A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

I saw this on the “hot” shelf at the library and grabbed it. A couple of friends had read this and had said how engrossing it was. I had a couple of other books on my plate at the moment, but I dropped all of them and read this obsessively for the next day and a half.

To recap, Jaycee Dugard was snatched from her life as an eleven year old, held captive in a small room for eighteen years by a sicko who controlled her mind and her body. His wife was complacent in this crime as well. A sex and drug addict, this horrible man used Jaycee as his outlet for his addictions. She gave birth to two of his children while imprisioned in his backyard shed/garage.

To read her own words describing the years she was there, her yearning to see her mother and sister, is heartbreaking. It’s hard to believe that there are people in this world who could do this to another human being, to take someone away from their family – a child, no less! Disturbing. Reading it was making me think of my own children, and how I would feel if something similar happened to them.

The moment where Jaycee describes seeing her mom again after all those years made me break down. And I’m not talking about a few rogue tears escaping my eyes. I’m talking full body shakes – I had to put the book down and sob for a few minutes before moving on. It’s a beautiful moment, but it made me think of my own family. Again, hard to imagine that this story really happened to Jaycee – it’s not just fiction, like Room (which may have been loosely based on Jaycee’s story?)

This book will cause you to question humanity but also embrace your family. The fact that Jaycee escaped and justice will be served is a small consolation to the fact that she lost so many years of her life under the spell of such a lowlife. Read this book, and then go hug your loved ones.

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