Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings” as Want to Read:
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  15,609 Ratings  ·  1,888 Reviews
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.

Barely out of her own tumultuou
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Weinstein Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
32nd out of 671 books — 991 voters
I Am Malala by Malala YousafzaiUnbroken by Laura HillenbrandFinding Me by Michelle KnightFlash Boys by Michael LewisA Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren
NY Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers 2014
3rd out of 82 books — 173 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Although I read this book I will be refraining from giving it a rating simply because I don't believe in judging a story like this one in 'stars' for how much I 'liked' it.

All I will say is that my heart broke a thousand times over for all four girls and much like Jaycee Dugard and Amanda Lindhout, their stories won't be leaving me.

May 20, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, true-crime
This is a horrifying memoir. Michelle Knight had a traumatic childhood that included abuse, neglect and molestation, and she ran away from home when she was 15, during which time she slept under a bridge and briefly worked for a drug dealer. In 2002, when she was 21, she was kidnapped by a Cleveland bus driver named Ariel Castro and then held captive in his house for almost 11 years. While she was imprisoned, she was frequently raped, beaten, starved and abused.

During those hellish years, Castro
Dana Burgess
May 23, 2014 Dana Burgess rated it it was amazing
I was hesitant to pick this book up. I didn't really want to know what happened to any of the women in Ariel Castro's (hereafter referred to as 'the dude') prison. I wasn't after some sensational, disgusting account of abuse and slavery. The deciding factor for me was seeing an interview with author Michelle Knight. What a feisty, down to earth woman! So it was with trepidation I turned to the first page. Michelle starts her story from the beginning - her beginning. We are introduced to a little ...more
Diane Yannick
Rating this memoir would be like grading birds for the technical proficiency of their songs. Michelle Knight shared her heart and soul with us. Her story is authentic yet imperfect in its delivery. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Kudos to her cowriter Michelle Burford for allowing Knight's voice to tell the story in her own way. I close the book with nothing but admiration for her personal courage and daily strength in the face of unspeakable evil.

Before reading this book, I didn't know
Sep 13, 2016 Eve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I’ve honestly been avoiding reviewing this book since I finished reading it. I didn’t find the subject matter too heavy (at least for me) or find that it was poorly written. However, I did struggle to connect with the author and as a result to the events.

Knight made headlines in 2013 when she and two other women were rescued from a residential home where they’d been imprisoned for over 10 years. Abducted at the age of twenty-one outside of a Family Dollar store only a few blocks from her home, M
Deanna Evans
May 11, 2014 Deanna Evans rated it it was amazing
The 5 stars are not because I enjoyed the book. The 5 stars is because someone can go through so much pain and suffering and come out with such a positive attitude.

This book was very hard to read because it's so hard to imagine someone actually living through this hell on earth. I have no words.
May 08, 2014 Shani rated it it was amazing
Although this was very disturbing to read, I have to give the author 5 stars for the courage to publicly speak of her ordeal. I hope this book gives her much help on the road to finding herself.
Jul 21, 2016 Cathy rated it it was amazing
A truly disturbing story, written by a most courageous and amazingly strong young woman who was held captive in Cleveland along with 2 other girls for 11 years by a disgusting and depraved individual. This was compelling and disturbing at the same time- can't believe that she made it and I wish her and the others nothing but the best, and most of all, some long overdue happiness in her life.
Nov 05, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Loving and studying everything criminology, this memoir just blew my mind completely out of the water.
To say Michelle Knight's story impacted me significantly is an understatement.
I have been intrigued with the Ariel Castro Kidnappings since their escape in 2013. When I heard that one of the victims had written a memoir I could not resist reading.

This memoir took me two days to finish. Not because I was not enjoying it but because at some points of the novel I actually had to close the book,
Wendy Darling
Astonishing. After reading Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, I was curious why the third victim featured in it so little, although all of the girls seem to be on good terms and wish each other well. In reading this, it's clear that the perpetrator's first victim had already suffered so much before she ever even got into the car with Ariel Castro (bitter poverty, abuse, homelessness, having her son taken by CPS), and that she was isolated from the other girls and treated very differently. ...more
Alretha Thomas
Jun 12, 2014 Alretha Thomas rated it it was amazing
God in the Midst of Garbage and Gore

Yesterday I downloaded a copy of Michelle Knight’s book, “Finding Me.” It’s a harrowing account of the eleven years she, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus were held captive by Ariel Castro. Although Amanda and Gina are mentioned, the story is Michelle’s story and told from her point of view. Like most Americans, I was riveted to the screen when news broke about the kidnappings and Amanda’s escape that led to Michelle and Gina being rescued. A resident of Californ
Julie Smith
May 18, 2014 Julie Smith rated it it was amazing
I gave this book a high rating, not because it was a great literary work or because it was such a good story, but because Michelle Knight was an incredible young woman. This was a horrible story and at times a very difficult book to read and yet as in the stories of Louis Zamperini (Unbroken), and Amanda Lindhout, (A House in the Sky), Michelle showed amazing fortitude, hope, courage, love and forgiveness. I would like to think I could survive great hardship if need be, yet I know at my best I c ...more
April (The Steadfast Reader)
First posted on The Steadfast Reader.

Ms. Knight is an exceptional and brave woman. The trauma that she has experienced both in Castro's 'house of horrors' and before her abduction are things that no one should ever have to go through. Her dedication and love for her son are commendable.

The writing in this book does leave something to be desired. I understand that Ms. Knight was not afforded the education that many of us are fortunate enough to receive and that she has faced struggles I can't ev
Lee Cooper
Aug 20, 2015 Lee Cooper rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional true story of the strength of the human spirit. What Michelle endured from this mad and evil creature is so hard to take in. How do you keep going day after day for 11 years, being raped repeatedly every day and plagued by continous sick mind games that she had to contend with. I feel for her too as once she escaped this hell house there was no family there to give her a hug and console her, she was still on her own. The other girls had their families there to support them ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex

This was tough to read, I can only imagine the horrible reality that these three girls faced when they were kidnapped by this Monster. I UN-apologetically sobbed three times while reading and I'm in awe at how they could live through hell for ten years. There was more then one time where an observant neighbor could have intervened or would have learned something was wrong by taking a step closer. The monster in this book targeted and preyed on these two
Jun 02, 2014 Lily rated it really liked it
I was hesitant to read the graphic details of this memoir, but as Michelle unfolded her story, I was touched by the freedom she experienced in telling her story. It was heartbreaking and disturbing at the same time. The whole time I read this book, I was so angry at how this monster was able to live a double life in his twisted reality. Aside from reading how low a human being can be, it also reveals how strong the human spirit can be. Her background story is a sad story of abuse, neglect and po ...more
Nov 18, 2014 Tania rated it liked it
Every week was exactly the same as the one before it: five straight mornings of McDonald's breakfast, followed by rape. Hours of boredom from morning until afternoon.

This book was shocking and extremely sad. I can't believe that one person can have such a morbid life, and I'm not only talking about being kidnapped and being kept captived for more than 11 years, I'm also referring to her depressing childhood. I find it unthinkable that there are such sadistic and sick people out there.

All that s
Nov 11, 2014 Myrna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-ebook
An intense and heartbreaking read. I kept turning to my husband to tell him tid bits about the book because I needed to share my disbelief with someone. Michelle is courageous and an inspiration! She has been through horrific experiences (lots of them before she was kidnapped) yet feels ..."I see my life as a blessing after the terrible things I went through." Not an easy read but I loved seeing her positive attitude. Wish and hope the best for her!!!

May 15, 2014 lp rated it did not like it
It's hard to give this book any stars, because stars don't really reflect how I felt about reading it. I was encouraged to read this for a project for work, but was unable to finish. It was a double awful sandwich on thick, awful bread. Too much terrible for me to finish, honestly.

Two good parts, though:

"[When you're taking a "bath" in a church restroom] you quickly use paper towels to dry your hair and face. Then you wet more towels to wipe down the funkiest places on your body. After that you
Crystal Clary
Jun 09, 2014 Crystal Clary rated it it was amazing
Signs of a Serial Killer by Crystal ClaryCrystal Clary Dear Michelle, thank you for writing the book. Brutally honest which is important to warn other young girls. My best friend was killed by a Serial Killer. I'm thankful you and the other two girls survived to tell this story. Many people don't believe this could happen to them but we know that it can and did. Keep telling your story; maybe together we can warn this next generation about the animals that lurk in the shadows. All this knowledge can,also help the police identity and i ...more
Shruthi Mudireddy
Nov 09, 2015 Shruthi Mudireddy rated it really liked it
Oh my lord! I need to recover from what I just read! When I picked up this memoir on the Cleveland kidnappings, I was bracing myself up for an intense read, but nothing could have prepared me for what I read. Frightening, dreadful and downright horrendous! It is hard to imagine the atrocities one human can commit.
No words can describe the courage and resilience of these brave women. Michelle Knight in particular, who had the worst share of torture, is a beaming example of how resilient the huma
May 17, 2014 Mitchypoo rated it it was amazing
I admire Michelle/Lily so much and this was a really good read. I got the book Thursday evening and I was up until 2 a.m. last night to finish it. It's a page turner. It's sad, but it's also motivational, so inspiring when you see Michelle's attitude during this tragic horror story that really happened to her.

It boggles my mind that she somehow always has had this fighter's spirit all her life. Where did she find that? Certainly not from her family or from the dude. I hope she now can have a tru
Barbara Kinsky
May 26, 2014 Barbara Kinsky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auto-biographies
Next to the book by Dave Pelzer, My Story, this is THE most saddest, heart wrenching book I have read! What this woman endured and is still alive today with forgiveness in her heart, is just simply amazing!!!! I found after every chapter I wanted to sob my eyes out. It really made me be grateful for even the little things in life! Thank you, Michelle Knight. You are an inspiration to so many people.
When I first started reading Michelle's book, I knew that she suffered physical abuse at the hands of Ariel Castro, but I never knew that her childhood was just as painful. Actually, Michelle could have written an entire book about her childhood that had some of the same elements as she endured in Ariel Castro's house. I never thought I would say this, but she had a better life running away from home, and selling drugs. I don't condone selling drugs, but the home atmosphere in Sniper's house was ...more
Onur Birler
Sep 12, 2014 Onur Birler rated it liked it
Hayat gerçekten acımasız.
Bazılarına ise çok daha acımasız.

Son zamanlarda beni en fazla sarsan kitaplardan birini az önce bitirdim. Bu kadar sarsılmış olmamın sebebi kitabın bir kurgu değil, gerçek bir hayat hikayesini anlatıyor olmasından dolayı.
Ve öyle bir hikaye ki bu, en kötü düşmanınızın başına gelmesini istemeyeceğiniz türden.
Belki bir filmde izleseniz, "Çok abartmışlar," diyeceğiniz bir hikaye.
Acı, hem de çok çok acı bir hikaye...

2002 yılı.
Michelle Knight adında genç bir anne adres sor
Sep 14, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
When reading first person accounts like this I always feel a bit like a voyeur, but Knight is quick to say that, for her (definitely the most publicly visible of the three women held captive by Ariel Castro) being open about her captivity has helped her heal. Knight was held the longest (eleven years) and as per her account likely suffered the most at the hands of her captor.

Michelle Knight's troubles did not begin with Castro as she survived a horrific childhood and life as a runaway before hav
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
I received the audiobook via a Goodreads giveaway so firstly I have to say thank you for that. Secondly I want to thank Michelle for having the courage to share her story with the world. What happened to her, Amanda and Gina was truly horrific and I think it goes without saying that something like this should never happen to anyone, ever.

Maria Cabeza's reading was done very well; I doubt I could have done as good a job reading material like that. The story never seemed exceptionally graphic, alt
Nov 30, 2014 Miss rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this 5 stars not because the writing is good, it's not, but because the writer is incredible.
To have lived through 31 years of steady abuse, fear & tragedy and to embrace life? Phenomenal.
As I sat reading, in my very own home, listening to a crackling fire, smelling my dinner simmering in a slow cooker, my dog by my side, coffee in hand, I was amazed by the ease of the life I live & reminded to truly enjoy my blessings.
I pray for people the world over who are suffering & m
Lara Jean
May 06, 2014 Lara Jean rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine a more horrible life than the one Michelle had to endure. Beginning with her childhood, her life went from bad to worse to deranged and absolutely disgusting. She never had a chance at any normalcy until she was rescued a year ago. This book is written in a tone similar to Michelle's voice, but with more clarity than I have seen her produce when she speaks. I feel terrible for her and what her life was, but there is incredible determination and strength in this story and I know s ...more
Dora Santos Marques
Jun 14, 2016 Dora Santos Marques rated it it was amazing
A mimnha opinião em vídeo:

Descobri a Michelle há dois anos no "Dr. Phill" e desde então não consegui esquece-la. É uma lutadora, uma menina que passou por muita miséria e abusos a partir dos 5 anos e que mais tarde, foi raptada por Ariel Castro, onde se manteve como prisioneira durante 11 anos. Nesses 11 anos, engravidou e abortou 5 vezes (à pancada) do seu raptor e teve mais 2 companheiras que foram igualmente raptadas.
A Michelle sobreviveu para contar a história e
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book review 1 13 Sep 24, 2015 04:43PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book Cover Add 3 14 May 08, 2015 07:47AM  
Book Giveaways: Book Giveaway 1 17 Jul 21, 2014 02:24PM  
  • Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland
  • The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus
  • If I Can't Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children
  • Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story
  • Terror by Night: The True Story of the Brutal Texas Murder That Destroyed a Family, Restored One Man's Faith, and Shocked a Nation
  • Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias
  • 3,096 Days
  • Newtown: An American Tragedy
  • Silent No More: Victim 1's Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky
  • Stronger
  • Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor
  • Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka: The True Story of the Ken and Barbie Killers (Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation, # 3)
  • Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six
  • Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir
  • Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars
  • Everybody's Got Something
  • Murder myself, Murder I am.
  • Restless Souls: The Sharon Tate Family's Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro at the age of 21. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run ...more
More about Michelle Knight...

Share This Book

“Yes, I made it through one of the most terrible experiences that can happen to a human being, but most of all, my story is about hope. I might have been chained, starved, and beaten, yet that monster couldn’t totally crush my spirit. Over and over I chose to get back up and keep going. Now I’m going to tell you how I did it.” 12 likes
“Every person who is lost is somebody’s child.” 10 likes
More quotes…