Monday, March 13, 2017

My book review of: A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

My Rating: **** 4/5 stars

Summary: In the summer of June of 1991, I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother that 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 don’t think of myself as a victim, I simply survived an intolerable situation. A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.

My Review: The last week or so I've been on a kick of reading either true crime novels about girls that have been kidnapped or in the case of, this book, when the victims themselves have written their own story in the form of memoirs or a book.  I find that I prefer the accounts that are written by the survivors of the kidnappings; they seem more honest and you know what your reading actually happened to the author.  Sometimes true crime novels just feel like they are listing all the facts they can find to include in their books.  While I do value accuracy reading the same thing three times throughout the book and knowing its the same fact just worded differently gets really frustrating and boring to be honest.

This book follows the life of Jaycee Dugard starting around the time she was first taken from her parents.  And follows her throughout the next 18 years as Philip and his wife Nancy make her change her name, as well as Philip raping her every two to three days.  They tell her that they took her so that Philip can use her for his pedophilic urges and in this way he won't have to kill or rape someone else to fulfill his twisted needs.  He (Philip) also gets Jaycee pregnant twice both times she has girls and when she becomes a Mother it strengthens something in her because now she has two little lives depending on her to protect them and keep them safe.

It also really struck me how the abductor's wife Nancy was so involved in taking Jaycee who was only eleven at the time; I mean what kind of female would do that to another woman much less a pre-teen girl; I cannot even imagine being that evil.  This story kept me enthralled and interested for the entire book; it does have some graphic details so if that would bother you or if  bringing up unwanted abuse from your own past then although its a good book I would not recommend you read it.

Jaycee definitely has her own style of writing; she even hints in the beginning of the book that her writing style is vastly different from the norm.  I love that she has her own voice and she deserves so much more than what that evil couple did to her.  I gave the book four stars instead of five because at places it was really jumpy, and things got repeated a lot...other than that I really enjoyed the book. (Maybe enjoyment isn't the right word;) I'll just say I respect that Jaycee had the courage to write it, and to continue to try to live a normal happy life with her girls.

If you like true crime novels or are just looking for a change of pace; and something that will really rock you to your core than I would definitely recommend this book.

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