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My Story Hardcover – October 7, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,699 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Smart's memoir is as compelling as it is disturbing. Her stoic Mormon faith, moreover, will both inspire and mystify readers.” ―Boston Globe

“Smart speaks candidly about the shame of rape, confessing her deep fear that her Mormon family would reject her as a result of her experiences. . . . Smart is already making waves in the media.” ―New York magazine

My Story chronicles [Elizabeth's] faith, aided by her memories of her family, and what she felt was the spiritual presence of her beloved grandfather, who had passed away just days before she was kidnapped. Realizing that her family would love her, no matter what her captors did to her, ‘I had something still to live for.'” ―Salt Lake Tribune

From the Back Cover

How did Elizabeth Smart survive nine months in captivity-and manage to forge a new life for herself? This is her story.


On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.


"The inspirational and ultimately redemptive story of a teenage girl's descent into hell... and of the faith that fueled her determination to survive." -Kirkus Reviews

In My Story, Smart tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she convinced her captors to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.


"[The book's] power lies in the way Smart presents herself-stronger but somehow still innocent." -The New Yorker

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250040159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250040152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,699 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm confused by the negative reviews on Amazon and also Barnes and Noble. The complaints run from the Smart family "cashing in" on this horrific crime, to complaints about how the story was written. Elizabeth Smart is not a writer.
She is just a young girl who lived thru a horrible ordeal (thru no fault of her own!) and came out on the other end a happy, well adjusted woman. The fact that her faith and family sustained her thru these 9 terrible months is truly inspiring!
I'm sure it took her a long time to get thru all that has happened to her, but the fact that she has is unbelievable!
For reviewers to suggest that she had opportunity to get away, or make comments about her "cashing in" is beyond comprehension. To the Smart family: Thank you for sharing your brutally honest, compelling story. Its a wonderful thing to see "Good" win out for a change.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a kidnapping and rape victim myself I am humbled by Elizabeth's amazing story. Although my ordeal was almost 40 years ago it never completely goes away. Like Elizabeth my desire to overcome what happened by having a happy life as well as forgiving my captor is what makes this book so captivating. Somehow God has a way of helping you through anything if you allow Him to. This book is well written, very engaging, and honest to the core.
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Format: Hardcover
Before I go into my review, I have to say something first.

About two years ago, I read much of what Elizabeth talks about, in her trial transcript. A Utah online newspaper published her testimony and it was just as hellacious sounding to me, back then, than it was two nights ago, when I finished her book.

After I read all of that, I contacted Ms. Smart on Facebook. I did not expect to hear from her and that was not the point of my contacting her. I wanted to tell her that one of the happiest days of my life, was when she was found alive. Why? Because I thought she was dead. I assumed it. I assumed it, because I thought her little sister's story was ridiculous, and I thought that Ed and Lois Smart were no better than John and Patsy Ramsey. Meaning, I assumed they killed their daughter and made up the whole story about the man in her bedroom.

Then I heard she was alive. Then I saw a picture of that piece of filth, Brian David Mitchell and I knew what happened. I had just never heard the details before. I told Ms. Smart that I feared she would never be seen again, that I admired her courage for actually fighting to stay alive, JUST to make sure that her cousin Olivia(who looks a lot like her) was not Mitchell's next victim or fantasy 'bride'.

Ms. Smart wrote me back, thanking me. She also sent me a poem. I am not into poetry, but this one spoke of blue seas and other pretty things, and I was not only touched, but happy that this young woman was able to forge a life for herself, after such a harrowing time in her young life.

Now on to my review of 'My Story' by Elizabeth Smart.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am glad this book came out when I had the day off because I could not stop reading it! I am the same age as Elizabeth Smart and remember her kidnapping very vividly. I would watch the news for hours hoping she would be found. I just felt such a kindred-ship with this girl. Even though I lived in Wisconsin, I would pray for this girl every night. I was happy she wrote a book from her perspective. This book is truly heartbreaking, but it is also inspirational to read about a young woman who completely depended on her faith to get her through her situation. It is not a book that you can you really enjoy, because of all the awful experiences she lived through, but I could not stop reading it. A must read.
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Format: Hardcover
AUDIOBOOK
I lived in Salt Lake City in 2002 when Smart was abducted from her bedroom less than a mile from my student apartment in the foothills. Along with thousands of others, I helped search for her. Nine months later, I fell to my knees and cried when I got a phone call from my brother: "Turn on the TV! They found Elizabeth Smart!"

I preordered this book with great anticipation, wanting to hear about Smart's ordeal in her own words. The book does not disappoint. She recounts her abduction with great detail, sharing the story linearly. It is absolutely gripping. She doesn't share as much about her life after the abduction as some would like, but I imagine that choice was due to her desire to maintain some semblance of privacy to her life.

I listened to this as an audiobook, and I would highly recommend that choice. Smart has a humor and sarcasm that comes through very strongly through her voice. In fact, I'm not sure the written word would have the same effect. Her reading made me laugh out loud at times.

My only difficulty with the book is simply that Smart doesn't quite express to the reader/listener just how harrowing this ordeal must have been (though this could be a result of hearing it rather than reading it). She is so adept at seeing her captors with disdain and derision at this point (11 years later), that you almost get the idea that she was able to scoff at them all the way along. I'm sure the story she told her parents in the weeks after her discovery was closer to the heart emotionally than this telling is. But still, I credit her for thumbing her nose at those terrible people and being able to move on. Good for her, even if the story did come off a little more arms-length than I would have liked.

I'm glad I only had housework to do today; I couldn't turn this off! A great book with some important lessons.
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