For the first time, 10 years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City bedroom, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime.
On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Now for the first time, in her memoir, My Story, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the nine years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. In 2012, she married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met doing mission work in Paris for her church, in a fairy tale wedding that made the cover of People magazine.
©2013 Elizabeth Smart (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Most of us know some part of her story, but to hear the whole ordeal from the mind and mouth of Elizabeth gives it new meaning and purpose. It also forces you to realize you should be grateful and your bad days not really so bad at all.
I was hesitant to read this book because I was afraid of having to face everything that Elizabeth went through. But it was so incredibly inspiring and has the best message of hope, gratitude, and maintaining our faith through the worst of trials. I highly recommend it. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing your story and your faith.
This book drew me in, as if I was right there with Elizabeth Smart throughout her horrific kidnapping experience. I felt her anguish and her hope and faith. After enduring unthinkable acts and abuse, I felt her hesitance, joy, and optimism after rescue. After the first chapter, I could not stop listening until the book was over.
I did not read the print version, but I do imagine that had I read the print version I would have enjoyed it more. I admire Elizabeth Smart for wanting to narrate the audio book, but she was not very good at it.
It is difficult to explain why I could not relate to how Smart read the book. Perhaps she just sounded condescending and did not have an enjoyable manner to how she read. The story was of course, fascinating and what she went through was a nightmare to say the least.
There were many specifics about her abduction and captivity that I did not know before listening, so the book was quite interesting. You certainly were placed in her shoes and experienced what she went through during her captivity. The problem is Smart should have left the reading to a professional.
I found this book to be fascinating and compelling. The inside look at what the experience of being captured and held by a madman kept me riveted.
A criticism I have, however, is that every time Mitchell attributes something to the act of god, it's described as absurd and just a convenient way of him explaining events in a way that works for him. Though when Elizabeth attributes something to god, it's just a reality and the way things are. This inconsistent perspective comes up over and over in the book, and I found myself losing confidence in the storyteller as a result. I think this book would have been a lot more interesting without a devoutly religious person arbitrarily deciding that one fanatic's outlandish beliefs are inherently wrong, while hers are inherently right.
The story is telling, and inspiring, you will both rail at the unjustness the child suffered, and be inspired by her determination. It really makes you take a look at your life and the things you consider hardships, it makes you look at your own faith, and question your own strength. A very thought provoking story of a horrible tragedy and the recovery from that tragedy.
I can understand why the writer wished to narrate it herself, but her voice does not lend to audio books well and I think it actually took away from the message she was trying to get across, there were points I struggled to focus on the story because the voice was just wrong.
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