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A Stolen Life: A Memoir

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  74,778 Ratings  ·  6,588 Reviews
On 10 June 1991, eleven-year-old Jaycee Dugard was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in Tahoe, California. It was the last her family and friends saw of her for over eighteen years. On 26 August 2009, Dugard, her daughters, and Phillip Craig Garrido appeared in the office of her kidnapper's parole officer in California. Their unusual behaviour sparke ...more
ebook, 201 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Simon & Schuster
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Faraz Ahmed This book is a very honest approach at story-telling what the author went through during the time of her abduction, book therefore contains graphic…moreThis book is a very honest approach at story-telling what the author went through during the time of her abduction, book therefore contains graphic content and would only be suitable to mature readers only!

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Wendy Darling
This is a monumental book in many ways. It's one of the few times that a victim of prolonged sexual imprisonment has come forth to tell her story, and the importance of having a record of this first-hand account cannot be discounted. Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at the age of 11 and held captive for 18 years while a man repeatedly raped her and had her bear two of his children. She was miraculously freed at the age of 29 and, two years later, seems to be overall pretty well-adjusted and happy.

I'v
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Jackie
Jul 16, 2011 Jackie rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting. I would be concerned about anyone who could read this book without difficulty. I had to pause frequently and just breathe to compose myself, and still feel sick to my stomach when I think of what she endured. It is a horrific story and yet beautifully written. Jaycee Lee Dugard is an extraordinary young woman and courageous in the extreme, not only because she survived her ordeal with compassion for herself as a victim and hope for the future, but because she tells he ...more
Emily
Aug 18, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hard to read, hard to review. Please know that the two-star rating is no reflection on Ms. Dugard or my abject horror at what she experienced. But I certainly didn't really "like" it and I'm not sure I'd actually recommend it to anyone. The diction and syntax are somewhat simple, but that rang true, since her formal education stopped at 5th grade. Parts were very repetitive, the graphic details made my stomach turn, and it skipped over the time period I was most curious about.

Ms. Dugard's experi
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G
Aug 17, 2011 G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jaycee Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life, needs to be read by the entire world, because it is that powerful. I have never been more sad, disgusted, furious, and eventually happy and proud while reading a memoir, or in fact, any book in the history of my reading life. I beg you to go out and buy a copy--even if you'll never be brave enough to read her story. In 2006, Jaycee had made a list and one of her dreams was to become a best-selling author. After everything she has been through, don't we owe ...more
Eva Leger
I, along with the rest of the world, waited for this book. And I have to say I'm disappointed. According to the info I found on line Dugard did indeed have "help" writing this book. What kind of help I don't know because it's obvious most of us couldn't tell when reading A Stolen Life. Apparently, a Rebecca Bailey, who is a "post-trauma family reunification specialist" is who helped with this book. I couldn't tell.
I tried not to be too hard on the writing while reading because of who the author
...more
Readingmomma
Aug 05, 2011 Readingmomma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am definately going to hug my children a little tighter and make sure I remember the promises I make to them after reading this book. I remember seeing Jaycee's face on missing posters and praying for her when I was a teenager. I also remember the day I was watching the news and heard the news of incredible discovery. While I was reading this book I could not stop thinking about when I was eleven years old. Jaycee does a wonderful job of showing exactly how her life was stolen. I guess because ...more
Kathy
Aug 22, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The five stars are not for the literary value of this book, but for the honest telling of what these 18 stolen years were like for Jaycee Dugard. I am glad she allowed us to read this story in her own words, and not some smooth, glossy version of her story written by a ghost writer. The simple language enhanced this book in my opinion. You really felt the presence of that young girl reliving her story.

This is a remarkable young lady with more strength than I can imagine ever having. I feel we e
...more
Mandy Blair Crider
I read this book in one day. I was captured by Jaycee's words and her story. She endured so much and was such a brave woman. I probably would have given up, but she pressed on and loved to tell a tale that no one could even think to write for fiction!
Huma Rashid
I was going to give this book a 4 star rating and be done with it. Anything else felt douchey. How could you give a book about a courageous girl who kept going and kept it together and raised two girls while in an unimaginably horrible situation anything LESS than 4 stars?

But then I thought about why I was giving the book (the BOOK, not the woman, the book) 4 stars. I was doing it out of pity and sympathy. The story of Jaycee Dugard is so horrifying and tragic that I wanted to give the book 4 st
...more
Hinch
Aug 08, 2011 Hinch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Stolen Life: A Memoir, by Jaycee Dugard, is a disturbing, yet heartwarming personal narrative of the author's abduction, at age 11, and her subsequent 18 year captivity in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

I listened to the audio version of the book, which was read by Jaycee. The prose is simple and direct, yet surprisingly eloquent, and her personal narration adds further emotion to an already poignant story.

The book does not attempt to provide an objective or journalistic account of
...more
Jae
Aug 14, 2011 Jae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
When Jaycee Dugard was first found, my fascination with her case originally grew out of a desire to better understand another famous kidnapping victim who had been in a somewhat similar situation: Elisabeth Fritzl. But I have stayed interested for one major reason: Ms. Dugard has been incredibly adept at keeping control over her own story and maintaining her agency at all times. This book can be seen as the culmination of those efforts, since Ms. Dugard has written her own book about her own exp ...more
Neja
Apr 03, 2016 Neja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-stories
How can you not appreciate this book? Just stop for a second and think about yourself being in her situation. How can anyone survive being captive from age 11 for 18 years? I wanted to rate this book with 5 stars. But that wouldn't be honest, it would be out of sympathy. You really feel like a child wrote this book, but maybe this was the intention, because her formal education stopped when she was only 11 years old. The story jumps around a lot. I found it unnecessary when I read about all thos ...more
Suzanne
Feb 04, 2015 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, memoir
I haven't read a memoir of this kind before. They're so hard to read. This need not be a literary review but a review of this woman's story, and I've rated it a full 5 stars.

Like most of us I'd heard about this over the years, but didn't consider reading her memoir until I stumbled across it in a second hand bookshop just last week. Jaycee Dugard has done an amazing job telling us her story. It would have been tremendously hard to do.

Right from the start she did tell us it will be a bit disjoin
...more
Birdy
Jul 14, 2011 Birdy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
Jaycee Dugard's childhood was stolen from her, with this memoir, I hope it will give her and her daughters an opportunity to have a better life. I brought this book in support of Jaycee.
Ashley
Feb 06, 2016 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celeb-tell-alls
Let's be honest- this was more of a therapeutic assignment rather than anything else.

Initially I was interested in reading this because I wanted to know the 'complete' story. Unfortunately I felt that what I read I had read before in magazine articles. There was little new information. I felt like to go along with her recovery the author was given free range and told to most likely just 'writer her story'. While I can understand that it must have been quite hard for her I do feel that someone c
...more
Becca
Aug 22, 2011 Becca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What Jaycee Dugard experienced for 18 years is, beyond question, horrendous. And it is an achievement that her book keeps the sensationalism to a minimum, focusing rather on the more basic lines of thought of her young self. She is a clear writer, if overly simplistic.

However, as a memoir, if we are to take her unparalleled story aside, A Stolen Life does not amaze. Truly amazing memoirs are not made by the occurrences of the life it follows, but rather by the ability of the memoirist to transce
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Kris Marasca
Jul 21, 2011 Kris Marasca rated it really liked it
One of the hardest books I've ever read because of the subject matter. Dugard has been through hell and back. Her story is an inspiration to all who face some sort of adversity and want to give up. For 18 years, this woman was held captive, mentally & physically abused (the rape descriptions were the hardest parts to read), & impregnated twice. While she had moments of despair (who wouldn't?), she always held out hope that some day her life would improve. Even post-captivity, Dugard has ...more
Doug Bradshaw
Aug 10, 2011 Doug Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having followed the Elizabeth Smart abduction, trial and consequences here in SLC, when I heard about what had happened to Jaycee Dugard, my heart went out to her big time and I've been fascinated to hear more about her story and to find out as much as possible about the case. As I finished up her book and take of her own life, I was amazed at how well she seems to have come out of it all and how well adjusted and loving she seems to be.

The book is pretty simple and straight forward. If you don'
...more
Bethan Watson
Aug 27, 2016 Bethan Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Words cannot begin to describe the pain Jaycee Lee Dugard went through by the hands of the Garrido's, but this definitely comes close.

The narrative of Jaycee herself was harrowing at times but essentially poignant at others. This is a must read, but be warned you may need to rest up for a while after. My head is so all over the place.

It is a moving novel that has made me thankful for the childhood I had.
Sherry
I don't feel right rating this book. It is clearly written by Jaycee as a completely free agent. No ghostwriter, no dictation -- just her, a computer, old journals and her memories. I think she did a great job providing her readers with the raw, hard to read details. She feels no shame for what was done to her and I believe that is why she comes across as so mentally healthy in interviews and in this book. I'm proud of her.

I'm still left with a lot of questions: How is she so certain Phillip di
...more
Mike
Jul 14, 2011 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This book is an enigma. Until the final forty pages, it is a page-turner. Yet, I could not give it more than 3 stars and probably don't recommend it that highly. At the end, I will mention what groups of people I do think should buy the book and read it. But first, a very brief analysis of the book.

Dugard is the woman who was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe at age 11 and then kept as a sex slave by a man and his wife for 19 years. During that time, she became pregnant twice and gave birth to two girls.
...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)

I have so much respect for this woman. She managed to hold it together, even though she felt helpless and defeated, just to be there for her daughters who were born out of rape. It's hard not to get emotional when hearing everything that this woman was put through from the age of 11 until the age of 29. That's 18 years folks. 18 years of captivity, emotional abuse, rape, and living in substandard conditions (imagine using a bucket as a toilet, washing up with stale water, and sleeping in a tent
...more
~Liz~
Apr 14, 2016 ~Liz~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
Honest,raw,emotional,brutal and empowering.

Told through a young authors voice, outlining the cruel and evil actions mankind is capable of doing to the courage and resilience of the human spirit-to hope and strive for a better future.

A remarkable story! Jacyee Dugard is an inspiration to all!
Highly recommend this.
...more
Courtenay
Jul 26, 2015 Courtenay marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Saw her Diane Sawyer interview. She's an amazingly impressive and inspirational woman.
Megan
Nov 30, 2015 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Some time ago I stumbled upon the Wikipedia page for the Fritzl case (a tragic situation that occurred in Austria, very similar to this case) which eventually led me to the page on the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard. When this book came out, I was very eager to read it. Now that I have, I almost wish I didn’t and not because it was awful but because it was so terrifyingly eye opening and surprisingly heartfelt.

I feel like I should not rate this book, because there is no way a number of stars co
...more
Rebecca
I do not review this book for literary value and didn't "love" most of what I read. It took me several days to just get through her heartbreaking story. I give my five stars to amazing woman who endured what most of us can never fathom. As a mother and someone in the criminal justice field, it sickens me that a victim could be in plain view for so many years and never be noticed. I have nothing but deep admiration for Jaycee and the countless others victims whose stories we will never fully know ...more
hayden
description
Anyone else getting "If I Die Young" vibes here?

Now, on a more serious note, the subject of kidnappings has driven me wild all my life. When I was a youngster (and I still am, but I mean when I was a young youngster), kidnappings were the stuff of nightmares for me. In kindergarten, I had a dream I was in class at a party at night, and when I went out into the hallway alone, this guy
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put me in a big black bag and carried me away into the night. I peed the bed that night and went into
...more
Ellie
I was interested in A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard for two reasons.

First, I read and was gripped by Emma Donoghue's Room and it seemed as though I should read the very similar but true events as told by Dugard, since she had actually undergone that ordeal.

But shoulds tend not to register well with me. Plus I felt almost too voyeuristic reading someone's recount of such a horrific trauma. Until #2 came along.

The second reason-and the decisive one-was I read a terrific review of the boo
...more
Brooke Prothero
I don't think I should rate this book. It's a memoir. A journal... It's not for entertainment. She didn't write it to do anything except share her story and offer hope to others. If you want to know about her story, read it. If you don't want horrible details of terrible abuse, then don't.

I don't quite know how to review this book. It was easy to read. She takes you on her journey and you're often reading from the mind of a young girl. Simple words, simple thoughts, simple sentences. But so ver
...more
Andrea
Jul 15, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very difficult to read -- which may seem like an obvious statement -- but I did not expect to personally have such a hard time reading it, as I usually do not have trouble reading hard topics. I (cried but) breezed right through Room, The Lovely Bones, Diary of Anne Frank, and The Book Thief, and I expected to do the same with Jaycee's memoir. But this was the first time I actually had to put a book down and leave it for a while because I felt physically ill after reading certain ch ...more
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The kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard occurred on June 10, 1991, when she was 11 years old. Dugard was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. Searches began immediately after the kidnapping, but no reliable leads were generated. She remained missing for more than 18 years.

On August 25, 2009, convicted sex offender Phillip Craig Garrido visited the c
...more
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“I learned in therapy the word "No" is a complete sentence.” 132 likes
“I don't believe in hate. To me it wastes too much time. People who hate waste so much of their life hating that they miss out on all the other stuff out here.” 99 likes
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