February 13, 2012

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

Unless you don't follow the news at all, you have probably heard about Jaycee Dugard.  Kidnapped when she was eleven years old, she was held captive for more than 18 years, giving birth to two daughters during her imprisonment.  A Stolen Life:  A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard chronicles from the time of her kidnapping to her life in the present.

I don't normally pick up books like this, but I saw it in the library and picked it up on a whim.  They usually make me feel uncomfortably voyeuristic but this time I'm glad I did. 

While this book was occasionally difficult to read as it serves as a description of some of the vilest things that a person can do to another person, it is also a testimony of Jaycee's great strength and absolute love.  The overall positivity of the message made me admire Jaycee's spirit and resilience. 

Jaycee apologizes in the beginning that her story isn't perfectly linear because it isn't perfectly linear in her mind.  She admits that this book is one way she is working through the awful things that happened to her.  And while it isn't perfect, none of these detract from her telling of her life story.  The format makes it a quick read and illustrates her remarkable inner strength.   

I feel awkward giving something like this a point value--it is such a personal project that it really shouldn't be judged.  One thing that seemed oddly left out was Jaycee's relationship with her daughters during her captivity.  She discusses her want for privacy for her daughters after the fact, but I would have appreciated her addressing that relationship head-on, even if would have just been something along the lines of, "I do not plan to discuss my relationship with my daughters because I respect their privacy."  Not including hardly anything at all seemed like a strange omission.

Four stars

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1 comment:

  1. It's always hard to assign a point value to a memoir, just because they're so personal. I haven't read this one yet, and I'm not sure if I want to or not, but I am amazed at her amazing resilience and positivity throughout her ordeal. Watching the special ABC did with her was amazing.


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