woman’s heroic perseverance in the face of despair, and of the hope and healing to be found beyond trauma. It is also, in the end, a tribute to the extraordinary power of a mother’s love.