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A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life: A Memoir (2011)

by Jaycee Dugard

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I can't even begin to wrap my head around what Jaycee Dugard, her daughter's and her family went through, but what really shines through in this book is her authenticity and amazing strength. So many memoirs and stories of strength are so heavily edited that the real sense of the person that lived through the moments is lost. A Stolen Life is all Jaycee Dugard and that makes it so powerful. ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
I wanted to read this book ever since I saw it on display in Costco. However, I didn't have time to read much then and I soon forgot the book. A few weeks ago I was hunting down interesting looking memoirs in my local library and stumbled upon the book once more. Immediately I snatched it up and checked it out.

It took me two days and several sittings to get through the book. Not because it was bad or poorly written. (I mean yes, the sentences and thoughts are not overly complex but at the same time Jaycee didn't have much of an education due to her circumstances). It was hard to imagine that a little girl had to go through this for eighteen years. It's harder to imagine that this isn't the only case and that there are many more children (boys and girls alike) taken advantage of every day. And scarily enough, it isn't just kids that get kidnapped.

Though, I feel it was important for me to read it, to get an understanding, to let her know that her voice isn't silenced. That we can read and hear what she went through, that people are on her side and rooting for her and I most definitely am.

The book is obviously personal and Jaycee shared more than she had to. I know reading some reviews by others they wanted to know more about how she raised her kids or what not. I think it was somewhat implied that she was mostly on her own until her captor quit his job and his wife and he helped her. They also forced her to be her kids' sister, so it feels like maybe she wasn't fully allowed to help raise them. I think she gave us just enough because she wanted to keep her childrens' privacy intact, something I commend her for. I do not blame her for this as the media today is ruthless.

Beyond that people didn't want to know as much detail about what happened. You know what? Too bad. It's something real that she went through and sharing the details, not that she went too in depth in reality, was a method of healing. It's a way of saying that she's silent no longer. She isn't the only victim of sexual abuse and some of the reviews further my opinion that it is a silent crime. People don't want to talk about it, hear about it. People want to believe that it doesn't happen. Jaycee's raw truth is astonishing for people. People want to know what happened but then it comes to a taboo subject and they want to plug their ears and scream.

I find the book a decent read. Make sure you're able to handle the subjects of abuse and kidnapping before you delve into it though. Her bravery and continued optimism is something most people don't have and I think it is truly wonderful the things she has managed to accomplish and is still accomplishing today. ( )
  carissaburks | Sep 5, 2014 |
The book was shocking and very disturbing and I recognize that the Author is writing about her tragic past but I just didn't like the disjointed writing style. I didn't feel as much for the things Jaycee went through because it was hard to follow. I'm in awe that she survived the ordeal and is willing to share it with the world but I wish she co-authored it with someone who could help her work out the best way to tell her story. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
I feel like a ghoul for even reading this, but I can't help but be fascinated and horrified by what happened.

Jaycee was kidnapped from her home at the age of eleven and is held for twentysome(?) years. Having two children in captivity. This is her story.

Horrifying. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jun 25, 2014 |
Jaycee Dugard is one of my sheroes. She exhibits an inner strength and courage that is not found in many people, of any age, and she had to develop that strength when she was so heartbreakingly young.

Everyone knows the basic details of Jaycee's story - she was kidnapped by a convicted rapist and his wife, brutally raped and abused for years, kept in a backyard compound where she bore two children and lived for 18 years, before some alert college campus cops figured out something was "off" about the two young girls that Phillip Garrido had brought with him to pitch his ?book? ?presentation?

This is her sharing from the inside, as best she could remember, in many places with scraps of her own journals. What she felt, what she remembers, how she felt about it, later, after she recovered her name and life.

It's raw, and very little editing was done. So for some people, that's a stumbling point. Knowing that Jaycee's education stopped at fifth grade, I think she did an amazing job.

As she did with her daughters, who clearly she loves very much. There's an innate conflict there, because no matter how she feels about him, her rapist and kidnapper was their father. Someday (if they haven't already), her daughters may read what she had to say about him, about them and their life in that tented "compound."

18 years - I am not sure I would be still alive or sane after 18 years. She could so easily have taken her own life, or done/said the wrong thing and "made" that madman kill her, but she survived, and found pleasure in small things, in pets and her daughters and fought fiercely for their education, looking up lessons on the Internet and printing out worksheets.

And if you wonder why she (or anyone) in a situation of domestic violence or captivity didn't run on the rare occasions she was allowed out in public, didn't try to send a message through the Internet, this memoir will help you understand.

Emotionally it's a very difficult read in many places, but inspiring, too. If nothing else, I urge you to buy a copy to support Jaycee, whether you ever read it or not. ( )
  writerbeverly | May 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
There are novelists, most notably Emma Donoghue in “Room,” who have tried to imagine what a plight like this is like. There are tabloids that have capitalized on its obscenity. And there are far too many survivors of ghastly crimes who have told their stories in lurid terms laced with self-pity. But Ms. Dugard is different. Her book is brave, dignified and painstakingly honest, even when it comes to the banal particulars of how she stayed afloat. The best parts of “A Stolen Life” are good enough to outweigh the hand-written journal entries about Eclipse, her beloved kitten. Yes, Eclipse is the name Ms. Dugard innocently chose.
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Dedicated to my daughters. For the times we've cried together, laughed together. And all the times in between.
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Author's Note: This book might be confusing to some.
Ce livre en déconcertera peut-être certains.
Introduction: Let's get one thing straight! My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The memoir of Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped on June 10, 1991, when she was 11 years old, and was missing for over 18 years before her reappearance in 2009.

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