Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: Impossible Odds by Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm

Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six

Authors: Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm with Anthony Flacco

Publisher: Atria Books

Date: May 14, 2013

About The Authors
Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm both worked in the humanitarian aid field in Somalia. They have recently relocated to the United States, where they are lecturing on their experiences while raising their son, August, born in October, 2012.

Mission: Impossible Rescue
Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm were humanitarian aid workers in Somalia. Jessica had a deep desire to help educate the African children. Erik worked to help coordinate humanitarian aid with authorities in Africa.

On October 25, 2011, Jessica and a colleague were kidnapped at gunpoint and held for ransom by a band of Somali pirates. For the next three months, Jessica was held outdoors in filthy conditions and kept on a starvation diet while her health steadily deteriorated.

After 93 days of negotiations, President Barack Obama ordered Navy SEAL Team Six to attempt a rescue mission. On January 25, 2012, a team of 24 SEALS attacked the heavily armed pirates. They killed all the pirates (nine were in the camp at the time of the rescue) with no harm to the hostages.

This is a story of courage, perseverance and faith.

My Thoughts
I first heard about this book when Jessica Buchanan was a guest on the Dr. Phil Show. I remember Dr. Phil saying to Jessica, "I read your book...it is very well written." I was touched by Jessica's story and decided this was a book worth reading.

Jessica was a dedicated teacher and was deeply concerned about the child soldiers in Africa. These children are often kidnapped, drugged and forced to kill their entire families so they will have no place to go home to. Jessica was doing the work she loved when she became a victim of the very child soldiers that she was trying to help.

This book provides a detailed account about what it is like to be a victim of cruel and savage kidnappers. It also shares all the behind-the-scenes events that were taking place with her family, her employer and the U.S. government.

Erik's experience was especially poignant and difficult because he felt a great deal of guilt for allowing Jessica to travel into a dangerous area of the country. He wanted to go out and attempt a rescue on his own. It was very difficult for him to be patient during this three month ordeal.

Jessica's memories about her rescue by SEAL Team Six were the highlight of the entire book. I had tears in my eyes when I read the first words that the SEAL rescuer said to Jessica;
"Jessica, this is the American military. We've come to take you home. You're safe."
This story had a happy ending. Thank you to President Barack Obama and all the government and military people involved.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to a movie.

My Rating: 5 Stars+++ Out of 5

FYI ~ I received a digital preview copy of this book from NetGalley.

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