"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
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 love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
What a well written from the heart book. Jaycee must be applauded for the courage to relive her ordeal & the wisdom to put it in writing. Most people would have hidden from the public eye & just left the details to our imaginations. Jaycee is a strong, courageous & very articulate young woman. Her daughters & Mother must be extremely proud of her. Like one of the other reviewers said - it is not a feel good book but it is a must read! Thank you Jaycee for having the courage to share.
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.
Authors (including Jaycee) often are not as good at reading as professional readers are. It seemed Jaycee didn't always put emphasis on the correct words as she read.
Emphasis on thinking about her mother over done.
Editors should have done a better job with this.
"Good For Her" that Jaycee made this effort and told "her story" as only she could.
Thank you Jaycee, for having the courage to tell your amazing story. It is a story of survival in the most harrowing of circumstances. Not only did she survive but she has gained strength and has grown into a remarkable woman and mother. Hearing her story, read herself is a truly humbling experience and one that will stay with me for a long time. Not because you were a victim, but because of how you have survived.
"A heartbreaking true story"
I would recommend this book to a friend but maybe as a paperback
I am so pleased the Jaycee got her life back and I give much thought to the fact that she was kept hidden for so many years. She is such a strong girl.
I think that it would have been better to have a professional to do the narrating as I find Jaycee's voice tiring in the long run.
It was worth the listening time but it was also very sad to listen to.
very sad but a little amateurish in the writing and reading of the story. I would have liked to know what sentences Phillip and Nancy recieved
"Human darkness & hidden depths of character"
I watched with interest this story unfold in the media and wondered how anyone could survive such abuse. Moreover the depts of darkness and depravity of the perpetrators is vast.
Reading the book written and read by Jaycee does give some insight into it and the fact that she survived is commendable. I think Jaycee was brave to tell what she did However Im sure this is just the tip of the Iceberg and far more happened that we the public will never be privy to. This is as it should be as certain facts should remain hidden for the protection of Jaycee and her daughters.
I think her mother showed such strength and devotion to her daughter and grandchildren and hope that they can go on now to have as normal a life as they can. I would recommend this book but it is clearly not for everyone and would kindly recommend the potential reader to please read the synopsis before purchasing.
"Such a sad book - It had to be told -"
Jaycee was very brave writing this book, it must have been so difficult for her re living all of those years. It was interesting, but very sad at the same time. There were graphic sexual chapters which bravely she left in the book.
"Upsetting but interesting."
I could'nt believe how this courageous young lady wrote this book, but I admire her for doing it. Due to the fact that the book is read by the author it makes it even more difficult to understand what Jaycee went through. She really goes in to detail and uses very explicit words to describe what she suffered, I will admit some of it was a shock as I was'nt expecting her to do this normally it would just skim over details. It is hard to listen to some parts but it's a great insight in to what this young lady had to go through. I would recommend this book to anyone.
"An amazing story"
I heard of her amazing release on the news a few years ago...the book was quite amazing to listen to her story,horrendous in many parts but must give hope to parents of missing children. Very interesting to listen to
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