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A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

Last year I read a number of memoirs and really enjoyed them. This year I knew I wanted to read more. I was in the mood for one and looked at my to read list and saw that I had A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard on there. I looked at my library to see if the ebook copy was available, it was. I took this as a sign that I was meant to read this book at this time. I put this book on my list years and years ago because I had watched Jaycee's 20/20 interview and was so intrigued by what she had experienced, her resilience, and all the new things she wanted to experience with her new found freedom. 

Content of This Book:

"In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen. For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation. On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don't think of myself as a victim. I survived. A Stolen Life is my story in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it."


Strength, regaining your life back, first time experiences, survival, motherhood, love for family, resilience

What I Liked About This Book:

This book was different from other memoirs that I have read as this one included narrative, journal entries, and pictures. The use of all three aided in a full picture for Jacyee's experience both in and out of captivity. Every time I read a memoir from someone who lived a terrible experience I am amazed by their strength and resilience no matter the circumstance. Jaycee not only met but also exceeded that expectation. A majority of the memoir was written in chronological order but would also bounce back to memories from her life before captivity. The use of this technique showed both that she was remembering these experiences while in captivity while also providing the reader with a better understanding of Jaycee. As this is a memoir you expect personal development as their is something in the person's life that has happened that brought them to the point in their life where writing a memoir was appropriate. The way Jaycee depicted her personal development was through personal reflections to close out a chapter. This not only gave the reader a perspective of how she views what she went through now, but also showed that she has grown from her experiences. As a reader I really appreciated the inclusion of the reflections. I began reading this memoir with some expectations on the level of detail that I wanted to read about because I wanted to understand how she could be kept in captivity for 18 years, how she came to be 'found', and how she was able to birth and mother children while in captivity. Jaycee met all of these expectations. I finished the book satisfied with the level of detail and vulnerability in Jaycee's memoir. I can also appreciate the level of protection that she has dedicated to protecting her children. Even though you want to learn more about them and how they are doing now, you have to appreciate that she is doing what she thinks is best for them and their safety.

What I Disliked About This Book

My only real complaint about this memoir is that Jaycee was very repetitive in some of the things that she shared. I assume that she reason for repeating certain things is because they were constant thoughts or actions that occurred while she was in captivity. I also think that she had specific messages that she wanted to get across to the reader and her way of doing so was to repeat them.  

Would I Recommend This Book?

For the people in my life who ask me for book recommendations this is not the first one I would recommend that. I do not say that because I do not recommend this book. I say this because it is a heavy and emotionally draining book that not everyone wants to or can appreciate. With that being said, if you are a memoir reader or a like reading about crime and survival then without a doubt I would recommend this book to you. 

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!


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