Customer Review

868 of 914 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of survival and pain, July 12, 2011
This review is from: A Stolen Life: A Memoir (Hardcover)
The first thing you need to know about Jaycee Dugard's book, is it is indeed a very difficult thing to read. It is a beautifully written, pull no punches account of the 18 years she spent in captivity with a very sick man, Phillip Garrido.

In a note from the author at the beginning of the book, Dugard explains that she wrote the book to attempt to convey the overwhelming confusion she endured during her years in captivity and to begin to unravel the damage that was done to she and her family. She chronicles her experience with brutal honesty. She writes about missing her mother and worrying that she will never see her again. Her dependence upon her kidnapper grows the more he isolates her from the world. For long periods of time he was the only other human being that she saw.

Before I bought the book, I wished that Amazon would list the Table of Contents, so here it is for you:

Author's Note
Introduction
The Taking
Stolen
The Secret Backyard
Alone in a Strange Place
The First Time
First Kitty
The First "Run"
Nancy
Easter: Phillip on an Island
Christmas
Learning I Was Pregnant
Driving to a Trailer
Waiting for Baby
Taking Care of a Baby
Sarge
Second Baby
The Starting of Printing for Less
Birth of Second Baby
Raising the Girls in the Backyard
Nancy Becomes "Mom"
Pretending to Be a Family
Cats
Surviving
Discovery and Reunion
Firsts for Me
Milestones
The Difficult Parts of Life
Finding Old Friends
Therapeutic healing
Meeting with Nancy
Therapeutic Healing with a Twist

As you can tell from the Table of Contents, she spares no detail. You witness her physical and psychological transformation from a scared child held against her will to a woman who bears his children and runs a business with him until she is discovered. This truly is an exploration of her past. As profound as this book is in its horrific detail, it is not a triumphant, feel-good story. Other than her rescue, don't expect many warm fuzzies from this one.

If Jaycee's book interests you, I Love Yous Are for White People: A Memoir (P.S.) is another you'll undoubtedly want to read. Amazing to see people triumph over such adversity, and retell their stories so brilliantly.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2011 1:26:42 PM PDT
Great review! This is just what I needed to know. Thanks!

Posted on Jul 12, 2011 2:06:41 PM PDT
Mary says:
Great review Amelia. will check out the other book you mention.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2011 4:37:00 PM PDT
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. You'll love both books.

Posted on Jul 12, 2011 5:10:37 PM PDT
D. Ames says:
Are they any photos in the hard copy? If not, I will buy the Kindle copy. Thanks for any information and thanks for your review.

Posted on Jul 12, 2011 11:08:24 PM PDT
Cal Bar says:
thank you.

Posted on Jul 13, 2011 6:37:11 AM PDT
ainethil says:
D. Ames: There are photos in both the hard and the Kindle copies - I have the Kindle version.

Posted on Jul 13, 2011 1:19:35 PM PDT
J. Linders says:
I thought this book was very well witten and she did a good job of leaving no rock unturned. It was detailed when it needed to be to paint the picture and let you put yourself in her shoes. I think that she is a very brave person and I would love to read more about her as she and her daughters continue their journey in their new life. I think this book was more for her own personal healing and something should not be judge or reviewed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2011 4:18:09 PM PDT
Mary says:
I am reading the hard cover version and there are a few small photos embedded on some pages, but not as much as I hoped. There are also some full pages of Jaycee's journal noteswhen she was a captive. I think writing notes was one of the things that probably helped keep Jaycee sane. I don't see any glossy photos in the book. I don't know anything about Kindle.

Posted on Jul 14, 2011 1:22:57 PM PDT
S. Warfield says:
Excellent review. I'd really like to read this one!

Posted on Jul 14, 2011 6:30:08 PM PDT
Curious if this is appropriate for my 15 and 17 year old daughters. They both were transfixed to the interview
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