Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kelly's Review: A Stolen Life: A Memoir

By Jaycee Dugard

Published by: Simon & Schuster
First Printing: July 2011
ISBN-10: 1451629184
ISBN-13: 978-1451629187
Amazon; Barnes and Noble; Goodreads

Concept: “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.” [From Amazon.]

Review: Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped from right in front of her home in a quiet forest town by two truly sinister monsters when she was 11. She was forced to live with this couple and she became the man’s sexual plaything. She had to go through his sexual deviancy when he drugged himself up and eventually bore him two children. She was eventually rescued 18 years later and reunited with her mother who never gave up hope. That is the basics of this story.

What you learn from this book is that Jaycee is an amazing human being. She is forgiving and strong and loving and many, many good adjectives. I LIKE Jaycee a lot and I’m glad that I purchased this book so that it helps her cause. I understand too while reading this book, that these are Jaycee’s words and her thought processes and that she is still scarred from this tragedy and struggling o make her life better.

Unfortunately, I didn’t care for quite a few things in this book. I am reading some reviewers who state they couldn’t read the book, it was too difficult. I found it to be almost a bit of a sell out. I wanted more detail. I wanted to know all the awfulness of the situation. Jaycee seemed to focus a lot on her love for her kitties. There’s a journal and entries that talk mostly about her kitty that she was allowed to have. I understand that psychologically, these kitties may have been extremely important to Jaycee’s well being but to me, it was completely boring. If I were to write pages and pages about how much I love my dogs, you would be completely bored. Just because Jaycee went through a horrific ordeal doesn’t make me want to read about her kitties. It just flat out bored me to death. Questions that I had weren’t answered and maybe they weren’t answered for Jaycee either, but I think that the book could have provided some sort of explanations. In 18 years, Jaycee really felt that she couldn’t have escaped? That is barely discussed in her book. Her children are barely discussed and at times, I felt that Jaycee loved her kitties more than her own children. It just felt weird to me.

I am completely supportive of Jaycee and I sincerely pray that her family is awarded a katrillion dollars from the State for their lack of investigation into the life of the sex perpetrator that held Jaycee. I hope they are able to put their lives back together and I wish nothing but the very best for all of them. But this book wasn’t Jaycee’s finest moment. Perhaps a necessary one in her healing process, but there should have been more.

What I liked: I like Jaycee Dugard. She is a courageous and lovely young woman. I adore that she has such a passion for animals. As for the book itself, there wasn’t much about it that I did like. I’m sorry Jaycee. I wanted to like it. I just think it was silly and very self-serving. I guess I liked that it was written from Jaycee’s perspective. That made it feel like she was sitting down with me and telling me her story.

What I disliked: I feel like I got more from this story watching the Diane Sawyer interview. I feel like most of this book was just blabber and no meat. The single thing that bothered me the most though? Jaycee loves her animals. But when she was rescued, she took great pains in making sure her kitties were well cared for but gave up her dogs without much thought. That bothered me. Anyway, I am happy that I purchased this book for Jaycee’s cause, but as a book, frankly, it sucked.

My rating: 3.5 feathers

by Kelly
for Book Lover's Hideaway

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Unknown said...

It's tough to write a not so good review on a book surrounding such a sad and tragic story. I read and reviewed a book called Layla's Story about a woman's experience of still birth. Horribly sad, but I found it hard to like her although my heart broke for her loss. Well done on writing such an honest review.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I loved your honesty but was confused by your rating. You said it sucked but gave it 3.5 feathers?

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