Book Review: A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

My sister came to visit me recently and brought this book with her. I read it in one evening.
Yes, it is engrossing, hard to put down.
But it is also disturbing, it was very difficult for me to read this book. It is difficult in that what happened to Jaycee was unimaginable, it is hard for my mind and heart to grasp why another human would be so evil as to steal a child with the intent to abuse her, imprison her, and impregnate her. I am aghast!

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardcover $14.60
Kindle $11.99

Published by Simon and Schuster July 12, 2011
288 pages

June 10, 1991 Jaycee at age 11 was walking to school and a car slowly pulled up beside her. Even though she felt unsure about strangers in a car pulling up next to her she approached the car. A stun gun was used on her. She wanted to fight back, to speak out, but she could not. That feeling of wanting to speak out and fight back carried over in to 18 years of captivity by her pedophile abuser and his wife/accomplice.
We've heard the news reports of Jaycee's life under the imprisonment of a pedophile. We know that for 18 years she lived under horrific conditions. We've heard she had 2 children by this man. But the details of her life has now been written by Jaycee in A Stolen Life.

Two things I noticed as soon as I started reading:
1. The book is completely from the voice of Jaycee. Sometimes a biography is written by another writer who helps the person who's story is told. In this process the book is written more eloquently (I guess that is the right word) or maybe professionally would be a better word. Instead, A Stolen Life is from the voice of Jaycee Dugard.
2. It is noticeable by the words that she uses--her expressions, that she is still that 11 year old child that was stolen.

She has tried desperately to understand why these perpetrators abducted and abused her. Maybe in some way this book has been cathartic.
She admits she had turned a switch off emotionally so that she could survive.
It has been asked by many why she stayed when she had chances to leave? In A Stolen Life Jaycee answers this question; yet it is important for us to understand the beaten down, degraded, hopeless feelings of a child that was literally hidden away for years. "They" were all she had for food and shelter. She was conditioned and stripped away from all that was sacred, and left to scavenge from her abuser's.

I was even more saddened to read that her abuser's even stripped away and robbed her of a right interpretation of the Bible. The Bible was interpreted by this pedophile in a twisted and vile way.

This is not a book that while you are reading it, nor when you read the last page, you are able to say, "I'm glad I read this book." Instead you are speechless, your mind still trying to absorb all that you've read. Of course feelings vacillating between anger and deep sadness plague your mind. It is a deeply troubling story.

This is not a book for children, nor any adult that is sensitive. It will take me a long time to "recover".
It is an excellent book for anyone in the mental health field to study this story of Jaycee in order to help others who have similar stories.

My prayers for Jaycee is that she and her children will continue therapy, working towards full recovery and I hope that is possible.

Blissful Reading!


  1. You are a stronger person than I to be able to read her words. I think I fall into the category of sensitive adult - and probably as my two children are still so small there's no way I could read it. I hope that it was cathartic for Jaycee to write this as words can be so powerful.

  2. Just wanted to let you know that Macmillan Audio is offering 3 audio books to participants in the War Through the Generations Civil War Challenge. Go here to enter!

  3. This story tugged at my heart. I was amazed how a young girl was able to deal with her life in captivatity for 18 years and endure the abuse of her kidnapper. I felt for her, every turn of the page, and just couldnt put this book down. I am sad of the life that she missed out on, but i know she is stronger now than she ever was! God bless you Jaycee.


Post a Comment