Monday, March 20, 2017
My Book Review of: The Lost Girls (The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus) by John Glatt
The Lost Girls (The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus)
By: John Glatt
My rating: * * * * 4/5 stars
Summary: The Lost Girls are Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus―three innocent young women who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly molested and beaten in a Cleveland home basement for over a decade by a depraved man named Ariel Castro. Their incredible escape, in May 2013, made headlines all over the world.
My book review: This is the second book that I've read by author John Glatt I thought this one had a better writing style than his other book I've read entitled Secrets in the Cellar. I wanted to read this book because a few days ago I finished and reviewed a book/memoir that two of the girls involved in this tragedy wrote themselves (Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus). Glatt's book interested me because I was curious if the details and people involved in the story would mirror each other in both books or would be different. Some of the things that I noticed differences in were: Glatt says that when each of the girls were first kidnapped and tied to the pole in Ariel Castro's basement he also put a helmet over their heads so their screams couldn't be heard and then stuck a dirty sock in their mouths to be used as a gag. In the memoir that the girls wrote the pole, being tied up, and having a dirty sock shoved in their mouths as a gag were pretty much the same as Glatt recorded but I don't remember reading about the helmet. Another difference was when Amanda Berry got the chance to escape and she was screaming to the neighbors for help getting out of the door Glatt says that the neighbor who helped her came up and kicked the bottom of the door with Amanda and that was the reason she was able to get out. I however remember specifically in the girls memoir Amanda said that yes the neighbor did come up near the door to try to figure out what was happening; but Amanda says that he was not helping her kick the bottom of the door out at all; and that in fact she couldn't figure out why he was making her kick it out by herself without help. Amanda says that she kicked it out by herself without help from the neighbor. Though these details are small (and I did notice other differences) I think it is because they come from two different sources. One being a firsthand account of the victims/survivors who were actually there and the other being an author (John Glatt) who probably got most of his information through research, interviews with people close to the victims and news outlets.
This book for me was very easy to read because I have been interested in this case since I first saw it on the news when the girls were getting rescued. Also in Glatt's book I did like the fact that there were A LOT more details about the trial and everything that happened during it. Hearing what Michelle, and representatives for Amanda and Gina had to say made me once again admire how much courage and strength they must've had to endure what they had to go through with this sadistic evil kidnapper. And seeing what Ariel Castro had to say to be honest made me dislike him even more. He claimed that though yes, the girls had not been allowed to leave, they overall had had sexual intercourse with him consensually; (Not really possible for two of the girls who were minors at the time they were kidnapped); and he claimed that he confined the girls in a peaceful home overall and that he only did it because he was very sick with a sexual sickness and or addiction that made him masturbate and think about sex all the time. He said that really it was their fault because they each individually had gotten into his car of their own volition even though they had learned that they shouldn't from their parents and in school. This was sickening to me that this man could be so narcissistic and antisocial (which he was diagnosed with by mental health professionals) that he actually believed the things he was saying even though deep in his heart he had to know that he had raped each girl multiple times a day probably only thinking of his own pleasure; he had beat the crap out of them (especially Michelle); he had caused illegal abortions ignoring that Michelle might have wanted her babies; and he had not given them access to proper bathroom facilities but instead made them relieve themselves in buckets that he hardly ever cleaned (they couldn't have cleaned them themselves since they were chained up a lot of the time.) In addition he made them watch when candlelight vigils were held for them by their loved ones and would mock them as they cried; missing their families. And he did numerous things to mess with them emotionally which were extremely abusive. I don't know if he tried to block all that out or really just started believing his own lies when he claimed he hadn't done all that. In John Glatt's book it even said that after Michelle had read her victim impact statement about Castro and what he had done to her and the other girls that after he was sentenced to the maximum he could get by the judge Castro actually had the gall to look at Michelle and glare at her! Like it was her fault he was going to jail for life; this man is truly an antisocial narcissist.
I thought this book was very interesting. While in works like this its probably disrespectful to the victims to say that the story was 'enjoyable' I will say that I read the entire book in two days because the writing style was easy to follow; it had a font that was easy to read; and I felt that John Glatt really did a lot of research and put a lot of effort into this book; I'll reiterate what I said earlier in this review I liked it and how it was written much more than his book Secrets in the Cellar. I think that with every book Glatt writes he seems to find his voice/style more which is of course a natural progression for most writers...I would like to read more of his works; though a lot of them cover horrible crimes which yes can be sad to learn/read about I think that its better to be knowledgeable about these types of evil people and what their capable of doing to innocent victims. After all if our society doesn't face these types of problems head on and try to find ways and pass laws that could prevent some of these tragedies from occurring, aren't we really then as a society setting up history to repeat itself over and over?
I'd rather know that theres a wolf in grandmas clothing rather than being kept in 'blissful' ignorance and being devoured by the wolves like Ariel Castro.