"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
Jaycee does a terrific job of telling her story. It is heart wrenchingly honest and gives amazing insight into both the worst of human beings and the strongest. She does jump around a bit so you have to follow close and give it your full attention.
I would caution anybody who is not sure about reading something so tragic. There are parts that will make you downright sick. However not all of it is just horrid. If you can get through the tough parts, there are many hopeful parts as well
As far as listening to it versus reading it. I think it is great Jaycee narrated it herself, however she is not a practiced or professional narrator. She has a bit of a lisp that you get used to but can be distracting. If any of these things will distract a listener from the story they should read it instead because it's worth it!
I'm reluctant to criticize at all for fear of being beat up by other reviewers who seem to think any negative criticism is criticism against Jaycee herself - but here goes: I almost stopped listening on numerous occasions - her story is incredible on so many levels and I applaud Jaycee for writing it and for sharing her story. I kept reminding myself that if she could endure so many years of what she went through, I could withstand listening to it - it's tough to hear what she had to endure! I also find myself a little more aware and so many of us take for granted our safety in our cars or bedrooms as we're listening to this story - sadly, there are other young children with similar or worse fates than Jaycee. The criticism I have, and it's a strong one, is that I found the narration horrible and distracting from the story - I would highly recommend reading this book instead of listening to it.
Am now 80 and been avid reader since childhood. Have 3 children, 7 grandchildren. Narrated Talking Books for Vision Australia 35 yrs.
No one else could have narrated this story. Her brave and mature unburdening of the horrors she lived through are testament to her strength of character. The stark facts were presented unemotionally and concisely but her overwhelming love for her mother and belief she would live through her never ending nightmare shone through like the full moon she so cherished. A future in writing must surely be her destiny.
Jaycee deserves a fulfilled life for surviving this harrowing life in captivity.
She is a natural writer and story teller. I especially liked that she described the sexual part just once and then just referenced it later. The sexual perversity of PG if well documented and well told. Hurrah for her!! I hope she is able to continue writing. She should try her hand at fiction, she has a wealth of background to use. Enjoy your new life Jaycee!
I was fascinated by this author's story because I lived in the same town where she was held captive during that time, so I am familiar with the area. The book isn't an enjoyable book in the traditional way, but I was curious to hear how she managed during such a terrible ordeal. Her courage is amazing. I finished it in one day and couldn't stop listening. Parts of it are hard to listen to, but certainly worthwhile. It's a good lesson to all of us to never give up hope.
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.
As a mother of young children I was just fascinated to hear how she cared for her girls under those circumstances and how she views her motherhood now. Definitely a must listen!
When I found out this was narrated by Jaycee, I knew I wanted to listen to it, I would have read the hardback if someone else had been the reader. Being a month younger than her and from the general area of where the events took place I was eager to hear her story in her own words since I had grown up knowing of her disappearance. It was a brave and honest retelling of particular events, making it difficult to listen to at times, and for that I applaud her. Her resilience and positivity is simply amazing. This book is great proof that attitude is everything.
The overal impact of this story is more powerful with narration by Jaycee herself. Her reflections throughout help you understand how she was frozen in this captive relationship. If you are curious about how an individual can recover from 18 years of mental and sexual abuse--you will be impressed by Jaycee's story.
I find this book very difficult to rate - practically impossible. It isn't simply fiction, a book written for the enjoyment or enthrallment of the reader. Instead, its a brave young woman opening her heart and her horrific life experiences to us, the listeners, with candour, innocence and sweetness. She doesn't dramatize, or overplay her trauma - she just relates what happened, in an almost factual manner.
I therefore think she deserves 5 Stars, not for the literary value of the book as such, but for her sharing of it, her courage, tenacity, endurance and faith in her tomorrows. May she have and do all that she dreams of! With love.
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