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Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed | [Michelle Knight, Michelle Burford]

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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4.4 (128 )
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  •  
    Courtney Falls church, VA, United States 05-12-14
    Courtney Falls church, VA, United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2011

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A True House of Horrors!"

    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,'

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Snow Lockport, NY United States 05-10-14
    Judy Snow Lockport, NY United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MY HEART GOES OUT TO MICHELLE KNIGHT"
    What did you love best about Finding Me?

    LOVED MICHELLE'S NURTURING QUALITY AND STRENGTH THROUGHOUT HER WHOLE STORY EVEN THROUGHOUT ALL OF HER ABUSE SHE STILL PUT OTHERS FIRST...VERY TELLING OF HER CHARACTER!! ADMIRE HER STRENGTH AND HER FAITH.


    What did you like best about this story?

    HOW TRUTHFUL SHE WAS ABOUT HER FEELINGS AND HOW UNDERSTANDING SHE IS FOR EVERYONE'S FEELINGS
    MICHELLE I WISH YOU THE BEST IN YOUR LIFE AND HOPE THAT YOU AND YOUR SON WILL BE SOMEDAY


    Which scene was your favorite?

    OBVIOUSLY, WHEN THE GIRLS WERE RESCUED FROM THE GRIPS OF THE "DUDE"


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES


    Any additional comments?

    RECOMMEND HIGHLY MOTIVATIONAL AS WE ALL SIT AND COMPLAIN ABOUT TRAFFIC, COMMERCIALS AND OUR LITTLE PET PEEVES THERE ARE PEOPLE ACTUALLY STRUGGLING EVERYDAY WITH REAL PROBLEMS. THIS BOOK HELPS YOU GROUND YOURSELF AND REALIZE WE SHOULD NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF AS WE KNOW THERE A GREATER CROSSES THAT OTHERS MUST BEAR

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JaneLJane 05-08-14
    JaneLJane 05-08-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love you Michelle"
    What did you love best about Finding Me?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Finding Me?

    When the girls were rescued, I cried.


    Which character – as performed by Maria Cabezas – was your favorite?

    Michelle,


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Again when they were rescued


    Any additional comments?

    Quite a horror story. Amazing she lived through it and came out of it capable of putting this book together.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 06-01-14
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2011

    Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I could not have made it!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Finding Me to be better than the print version?

    Not sure I haven't read the printed version, thats why I buy Audible.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That's its true, there was a happy ending. I just can't imagine what those girls really went through. Yes I know the book tells us but the book could never do justice. I just can't understand how no one knew they were there? Why didn't his daughter check out the house more. Why hasn't anyone followed up with the visitors in the house, they had to suspect something!!!!


    Have you listened to any of Maria Cabezas’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I Haven't, but I will now


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book moved me, I couldn't put it down. I was sitting in front of my TV when the girls were released.


    Any additional comments?

    I am proud and sad for these girls...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 05-13-14
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 05-13-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Very moving, but not a great read."

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Capitola, CA, United States 07-20-14
    Kate Capitola, CA, United States 07-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Incredible Resilience"

    Incredible to imagine but Michelle Knight is a heroine indeed. May her journey and life from here on be filled with joy, blessings, happiness and love. She is inspiring beyond words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Sparks, OK, USA 07-14-14
    Peggy Sparks, OK, USA 07-14-14 Member Since 2008
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    "a testament in never giving up"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Michelle is the focus


    What does Maria Cabezas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    read very well, felt as if Michelle was reading it


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    very touching,


    Any additional comments?

    Being a true story of unbelievable torture for so many years, leaves one speechless. Admire Michelle for being able to continue under such conditions

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J McCoy 06-30-14
    J McCoy 06-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Finding ME. A heroic story of an amazing woman."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this book. This book is difficult to listen to some of the horrid abuse but this woman's spirit and faith are inspirational.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of it. Especially her amazing attitude!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me cry, laugh, Happy, sad, mad...


    Any additional comments?

    A MUST READ!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hillary MORRIS, CT, United States 06-21-14
    Hillary MORRIS, CT, United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2011

    avoiding road rage one book at a time...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too soon? (I'm going to get bashed for this.)"

    It is hard to be critical about a book that contains such lurid, horrific details about one of the most depraved situations ever experienced by a human being, which so happens to be written by the victim. But, when you agree to tell your story and sell it to me, I feel I have the right to be honest about its content.

    It is with respect that I say there is no doubt Michelle Knight survived the one of the most unthinkable, unimaginable and tragic scenarios... from her childhood, until May 6, 2013 and presently with the ghosts that haunt her as a result.

    My criticism are the holes in her story. It gets fuzzy in a lot of places, but maybe she just isn't comfortable with the harsh reality or has blocked out a lot due to trauma. She glazes over her relationships, with family, friends and even her co-kidnappees - there is realness and definition missing. She doesn't take any responsibility (of course I'm not referring to her being kidnapped or victimized by relatives), for the bad situations and people she put herself around. She did not do what it took to work, to care for her child and chose horrible means to earn money. On the day she was abducted, she was aimlessly walking around trying to get to a court-ordered visitation. It is all cloudy. Why is there an obvious rift between her and the other girls? Why didn't her family look for her? Why is her relationship with her family so distorted now? I'm sure there are perfectly good reasons, but the reader will not learn anything about this.

    So, again, much respect to you Michelle for surviving what you did. Maybe you needed to let this rest for a bit before you wrote about it. I think there is a lot more to your story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terie Katy, TX, United States 06-10-14
    Terie Katy, TX, United States 06-10-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tragic"

    A riveting story of an evil, evil "person". God bless those 3 women and the darkness they endured. My heart and prayers go out to them as they recover. Michelle, you are one brave, courageous, incredibly strong woman. I wish you ALL the best life has to offer. You more than deserve it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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