Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six by Jessica Buchanan, Erik Landemal, Anthony Flacco
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Dear FTC (wo)Man: I received this to review from NetGalley for an honest review and I am excited. I followed Jessica’s story during her kidnapping via the news and I was excited to get in and read it from her and her husband’s view point. There is an Amazon affiliate link in this post.
In 2006, twenty-seven-year-old Jessica Buchanan stepped off a plane in Nairobi, Kenya, with a teaching degree and long-held dreams of helping to educate African children. By 2009, she had met and married a native Swede named Erik Landemalm, who worked to coordinate humanitarian aid with authorities in Africa. Together the two moved from Nairobi to Somalia, and with hopes of starting a family, their future couldn’t have been brighter. . . . But 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 terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters, held outdoors in filthy conditions, and kept on a starvation diet while her health steadily deteriorated. Negotiations for ransom dragged on, and as the ordeal stretched into its third month, the captors grew increasingly impatient. Every terrifying moment Jessica Buchanan spent suffering in captivity was matched by that of her adoring husband working behind the scenes to deal with her captors. After ninety-three days of fruitless negotiations, and with Jessica’s medical state becoming a life-or-death issue, President Barack Obama ordered Navy SEAL Team Six to attempt a rescue operation. On January 25, 2012, just before the president delivered his State of the Union speech, the team of twenty-four SEALs, under the cover of darkness, attacked the heavily armed hostiles. They killed all nine with no harm to the hostages, who were quickly airlifted out on a military rescue helicopter. In riveting detail, this book chronicles Jessica and Erik’s mutual journey during those torturous months. Together they relate the events prior to the kidnapping, the drama of Jessica’s fight to stay alive, and Erik’s efforts to bolster and support the hunt for her while he acted as liaison between their two families, the FBI, professional hostage negotiators, and the United States government. Both a testament to two people’s courage and a nail-biting look at a life-or-death struggle, this is a harrowing and deeply personal story about their triumph over impossible odds.
I told you yesterday that I received Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six from NetGalley to review. I finished it last night.
I remember hearing of Jessica’s kidnapping and following the story until finally she was brought home. I was thankful, relieved, and amazed that SEAL Team Six got in and got the job done. That was honestly the first time I had ever really heard of that group of our military men by that name that I can remember.
I tried to explain yesterday why I follow these stories. I don’t know if I have a more understandable explanation but I will try. It’s not the train wreck affect. Not at all. It’s the fact that these people are going through something horrendous and they may be sitting there wondering if anyone back home is even worried about them. They are isolated from the world. How would they know? To me, they are important. I will never meet them, they will never know that I cried for them, I prayed for them, but I hope that somehow they realize that they are important, not just to their loved ones, but to the rest of us back home or in other countries as I would be to Poul, the man who was kidnapped with her.
There are no spoilers here, we know Jessica was rescued, so I can freely admit that I cried while reading where she first realized that the American military was there for her. I was riding the emotional roller coaster, I knew the beginning and the end, but I didn’t know the middle, exactly what she went through. It was hard. I don’t know how she survived it. You read of someone in those moments, and you wonder could you survive? My first instinct is probably not, my second? I would have to. I have 4 kids waiting for me at home. There isn’t a choice but trying to survive.
The heroes of the book, SEAL Team Six, may you never have them on your tail. After the killing of Osama Bin Laden, everyone in the world, or at the very least in the USA, knows who Seal Team Six is. How many Americans are glad they are on our side? I am.
I cried at another point in the book. I have the ebook, so I’m not sure where these are at in the print version, but the pictures at the end. I had tears. They were beautiful and spoke volumes about how Jessica and Erik are thriving now, one in particular, but I’ll let you look for yourself. That might be a spoiler and I don’t do spoilers.
Anthony Flacco did an amazing job getting Jessica and Erik’s story down on paper. It’s well written, it pulls you in, you don’t want to put it down until you get to the last page. I love biographies/non fiction that can keep my attention. I am slightly ADD and if it’s dry and boring at all, I can’t finish it. This was the opposite. It was excellently written to capture your interest and keep you tuned in to Jessica’s ordeal, her struggles, and finally her rescue.
Amazing woman with an amazing husband and family. (I can’t help but love them all now.)
And the amazing SEAL team six.
Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a copy of Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six to review.
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