In August 2008, Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan were kidnapped and held hostage in Somalia. They spent 460 days in captivity. This is the story of their escape attempt, which is excerpted from Lindhout’s book A House in the Sky:

“One afternoon, a light rain began to dapple the concrete wall across the alleyway from my window. The sky darkened to a powdery gray. A wind gusted, rushing through trees I couldn’t see, causing the rain to spray sideways on the wall.

“‘God, it’s beautiful,’ a voice said, clear as day, articulating my exact thought at the exact moment I had it.

“The voice wasn’t mine. But it was a voice I knew. ‘Nige?’

“The voice said, ‘Trout?’ Trout was a nickname I had since high school.

“For a shocked second, we were both silent. He was maybe 10 feet away from me at the window in his room. Because the alleyway was narrow and the tin roof of our house overlapped slightly with that of the house behind it, the acoustics were perfect.”