Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book Review: A Stolen Life

Since I have read several books this year, I need to catch up on posting reviews for them before I forget reading them. That seems to happen quite a bit since I read so much. Oops. Anyway, today's review will be about A Stolen Life: a Memoir by Jaycee Dugard.

Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped from her street while walking to catch the school bus in South Lake Tahoe, California in June of 1991. Most people have heard of this because they were alive when it happened or became interested when she was found in August of 2009. Her story made headlines for months, and she was interviewed on many television shows about her 18 years of captivity, living alone in a small room in the backyard of her captor's house. 

After adjusting to the real world again, Jaycee decided to share her very personal story with the world in order to get her feelings out and to let everyone know that Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, kidnapped her. Earlier in the year I read the book Room by Emma Donoghue. After finishing it, I searched for it online, and many people made direct comparisons of that book to Dugard's book of her own life. After having read both of them, I agree. I am sure that the premise of Room was built upon Jaycee Dugard's story. If that raises awareness for what happened to her, then so be it. 

A Stolen Life is definitely not the best written book I have ever read. There are grammatical mistakes throughout that would have bugged me had I not realized Jaycee missed most of her academic life. It was candid and REAL, and the things she went through were horrific. I will not rate this book on a star system simply because I feel like that would be rating her experiences, and that feels wrong. I will say this, though: until I read this book, I was sheltered and naive. I knew things like this happened, but I didn't think about them. Not really. But now I am aware, and I will always be watching for other children out there who may have been abducted from their homes. 

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