The story starts with Jaycee’s life at the time of her kidnapping, and includes graphic detail of her kidnapping, life as a prisoner, motherhood, and rescue. A Stolen Life is a book that is at times very hard to read. As a mother of three small children, reading it was like reading my worst nightmare. It’s hard to believe that such evil exists in the world that could happen to your children.
A Stolen Life was also an uplifting tale at times. The fact that Jaycee was able to keep her sanity and provide the best life she could for her children was amazing. I also like how she was basically a self-taught graphic artist that was an integral part of Philip and Nancy’s business.
A Stolen Life also contained different sections of a variety of different diaries that Jaycee kept while a prisoner. The saddest one for me was the one she wrote in 1993 (while 13 or so) about her cat Eclipse that the Garridos eventually took away. It really struck home how she was just a poor young girl trying to find some happiness in her life. I don’t understand how the Garridos thought they could steal her innocence and life away and it was okay. It makes me very sad.
I like how the book was written in a stream of consciousness narrative. It was what Jaycee was thinking at that time and certain early chapters had reflections on what she thought looking back on the events.
I read the novel, Room last year by Emma Donoghue and included it in my top ten reads of 2010. A Stolen Life is like the true life narrative of Room. It is unfortunate that anyone had to live through such events brought forth by one evil man.
I read through A Stolen Life quickly. I was disturbed, yet enthralled with the book. I think having the uplifting rescue, reuniting with her family, and ability to move on a try to return to normalcy made this book a great read. I felt that writing the book was almost a way of therapy for Jaycee Dugard. I hope that it was.
Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library