Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
©2014 Lillian Rose Lee (P)2014 Recorded Books
As an only child, books were my world. I love to read and audiobooks are essential in my world today. I must admit I am somewhat dependent (addicted?) to audible audiobooks. Too easy. Too good!
Having read the horrifying experiences of Amanda Smart and Jayce Dupree, I really didn't think that anything would surprise me that much. I was so wrong. Finding Me is the story of Michelle Knight's abduction and captivity at the hands of a true madman. What makes this story stand out is the author's ability to count her blessings and find joy in a life that has been so incredibly cruel. The life that was interrupted was not the idyllic world of Amanda Smart, or even the less than perfect (but stable) world of Jayce Dupree. Michelle's childhood was one that was marred by neglect and brutal sexual abuse at the hands of her own family members. The only light in her dark life was her son, who had been taken from her after the child was attacked and injured by a family member. This young woman had suffered enough for a lifetime even before she was was taken by Ariel Castro.
It's hard to imagine how she could have survived the eleven years that followed.
Michelle was trying in earnest to get to a visitation with her son, when she took a ride from the father of her friend. The next eleven years was a horror movie more terrifying than anything Hollywood could produce.
In the Dupree story, where the girl was held captive from age eleven to 29 years old, the abductor had an occasional bout of conscience which only brought on an almost (but not quite) Stockholm Syndrome situation. Ariel Castro was only capable of brief interludes of humanity but, sadly, even those stopped coming after he kidnapped his next victim.
The most heart wrenching piece of this story is that the happy ending for Michelle wasn't like it was for the other girls in Castro's prison, nor was it anything like Dupree or Amanda Smart experienced. Michelle had no homecoming because she had no home. Her younger twin brothers were the only ones she saw or cared to see and after seeing them, she was left, at 31, to recover the pieces of a stolen life, alone. And her son, the one thing that kept her alive, was no longer hers.
Incredibly, this woman shows a remarkable resilience and strength that almost anyone would have to admire. Life dealt her one hell of a bad hand, but she doesn't complain-in fact, she possesses incredible selflessness and maturity as the reader will see in the end.
This story simply broke my heart. It was so difficult to listen to at times, yet, I learned something from this remarkable young woman by the end. Life isn't fair, and she never really expected it to be. This monster stole so much more than time from this woman and yet she has accepted her lot with grace. I can only pray that the rest of her life is full of joy and beauty because I am pretty sure she had her fair share of suffering.
This is truly one of the most uncomfortable yet inspiring reads ever. Not for the faint of heart,'
I certainly didn't expect to be entertained by this book, nor was that my intention. My heart absolutely goes out to Michelle Knight. She never deserved the horror's she faced. Her faith and tenacity are incredibly inspiring and I wish nothing, but the best for her. Having said all of that I can't help but think if she had the "right" person helping her write her story that the message would have been more powerful. I was way more moved and got to know her better on 1 hour of the Dr. Phil show than I did reading this entire book. God bless her.
Karen of Northern Michigan
I'm so sorry Ms Knight that you went through this... Horrible man, terrible what he put these woman through... Well written, you'll get a good idea of what really happened.. But it's more than just the story of those years she was being held a prisoner by that man in Cleveland. She starts out talking about her life and the events that happened before the kidnapping.. Worth the listen, but only if you can stomach what sicko's are capable of. What I took from this is, NEVER be afraid to call the authorities if you see anything that just doesn't seem right.. Better safe than sorry... you may be saving some ones life..
Yes. This is a well told account of a true horror story that most of us will never have to face. Even though I have never encountered anything like this, through her telling of the story, I felt that I could understand a little the horror of what the author encountered.
my favorite character was the author Michelle Knight. It seemed that up until her release from the house of horrors, she had never had a break in life. But despite what happened, she emerged from the ordeal to become a successful author of the story. I wish her only good luck in the future.
She did a good job of reading the book with the right amount of emotion. The story seemed to flow from the mouth of Michelle Knight. I dont like it when readers over-emote, and this book probably had that potential, but Maria did not succumb to that.
Yes, my extreme reaction was of horror at what happened, and greater sensitivity to the women who have suffered similar (though usually much less severe) abuse.
Grabbed my heart and I just want to bring Michelle home with me and help her feel safe and show her how a family that loves her would feel.
When the girls were rescued, I cried.
Again when they were rescued
Quite a horror story. Amazing she lived through it and came out of it capable of putting this book together.
I read this book first and then Amanda Berry/Gina DeJesus' book second based on the recommendation of my daughter who read them in the opposite order. I agree with her completely and recommend the same to you. Both are compelling stories told from different points of view. I didn't find either account to be beyond my ability to tolerate, as I tend to react with a high level of emotionality to brutality. Both books are written in a way that you can digest the contents without feeling ravaged yourself, which is no small task. I'm not saying this isn't emotional... it is, but you can continue with life as usual while listening. I highly recommend both books.
Well done, although it was very difficult to listen to because of the repulsive nature of the story. It is truly hard to imagine someone as vile as Castro. Knight's endurance was also unimaginable.
I was even more horrified when he brought the puppy home and she became attached to the dog and then he killed it in front of her.
All of the times he caused her abort her baby just about made me stop listening. I continued because I felt like I owed it to her to hear Michelle's story. She lived the abuse, I felt like the least I could do was listen.
This story really makes you look at your own life and examine the priorities you have. This story touched me so deeply, it's even hard to put into words. If you ever find yourself thinking, "how can I go on when life is this hard?" then you need to read/listen to this book, because the key to surviving, and even thriving, in difficult times in contained within. It is a story of hope and courage, even in the midst of an absolute hell. Michelle's life was an absolute living hell, and yet she never gave up, and wants to share with others what kept her hanging on, so that they can too.
The narrator really made the story come alive too, I really felt like she connected with this story on a personal level, and that showed through in her narration; I think she did a phenomenal job.
Michelle's story is unbelievably heartbreaking. Of course the years in the Castro house were horrific, but it turns out that her life BEFORE she was kidnapped were pretty horrible too.
What is truly amazing is the strength this woman kept throughout the unspeakable horrors of her life. I thought the book was well-written and the narration was fine (I also wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece). It is a moving, in-depth look at the strength of the human spirit.
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