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A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
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.

The View:

I read this book in one sitting as I was captivated and curious to see what Jaycee had to say. I also made up my mind not to review this book with a rating number as I thought it would be unfair, but I will still give my view.

In the very first few chapters she describes her daily life with her parents and I immediately generated a dislike for her step father.. who in his or her right mind would continue to criticize a 11-year-old? That same morning she is kidnapped and remains trapped in the clutches of a monster for many years. Phillip Garrido undresses her on the day he takes her. When Jaycee describes the first time he rapes her I had tears in my eyes. She at that time did not even know the word ‘rape’. I don’t think I did either at that tender age, but I know I have a lot to teach my daughter to protect her from such psychotic men. The ‘runs’ that she describes are gross, inhuman and makes you want to go there and shoot him on his head.

Before I read this book, I kept asking myself why did she not just leave him and run with her children. I had my reasons to think that she could have, but now I know what she was going through. She was kidnapped at a very tender age and unfortunately the Garrido’s were the only adults she dealt with. They definitely influenced her thoughts and as years swept by she believed in all honesty that they were protecting her from the cruel world outside.

The story has barely any feel-good moments (seriously what did I expect??) except for the day they are found. The detail with which she explains that day is a proof that she will always cherish it. I was impressed that she could go back and meet Nancy Garrido, if I was in her position I would have been filled with so much rage and hatred that I could have never done it. She survived and lived through all that she was put through and I applaud her for her courage. She surely did not deserve what she went through (no one does) and I am extremely excited that she eventually reunited with her family.

I could go on and on about each chapter and what I thought of it, but you should read it to understand it. The writing is not the best but the experience and honesty is.



3 Responses

  1. I feel the same as you about the writing quality. At the same time, that’s what makes her story read so well and draws the reader in. I’ve read so many reviews where people have read it in one sitting.

    Also, I never got why anyone wouldn’t try escape given the chance. Well. Now that she’s shared her story, I feel heartbroken that she was so manipulated psychologically and physically. I get why she didn’t escape now.

    A fitting review. Thanks.

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