Book Review: A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

June 19, 2012 audio, book review 5

 A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

Narrated by Jaycee Dugard

Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio 2011

Length: 7 hours and 34 minutes

In 1991 Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido.  She was taken to their home and kept in a series of sheds and tents in the backyard for 18 years.  Her childhood and innocence was taken from her too too early.  She was forced to submit to Phillip Garrido’s bizarre sexual desires and his drug crazed “runs” as they were referred to where he was using speed and who knows what else and would stay up for hours and have sex with Jaycee.  Jaycee had two daughters and pretended to be their sister for years.  This is a true story, most of us know about it.  When Jaycee and her daughters were freed in 2009 there was much publicity, everyone had questions and wanted to know more.  The shock and imagined horror of those 18 years, would anyone ever know the truth.

In an act of pure courage, Jaycee Dugard retells the story of her life in her memoir, A Stolen Life.  Her innocence and limited life experiences are evident in her honest but simple language.  She tells the story from the very beginning, from her feelings of being in a new area, not thinking her step-father liked her very much.  Jaycee loved her mom and new baby sister, and she has vivid memories of the day she walked to the bus stop, just up the road from her home, and was literally grabbed and forced into a van.  Her descriptions were heartbreaking, I listened and couldn’t believe she was so brave, so calm in retelling this story.

What I felt most was amazement that Jaycee appears to be doing so well, so positive and eager to move forward with her life.  I’m pleased she’s found good counseling and is working through how she was robbed of her life.  Her mom, sister and Aunt have given her unwavering support too.  I respect how Jaycee has limited access to her life and story, the interview with Diane Sawyer, this book and she’s not letting the media reach her teen daughters at all.

When this book first released I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it.  Nearly ten months passed before I decided to listen to the audio book, and I’m so very happy that I did.  With Jaycee doing the narration herself it made it that more personal and rewarding as the listener.  I’ve given this book 4 out of 5 stars, I liked it a lot.  If you haven’t taken the time to read or listen to this one, please give it a chance.  It’s an amazing story of a woman who deserves only the best.

5 Responses to “Book Review: A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard”

  1. Pam

    I read this book when it first came out and I was so impressed with Jaycee’s intelligence, courage and spirit. I’m sure it was an even more moving experience to hear her voice as she told this story. I admire her decision to keep her daughter’s out of the public eye and to very carefully expose herself to it as well. Where she gets her strength, wisdom and dignity is a mystery.

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