I saw an interview with the author, Amanda, and was intrigued by her story and had to read her book. Amanda was in Somalia when she was kidnapped and held captive for over a year. The book is about her captivity and the efforts to rescue her. This is an amazing story of survival and determination. Amanda endured such unimaginable cruelty and yet survived and made it her mission to help the women of Somolia. It is an incredible story of the human spirit. "Something happens when you are alone most of the time, when there are no distractions. You mind grows more powerful-muscular, even. It takes over and starts to carry you." Amanda used her mind to take her out of her captivity, it helped her to survive for over a year. She used the power of imagination to dream of other places, outside the walls and darkness that surrounded her. "It's only your body that's suffering, and you are not your body. The rest of you is fine." When she was being tortured she would say this to herself, helping her to endure. "By concentrating on what I was grateful for, I managed to stave off despair. Each time my captors threw me into that hole, I found another way to climb out. It wasn't easy-not ever, not once-but this way of thinking became my ladder, my doorway." Amanda showed such strength in the midst of her horrible reality. She chose to be grateful for any and every little thing. This gratefulness enabled her to keep from falling into complete despair. Gratefulness is a powerful tool. "I choose to forgive the people who took my freedom from me and abused me, despite the fact that what they were doing was absolutely wrong. Forgiving is not an easy thing to do. Some days it's no more than a distant spot on the horizon. I look toward it. I point my feet in its direction. Some days I get there and other days I don't. More than anything else though, it's what has helped me move forward with my life." Often we can't imagine forgiving someone who has deeply wronged us and yet in not doing so we hold oursleves captive with that hurt. Forgiveness frees us. Amanda faced some of the harshest cruelty and yet she has chosen to forgive and said that this alone is the greatest thing that has helped her move past what was done to her. If there is unforgiveness you can not move forward, the past is still shackled to you. She chose forgiveness and through that has been able to go back to Somolia and help the people there.