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Friday, December 14, 2012

A Stolen Life

A friend bought a copy of Jaycee Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life, and passed it on to me for weekend reading.

In 1991, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped off the street on her way to the bus stop one spring morning. For 18 years she was held by a man and his wife as what is equivalent to their concubine. She never felt she had a chance to escape. At age 14, she became a mother to her first child and three years later she had her second child. She was never allowed to say or write her real name--until the day she could reveal herself.

I agree with my dear friend's assessment of the book. While it's not the most fluid prose or eloquent writing, it is truly Jaycee's book. She breaks up her chapters by inserting her present day thoughts into what was happening then; the rest of the chapter is written from Jaycee's perspective as a child. It's fascinating, petrifying, and like a train wreck that you can't stop watching. It's almost unbelievable what Jaycee went through and for 18 years. I absolutely do believe it, though, because truth is (almost) always stranger than fiction (I am thinking along the lines of Stephen King here, one of my ab fabs).

If you love true crime as much as I do, or if you are fascinated by the macabre, or if you just want to figure out why Jaycee didn't try to escape, you should pick this one up. I understand why she couldn't try to escape or why she didn't speak up when she was out in public, but you should try to understand for yourself. It's a crazy ride, and I closed the book thankful that Jaycee could enter back into life with her two girls.

 

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