A Stolen Life: A Memoir

A Stolen Life: A Memoir

Jaycee Dugard’s New York Times bestselling memoir chronicles her raw and powerful story of being kidnapped in 1991 and held captive for more than eighteen years.

When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old, she was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was missing for more than eighteen years, held captive by Phillip Craig and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment. On August 26, 2009, Garrido showed up for a meeting with his parole officer; he brought Jaycee, her daughters, and his wife Nancy with him. Their unusual behavior raised suspicions and an investigation revealed the tent behind the Garridos’ home where Jaycee had been living for nearly two decades.

A Stolen Life was written by Jaycee herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991 up until the present. In her stark, compelling narrative, she opens up about what she experienced—and offers an extraordinary account of courage and resilience.

Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451629184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451629187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,839 customer reviews)
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3 comments

  1. Wow!! Thanks to Kindle, I was able to download the book at about one in the morning, and it’s now seven in the morning. I have not read a book in one sitting, or in one night for years!

    People who saw the ABC interview with Diane Sawyer saw how warm and lovely this young lady is, and her book is like the interview but a hundred times warmer and more personal.

    Jaycee’s story is refreshing in that it’s written by her, and not from a co-author. Much of the book are pages and pages taken from the actual journal entries she wrote while in her backyard prison. You can tell that her journal entries read in much same way as the rest of the book, so in a sense, the entire book is a continuation of her journaling and her ongoing mission in life to help others. For example, it’s hard to tell when you’re reading from her old journal entries from her more current writings of when she’s authoring this book. It’s really all one voice, and you definitely get a feel for how her voice resonates through.

    Some readers on comment sections of news sites have mentioned they don’t want to read the book due to graphic scenes being portrayed. Yes, these scenes are there, but written in a very mature way that I think people should really read. The book doesn’t focus on these scenes, as rather the book focuses on simply sharing her story and conveying her sense of hope that’s still beaming today. But the sexual abuse scenes are important to all of America as they describe horrifying sexual acts that often go by generic terms like ‘rape’ and ‘molestation.’ But what do those mean? Jaycee paints a much clearer picture, and in doing so, acts as the voice for all the victims of sexual abuse that can’t share their story.Read more ›

  2. The first thing you need to know about Jaycee Dugard’s book, is it is indeed a very difficult thing to read. It is a beautifully written, pull no punches account of the 18 years she spent in captivity with a very sick man, Phillip Garrido.

    In a note from the author at the beginning of the book, Dugard explains that she wrote the book to attempt to convey the overwhelming confusion she endured during her years in captivity and to begin to unravel the damage that was done to she and her family. She chronicles her experience with brutal honesty. She writes about missing her mother and worrying that she will never see her again. Her dependence upon her kidnapper grows the more he isolates her from the world. For long periods of time he was the only other human being that she saw.

    Before I bought the book, I wished that Amazon would list the Table of Contents, so here it is for you:

    Author’s Note
    Introduction
    The Taking
    Stolen
    The Secret Backyard
    Alone in a Strange Place
    The First Time
    First Kitty
    The First “Run”
    Nancy
    Easter: Phillip on an Island
    Christmas
    Learning I Was Pregnant
    Driving to a Trailer
    Waiting for Baby
    Taking Care of a Baby
    Sarge
    Second Baby
    The Starting of Printing for Less
    Birth of Second Baby
    Raising the Girls in the Backyard
    Nancy Becomes “Mom”
    Pretending to Be a Family
    Cats
    Surviving
    Discovery and Reunion
    Firsts for Me
    Milestones
    The Difficult Parts of Life
    Finding Old Friends
    Therapeutic healing
    Meeting with Nancy
    Therapeutic Healing with a Twist

    As you can tell from the Table of Contents, she spares no detail.Read more ›

  3. This is a beautiful book.

    What I have come to understand is that this is not a book about a kidnapping. This is a book about a spiritually gifted woman navigating her way through a life marked by deeply moving events. I am humbled by what I have read.

    Ms Dugard is able to continue down a path of personal growth under the most constrained circumstances. The journal entries from her captivity, both as a child and later as an adult, reveal the amazingly positive energy she carries within her. She has the capacity for self-reflection at a young age, even though she is denied any personal autonomy. Later, she is able to build a semblance of a normal life for her children, home schooling them with her own curriculum despite only having a 5th grade education. She plants a garden, cares for her animals, even manages a business. All of this while enduring the constant abuse of a hyper-controlling, drug-addicted psychopath.

    I am deeply inspired by her ability to keep pouring love out into the world despite being treated so horridly. Rather than turn away to some dark place, Ms Dugard performs a kind of spiritual judo, reflecting back love and compassion on the animals in her care, the children she’s struggling to raise and the distant memory of her mother. She is able to resist the temptation to spew forth hatred upon the perpetrators of her abuse. Instead, she lets it go and moves on to a better place.

    Frankly, I’m a bit ashamed that my initial interest in this book was based on sensationalist media coverage of the events surrounding her rescue. I was expecting to learn more about her captors and what kind of person would commit such a horrendous crime. After finishing the book, I’ve realized that don’t care about them.Read more ›

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