Book Review: A Stolen Life

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard: NOOK Book CoverTitle: A Stolen Life: A Memoir

Author: Jaycee Duggard

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group

Copyright: July 2011

Number of Pages: 288 (Nook edition)

Reason for Reading: I wanted to share her experience in some infinitely tiny measure so that perhaps I could help take away a little of the pain.

Grade: A+++++++++

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.

 When Elizabeth Smart was returned to her home and family, I wept for joy. When Jaycee Duggard was returned to her family, I wept for joy. At the same time, though, I wept for sorrow for all that these young women endured. What horrors they experienced at the hands of their captors is just unthinkable.

Several months ago, I read Room by Emma Donoghue, an imagining of what it would be like to escape from the life a young woman and her son led, pent up inside a small room. She vividly depicted the adjustments they had to make, and how difficult they were. No matter how desired the freedom was, it became a thing of torture at the same time.

Jaycee’s story is horrifying, and I cried right along with her as I read this book. I’m at a bit of a loss for words. I can’t imagine living through her experiences. She is an amazing person, and I feel honoured to share, vicariously, in her strength and bravery.

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This entry was posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Posts by Faith and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Book Review: A Stolen Life

  1. I saw some of her interview with Diane Sawyer and you’re so right, she is an incredibly brave young woman. I’m not sure I could handle the book.

    • Kathy, thanks so much for visiting and commenting. The book is painful to read, definitely, but I was so impressed with how she handled everything that it made it worthwhile, if that makes sense. Plus all of the proceeds are going to a charity she’s started, which for me was another reason to purchase the book.

  2. Gwen says:

    I was so touched by Jaycee’s telling of her ordeal. I was in awe of her strength and really appreciated that A Stolen Life was in her voice, not edited or crafted to make it sound better or more polished. You could hear the child that was forced to grow up too soon in her writing.

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