More than a decade ago Lorinda Stewart’s daughter, Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, was kidnapped in Somalia. It was On August 23, 2008, when kidnappers’ demanded a payment of $2.5 million ransom or Amanda would be killed. For the next 460 days, Stewart did everything in her power to get her daughter back alive.
That experience became a book. On Thursday, November 1 at 7 p.m., Stewart’s story — detailed in her 2017 memoir One Day Closer: A Mother’s Quest to Bring Her Kidnapped Daughter Home — will be front and centre at the Nelson Public Library. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a conversation between Stewart and journalist Bill Metcalfe as she recounts her experience.
The story is harrowing. The RCMP requested that Stewart be the lead communicator with Adam, the negotiator for Amanda's kidnappers. She learned more than she ever imagined about such fragile negotiations, including how to demand POLs — proofs of life — and how to react to “bad calls”, when forced to listen to her daughter’s desperate cries for help. The negotiation stretched on; eventually, faced with the real possibility of her daughter’s death, Stewart engaged private hostage negotiators and fundraised the ransom money.
Amanda Lindhout had been travelling with Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan and a Somali translator when all three were abducted. Lindhout’s story became the bestselling book A House in the Sky, co-authored by Sara Corbett.
Corbett describes One Day Closer as “A gripping, mother’s-eye viewof Amanda Lindhout’s kidnapping ordeal.” She continues, “For any parent who has ever worried about, advocated for, and deeply loved a child, Lorinda Stewart’s honest, lion-hearted account will leave you both stunned and uplifted.”
Stewart will show images of the RCMP’s covert operational center where the negotiations took place and play audio of her first phone call with the kidnappers’ negotiator. Otter Books will be on hand with copies of Stewart’s memoir. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.