"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
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.
This story was fascinating but I think Jaycee would have had a much better book if she would have told her story and let someone else write it and narrate it. The writing was definitely at the level of a student. Short sentences and not very descriptive. Also, Jaycee read this book with no emotion at all. This would have been a better listen if someone else would have read it. Under the circumstances she did a great job but not professional.
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