Friday, October 25, 2013

Book review: A Stolen Life

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews.

In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen.
For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.

For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.

On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived.

A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.

You have to know what you're getting into before you pick up this book. Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped when she was 11 years old and then was kept in captivity for eighteen years, where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped, where she gave birth, where she had to give up everything from the life she'd known. And she doesn't hold back details. So know that, going in.

That being said, this book was so interesting. I was amazed at how often it was the boredom and loneliness that troubled her -- I mean, obviously the sexual assaults bothered her. But she speaks of the boredom and loneliness probably even more.

Her account also demonstrates the intense psychological effect her kidnapper had on her. When she was older, she and her children often went on "outings" -- to the beach, to stores, thrift shopping. And as a reader you're screaming in your head, "Just tell the cashier who you are!" But still, because she has explained her experience so well, you understand how and why she didn't. It's a look into the experience I didn't expect.

Like many tragic stories, Jaycee's thankfully ends on a hopeful note. And that's the best thing of all, really.

Have any of you read A Stolen Life? I'm not really sure why I did, to be honest. But it was interesting.


Kim Scardino @ Racing Bananas said...

I read this after I saw her interview in 20/20 (maybe?) a year or so ago. It was horrible to read but I was glad I did; Jaycee Dugard is such a survivor and it was incredible, and hard, to read about her story.

Breenah A said...

I just finished Room which is about a similar situation, but fictional and from a five year old's perspective. I think I'm gonna add this to my "to-read" list.

Suze said...

It seems like it would be such a difficult thing to read, but important to read it too. I might read it but maybe not yet.

Kaileigh said...

I've been wanting to read this book for awhile but just haven't gotten around to it. It sounds so interesting. (In a depressing sort of way)

Jordan said...

This has been on my to-read list for SO long but I haven't had the balls to read it yet. I really want to but I always find a reason not to. Maybe one day soon.

Katie said...

I really want to read this, but I know how heartbreaking it will be since it's a true story. I read the book Room earlier this year, which was also about a girl who had been kidnapped and had a child while in captivity. Very fascinating, but oh so sad.

Kyetra said...

I read it after seeing her interview also. I just had to read it for some reason. I think because I felt that she deserved, more than anyone involved, to be heard. I also thought that her being able to make money for her and her girls from the book sales was important.
It was hard to read at times. I kept thinking what is someone took my son? What would I do if he were released and I found out all that he had been through?
I think that her ability to survive and tell her story is amazing.

Emskibeach said...

I can imagine I would be the same screaming in my head just leave, run away but having read similar style books before I can understand it's not that easy.
Good review might have to check this one out.

Katie said...

OMGGG. I just think this book would stress me out! Poor girl.


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