Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: A Stolen Life

I finished "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard this weekend.

Wow.  What this woman went through is unfathomable.  Even while reading the detailed account, it is hard to imagine that this was real. 

It was a very easy read written from Jaycee's point of view.  She goes through details of her life, from the day she was kidnapped until the day she was rescued.  While she talks about how she felt durning the days of her captivity and rescue, it feels a bit disconnected.  She focuses more on the actual events than her emotional journey.

The biggest life lesson I took from the book was that the easy and comfortable thing isn't always the best thing for us.  After 18 years, Jaycee's entire world was her backyard prison.  It was hell, but it was how she grew up and all she knew.  She was convinced by her manipulative captor that the outside world was dangerous and evil, so even though her situation was miserable, she was complaisant.

She writes about how terrified but happy she was during and after the rescue, but does not elaborate extensively on how she felt about the separation from her kidnappers.  Jaycee had never provided for herself.  She was dependent on her kidnappers for everything in life for 18 years, so you have to wonder exactly how terrified, upset, happy, and sad she was to separate from them.

Jaycee is inspirational.  She is not angry and does not focus on the past, because she knows she cannot change it.  She is focused on healing, recovering, and the future for herself and her daughters.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has curiousities about this case.  It answered a lot of questions I had, but also led to more questions. 

I have to admit, since I started reading this book, I have been a little paranoid about going out and about by myself.  Every run, I have thought about that innocent little 11 year old girl who was walking to the bus, like she did everday, and was stolen.

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