"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 dont 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."
©2011 Jaycee Dugard (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Audio
Her story is so sad and will make you angry that she wasn't found years ago. It is very graphic and it was hard to hear. I know it was her story, but it is so upsetting that this poor child was put through this torture.
By the end of the story, you are amazed that Jaycee has become so normal and rational as she is.
She is an amazing woman!!!!
I'm not blind drunk, I'm just blind.
Despite being a month or so younger than Jaycee, I never remembered hearing about her kidnapping at the time. On the morning of June 10, 1991, she was abducted from the bus stop within sight of the home where she lived with her mother Terry, her stepfather Karl and her baby sister. This is a candid and often shocking memoir of that time and the unspeakable cruelties that were visited upon her by a convicted sex offender and his wife, right under the noses of his parole officers, none of whom ever suspected a thing. Jaycee is no professional narrator but in spite or even because of that the story is even more rivetting. She leaves out no detail, even describing, albeit usually only once, the sexual perversities to which she was subjected and the conflicting emotions that raged through her constantly. But one also has a sense of the indomitable spirit and love for her mother that carried her through until the fateful August day, now approaching two years ago, when she was finally reunited with her family after eighteen years of hell. She's a woman to be respected, not merely because she survived this ordeal and later found the courage to write it down and even narrate it herself, but because of the fact that in her own words she's chosen not to pollute her body and spirit by allowing herself to hate the ones who stole her life from her. Because if I had gone through a similar experience I don't think I'd have it in me not to hate those who took away my life and to hate them bitterly at that. After hearing this I can say that Jaycee Lee Dugard is someone I can look up to and would be honored were I ever to have the chance to meet her.
When I first started listening, I was filled with anxiety for Jaycee. As I continued listening and as her story unfolded, I was mesmerized by her ability to survive. Her description of Garrido leads me to believe he was part schizophrenic, part paranoid, part bi-polar. The story makes you wonder about the definition of evil and what it means. She demonstrates amazing courage. Her story makes you want to reach out and help.
I very much looked forward to getting this book and listened to it in two sittings. I think it's certainly worth getting, but the listener needs to be aware that Jaycee is not a professional narrator and probably never will be. If we keep in mind that this woman was kidnapped and hidden away when she was in the 5th grade and held for 18 years, the writing and narration is actually pretty good. I really don't know how she got through not only writing this book, but then recording it. I hope it was a therapeutic experience rather than an experience of torture reliving all of these memories. I especially liked that toward the end of the book, she includes a bunch of entries from a journal she started while living in the backyard. In those entries, you get to hear her voice while inside the situation rather than as a past experience. I'm impressed with Jaycee's resiliency and ability to move on and look to make each coming day a good one. I find myself completely baffled as to why we even have a parole system at all. Clearly no one was keeping an eye on this guy whatsoever. How many other Jaycee's are out there just waiting to be found?
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
Honest account of what a very young girl went through at the hands of a sick, crazy man. A sad tale told with such heart breaking honesty you are left with no questions of why the victim made the choices she did. I admire the strength of Jaycee and the ability to share her tale with us. As a novel I would recommend it, even though my interest ebbed away as the author shared the numerous goals she set and her journal entries while in captivity.
It is very difficult not to give this book maximum stars due primarily to the extreme sympathy that is felt for Jaycee, but this book could have been much better had it been decently edited. The ramblings of her cat journals... such pointless page fill. Also, keep in mind that you are listening to a book written by someone with a 5th grade education, Jaycee, as narrator makes that easier, since her voice is still very childlike. In summary, put the sympathy vote aside and review this as you would any other novel and then how would you rate it?
I was surprised at first that Jaycee Dugard wrote this book without a ghost writer or co-author, but she really is a strong writer and tells her story with amazing honesty and insight. I found it especially compelling to listen to the audio version in her own voice. Jaycee sounds young, and when she writes/speaks of her childhood and the early years of her abuse you hear the voice of the little girl she was. Though the things Jaycee suffered are horrifying, the overall message of the book is one of hope and survival.
I was looking forward to Listening to this book & getting to know the story from the authors point of view. However, this was painful to listen to because it was read so poorly. Chocked full of short, choppy sentences that were accented in the most bizarre places. Like listening to a first grader who has no grasp of cadence or fluidity. The publisher should have opted for a biography instead of an autobiography, or at least had someone else read it... Sorry.
I hesitate to say anything negative about this book because the events that generated it were so horrendous, but the emotional impact was weakened for me by the poor writing and even worse reading by the author. For example, there are many ways to say " I was so lonely" besides repeating "I was so lonely" over and over. I know the author is not a professional writer, but surely there were editors reviewing this book. Perhaps it was a conscious decision to have it written with the sophistication of a 6th grader, which was appropriate for the beginning of the story, but by the end, when she was an adult, she still describes the events in a way that are neither emotionally compelling or intellectually adult.
Listened to this book in one day because it was so riveting. The narrator was fabulous. What might seem like a depressing story turned out to be a story of redemption.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.