Friday, 3 July 2015

A long Walk Home by Judith Tebbutt. Book review.

Good morning. We had a welcome thunderstorm last night, it hammered it down. Thankfully that gave a bit of respite to the relentless heat we have been having. Today it is sunny so I will organize my day according to how hot it gets later. It's nice to be able to nip indoors for a few minutes to cool down. Yesterday I did a bit more work on the summer house, it's an ongoing project. After clearing the rubbish out from behind the garage it has left a nice space that can be utilized in some way. Not sure what I will put there yet, but it is exposed to the garden next door. I had a spare door so I have attached it to the corner of the summer house to give some screening, and create a bit more privacy for both of us. It's white at the moment, I might paint it another colour when I get some more paint. 

I always have lots of books out of the library, always non fiction, don't read them all from cover to cover, but this one gripped me from the start. Judith Tebbutt writes about how she was kidnapped from her holiday retreat by a band of armed pirates while on holiday in Kenya. They took her to a village in Somalia where she was held hostage in a tiny and squalid room, with a ransom on her head. The responsibility of securing her release fell to her son Ollie back in England. 
This all happened in 2011, she remained in captivity for just over six months. This is her story in her own words. a memoir of the life she shared with her husband, and the ordeal that overturned her world. Jude as she prefers to be called, was a social worker, and all her training and knowledge held her in good stead as regards storing things in her memory which might have well been forgotten. She recalls every detail from her surroundings, her daily routine, and the appearance and personalities of her captors. It was this insider knowledge of dealing with different mindsets which gave her the fortitude to survive. On a starvation diet of rice and potatoes, she had shrunk to five stone and was hardly recognizable to the person she was six months earlier.

Here is a short interview after her release.


I have found a condensed version of her story on the BBC web site, but it is well worth reading the book to understand the full implications of her ordeal.

Thanks for popping in. I'm off out now. Catch you soon. Toodle pip
 

14 comments:

  1. Your summer house is really good, you have worked hard x

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  2. You could put the mesh you found beside or against your white door, and train plants up it, perhaps 'mile a minute vine' or something else fast growing. It would maybe give you a little more privacy! It'd look good too!

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  3. Certainly sounds an interesting read Ilona.

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  4. I wonder what it is within that enables some to survive such things, and others not.
    I read Terry Waite's account of his days in captivity..I respected him even more after reading it
    Jane x.

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    1. Yes it is amazing how some people cope. I read Terry Waite's book as well. It must be some kind of inner strength. She walked every day in the confines of her room, hence the title. She built a routine into her day to try and keep some normality in an abnormal situation. She eventually was given a radio, it was the World Service which kept her going. She didn't know her husband had been killed until halfway into it, her son told her on the phone. How awful that must have been.

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  5. Somalia is lawless. Especially the seas around it. Glad she lived.

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  6. that sounds like a wonderful book to read.

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  7. What an amazing strong woman. I listened to the interview you linked and I would like to read the book. Do you know how much ransom was paid?

    Thank you for the review.

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    1. Hi. It was never revealed how much was paid, or where the money came from.

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  8. That sounds like an intriguing story; I do read a lot of memoirs. That must have been hellish to be captive by the Muslim pirates; what a miracle she survived to be released. I have seen some tv documentaries on the pirates, Ross Kemp did an excellent one.

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  9. Hi.The book you mention is a compelling and shocking story.The poor woman's experience is written on her face, but she persevered through it all with great strength of character.She is fortunate to have made it back.I am always taken aback by the inhumanity, greed and cruelty of some people.I usually read fiction but will look for this memoir next library visit.Thanks.By the way the summerhouse is looking very good .Warm regards,D.

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  10. I think I remember this story. If I'm not mistaken, this is the couple that went to the northern coast of Kenya for many years and were captured by pirates. I have been to Kenya many times. I make sure to avoid the area where the pirates carry out their mischief as there have been several captures of foreigners off the coast. I also avoid the coast in general and the northern parts as these are where the insecurity has happened for years and years but travellers do not always use caution. There is also increasing terrorism in Kenya due to Al Queda as retribution against Kenya sending it's army in to Somalia to protect tourists that feed Kenya's economy. I think this lady is very courageous to have survived her ordeal. Thank God she has a son who was able to secure his mother's release. Just 2 days ago the Kenyan government brought in a more stringent procedure for travellers to Kenya. No longer will you get a visa on the spot. You must apply in advance and (hopefully) you will be checked out well before being issued a tourist visa. This is a long overdue step I think and I hope it works well for the sake of tourists and Kenyans.

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  11. I read John McCarthy's book and that was a very harrowing story - I don't know how these people survive - they must be strong characters and determined to get through it. Thanks for sharing this book with us. I shall have to keep an eye open for it in our library x

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  12. Have just bought this second hand from Am-zon after your recommendation and read it in 2 days as I couldn't put it down. what an amazing woman.

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