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My Story | [Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart]

My Story

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Erin Colton, OR, United States 11-09-13
    Erin Colton, OR, United States 11-09-13 Member Since 2012

    I absolutely ADORE reading but with the long commute to and from work and caring for a lot of people that aren't well, listening to books in the car have saved my reading career. Thanks Audible.

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    "Uplifting?"
    Would you listen to My Story again? Why?

    Yes, it's so uplifting. Not that what she endured was pleasant, but the way she handled herself and how she ends the book is amazing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Elizabeth!!! She is the strongest woman I have ever heard of. Forgiveness and how beautiful and empowering that can be.


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

    FAITH


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

    It was very moving, made me laugh AND cry...


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend it with everything I am.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-08-13
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-08-13 Member Since 2002
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    "a heartbreaker, with a happy ending"

    A riveting story. So clear, it was like watching a film about what happened.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda UT 10-08-13
    Melinda UT 10-08-13 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

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    "Defining Strength, Faith, and Inspiration"

    Dubbed *one of the kidnapping crimes of the century,* the abduction of 14 yr. old Elizabeth Smart from her family home, dominated the news on June 5, 2002. When 9 months later we heard the amazing report that she had been found, we rejoiced...then we pondered the nightmare. Where had she been? What had she gone through? How did she survive? Would she be okay? With this book, and the assistance of Congressman/author Chris Stewart, Smart goes back over her ordeal, and in her own words answers those questions with brave candor and purpose. A story horrific enough that Stewart said he wondered how, after he listened to the details, he would be able to "make it so that people would read it and walk away with more faith, hope and belief in the goodness in life," as Smart intended. And that is exactly what we do walk away with...plus admiration for this incredible woman.

    Smart called her ordeal "nine months of hell," but never even hints at self-pity, or fishes for ours. We learn that she endured an almost daily menu of torture, including daily sexual abuse by the depraved Brian David Mitchell -- aka the self proclaimed prophet Emmanuelle. There are no new titillating facts revealed -- it is about the events as she experienced them. Smart and her family have courageously insisted on presenting the facts, but have consistently refused to discuss in the media details of the abuse. She continues to keep the story focused on the crime, free of salacious details, and true to the perspective of a 14 year old innocent and very scared girl. Hearing her narrate her own story makes this all the more poignant. It is heartbreaking to hear her voice tell of the near rescues as they crumbled...looking through her veil at a young boy and wondering how her first date would have gone. And then, with the voice of an indomitable spirit, she makes a brilliant case for Mitchell's and Barzee's competency, that ultimately destroyed their plot to be found legally mentally incompetent to stand trial for their crimes.

    Through all of this darkness, with the exception of sharing a few deservedly low moments, she amazingly keeps a tone of hope, and her light shining. Drawing on her Mormon upbringing, and faith that God had not abandoned her, Elizabeth refused to be beaten or broken, refused to be a victim. Her survival, her appreciation for each day of life, her love for her family, and her dedication to those suffering from similar experiences (the Elizabeth Smart Foundation) is remarkable, and one of the most inspiring stories I've read. Listening to this book changed the way I look at my own challenges. At the end, Lois Smart tenderly, but with force, gives her daughter the most beautiful and empowering advice -- words that only a mother could offer. Through all else, that is what finally brought me to tears.






    44 of 54 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 10-09-13
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2012

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

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    "Absolutely chilling; stops a parent's heart"

    Smart narrates her account of abduction and rape. As a parent you are terrified at every turn, for her to deal with such evil is beyond words. She tells the story in detail, no sugar coating, no hesitations. I give this book a big thumbs up. I just cannot bring myself to write more comments because they would only detract from her telling! Must listen!

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 11-19-13
    Amazon Customer Utah 11-19-13 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

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    "She is one smart Elizabeth"

    I have to say I admire the girl more than I imagined I would. She is strong and smart. And it doesn't hurt that she plays the harp (so do I). I can't even imagine the horror of the things she went through. The physical abuse was horrific, but the mental abuse was even worse.

    I also admire her family. Her parents handled the situation about as well as it could be handled. I'm proud of them for never giving up, when the rest of us were sure she was dead. It gives me courage to read their stories and see how people can be strong in the face of devastating circumstances. It makes my troubles look small by comparison.

    I'm not usually a fan of authors reading their own books, and I am sure Elizabeth would be the first to say she is not a professional narrator. Still, there was something honest and convincing in the way she read. When she emphasized a word or phrase, I knew it was authentic, and not a reader's interpretation of the author's intent. I like that a lot. It reminds me of another incredibly strong girl, Jaycie Dugard, who also read her own story.

    Here's to you, Elizabeth. You did what you had to do, and you survived to tell about it--and you did it with style.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 10-09-13
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Thank you Elizabeth"

    I remember watching national news as Elizabeth was rescued... hoping her family could help her heal, but so afraid she would be forever scarred. I couldn't put this book down, as she with dignity, grace and humor, has opened her heart and the story of her 9 months captivity and the many miracles that allowed her return home. I had read the news and magazines, but much of the information presented was brand new to me... and so many of my questions were answered.

    I worried about the audio, as so many writers make awful narrators... but she did fantastic and listening to her voice made me feel as if I know her. I worried that it would be too graphic or violent, but a simple "then he raped me," is as graphic as it gets. I was worried she would be forever scarred... and instead wept with joy as she described her gratitude, healing and the service she gives helping others to heal.

    Thank you Elizabeth - this book moved me deeply!

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liarne Erina, Australia 11-07-13
    Liarne Erina, Australia 11-07-13
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    "Powerful"
    Where does My Story rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Powerful and at times hard to hear as its a true story


    What other book might you compare My Story to and why?

    Jaycee sugars book


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

    Truth. Raw honesty


    If you could give My Story a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Stolen teenage year


    Any additional comments?

    Terribly sad and very scary. Glad it ended how it did

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vera New York, NY, United States 11-06-13
    Vera New York, NY, United States 11-06-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A strong honest inspiring women..."
    What did you love best about My Story?

    It's amazing that Elizabeth was able to be so honest with what happened to her. I really wish the best for her & she's inspired me to live each day to the fullest. What a strange story of warning with what happens each day right under our noses. I think she's amazing for being an activist now, here's to hoping this doesn't happen to any other young beautiful souls.


    What other book might you compare My Story to and why?

    This is the first book about kidnapping that I've read.


    What about Elizabeth Smart’s performance did you like?

    Her strength.


    If you could give My Story a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Even the most horrific events can lead to a beautiful life if you just fight to stay true to yourself & survive.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read, very powerful, though may make you cry at how honest & brutal this story-events where.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer murray, utah, United States 11-03-13
    Amazon Customer murray, utah, United States 11-03-13
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    "Amazing captivating honest"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would greatly recommend this book. Hearing Elizabeth tell her story with her own inflections intonations and private thoughts was captivating. I have listened to her tell her story at least 5 times. You heard her soul break. You could feel her triumphs. It was a very addictive read/listen.


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

    Hearing her tell the story and her reactions to the situations she was placed took you there with her. You wouldn't be able to hear the truth in her words. The conviction of thought and principles she fought to uphold. Or understand the mindset she was in when she went through this ordeal.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Wyman Marietta, GA United States 10-16-13
    Matthew Wyman Marietta, GA United States 10-16-13 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Well Done! Riveting and Emotional"

    At first I was very skeptical about Elizabeth Smart reading her own book - something just didn't sit right with me about it given the subject. However I was pleasantly surprised and glad I gave this book a chance.

    Ms. Smart has achieved a good balance here with such a personal and honest description of her horrendous ordeal. It was certainly difficult to hear at some points, but was ultimately very satisfying. Her touching description of her reunion with her family, and how she decided not to waste any more of her life obsessing over her captors, was just excellent.

    I must also admit I was worried, given Ms. Smart's strong Mormon beliefs, that she may emphasize her religion a bit too much for my taste. As someone much less religious than most, and not exactly a giant fan of the LDS church, I was grateful for the absence of proselytizing and mysticism (one reference to the magical appearance of a mid-night cold cup of water notwithstanding).

    Certainly I highly recommend this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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