The Little Prisoner
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The Little Prisoner

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,921 ratings  ·  144 reviews
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Hardcover, 267 pages
Published January 17th 2005 by Element
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A Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerPhenomena by Susan TarrDon't Tell Mummy by Toni MaguireDamaged by Cathy GlassMummy Knew by Lisa James
True Story Child Abuse Books
7th out of 86 books — 145 voters
A Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerWhen Rabbit Howls by Truddi ChaseWhat's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective ... by Martha Char LoveThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Body Remembers by Babette Rothschild
TraumaAndDissociation
99th out of 140 books — 27 voters


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Community Reviews

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♥ Marlene♥
This was a very hard book for me to read. At first I did not really understand why she let him do that to her even when she was an adult but then I started thinking of her family. Real white trash. They terrorized the neighborhood and everyone was scared of them.
We have families like that in The Netherlands too and people do not dare to complain cause they know they will be punished for it later.
What annoyed me mostly was that the mom got off free. No punishment at all while in truth it was mai...more
Lissa
Oct 23, 2011 Lissa added it
How is anyone supposed to rate a book like this?

It was an amazing book. So powerful, and incredibly emotional. It helped me personally, too, for reasons I won't go into it. But I did not like it. I can not bring myself to like it. There is not much to like, and the terrifying thing is that it's a true story.

When I say there is not much to like, I mean the writing itself is fine, it's the memories that are horrible.

Yet I think it is one of those memoirs that a lot of people need to read. Especial...more
Talyn
Honestly, this book didn't make me sad or cry.

Instead.

It pissed me off to no end.

RICHARD YOU BASTARD!!

Urgh! He was a complete asshole to everyone and everyTHING around him. People like him should be tranquilized and put in a cage because they're nothing but belligerent pests to society.

He was a manipulative, sociopathic, sadistic, domineering, jealous, pedophilic, predatory, abusive, violent, belligerent, evil creature that I'm surprised was spawned from a mortal's womb.

The whole time I was rea...more
Ruth Turner
In A Note from the Author, Jane says that she initially wanted to write this book in the hope of inspiring other abused children to speak out and end the cycle of abuse.

And then, about six paragraphs later, this...

"...it’s surprising how quickly we both got used to having a number one hit and started to feel disappointed when it got knocked down to number two or three!"

I should have stopped reading then.

I found the writing flat and emotionless, which made the characters flat and emotionless. It...more
Megan Bodwell
What a heartbreaking story. It is horrifying to think what some people will do to children. The pain, both physical and emotional, inflicted on young Jane Elliot is beyond comprehension. One would not begrudge her a pity party and a lifetime of depression. However, Elliot shows a courage that is both admirable and humbling. It is always an eye-opening experience to read of such bravery and a good outcome coming out of such a horrid situation. As an adult, I can't believe that so many people refu...more
ღSophia {In the TARDIS} Valdezღ
This book was extremely good, just in case you didn't know, this book is based on a REAL life story but the NAMES have been CHANGED so their identities are hidden. This book is basically about a girl, since the age of four who has been told to "please" her step-father in more ways than one, and her family do nothing about it. In fact, by the end of the book they all hate her and try to kill her, even her cousin Tom who says that he loved her a week before. This is heart breaking to think that so...more
Fatuma
Review ex-posted on my blog on Aug. 3, 2008:

I've recently read the SADDEST book of ALL time! You don't believe me? CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF, THEN!

The book responsible for aggressively pulling at my heart strings is titled THE LITTLE PRISONER. It comes out in August, but I was able to get an advanced copy because I'm a intern at HARPERCOLLINS, who are the publishers of the book.

This book is a written memoir of the horrors a woman went through for 17 years of her life. It traces the life of a girl wh...more
Patricia
This was a book club selection; it spent a lot of time on the best seller list. One book club member said it was a truly awful read, a second refused to read it.

It is an easy read, like maybe three hours, easy to read in terms of quickness. It is hard to read in terms of content and style. The author is unlikable. Her story is awful, a story of abuse, physical, emotional and sexual, at the hands of her stepfather.

In my head, I know that kind of abuse does terrible things to a person, and proba...more
Melissa (ladybug)
Hard to rate a book like this. Ever since she was 4 years old, Jane has been abused by her stepfather. This book was raw and heartbreaking. I am upset with how even the community didn't help her. I found myself not being able to stop reading, crying for the little girl and cheering for the grown woman who has done everything she can to put her life back together again.
Ashleigh
3.5 stars.

Poorly written and left me with more questions than answers. If you want a good child abuse book, with a heart warming end, I'd suggest you pick up a copy of "Punished" by Vanessa Steel. That is by far one of the best books of it's nature I've read, nothing has yet compared. Don't waste your time with this.
Melissa McLees
Mar 10, 2014 Melissa McLees rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is in an abusive situation
This book was interesting in the parts to where it opened the doors to show how some children to whose mom's boyfriend was abusive to the daughters in the co-existing relationships. The mother was not in her right mind because if she had been, the signs of abuse by the boyfriend would have been visiable to her. I do not like it that the mom did not protect her child(ren) in the way that she should have done. I also did not like the fact that when Jane came forward with the truth of the situation...more
Valarie
A very powerful story of a child's triumph, but clearly written by an amateur. That isn't the author's fault, of course - she is incredibly brave for sharing her story - but the publishers should have hooked her up with a ghostwriter or co-writer to make the book more professional.
Claire
Nov 07, 2008 Claire added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Claire by: Jan (beadyjan)
I haven't read a book so quick in a while! This book cannot be judged, so I have not given it a star rating. It is written by a 'normal' person, not a professional author. A very sad story telling of her battles for freedom & justice.
Sara Weinhold
Although I continuously prayed for the end, I was unable to put it down. Her story is one that I wish no one had to write. No prison sentence could be long enough for her abuser.
Jodie
I would have gave it 5 stars but I couldn't because of what the book was about.

it took me a ling time to read this as I had to keep putting it down as I would get emotional and sometimes cry.

this book did hit me at a personal level and is the first book that made me realise how the abuse can carry on even when your an adult.

although it took me months to read things that happend stuck with me for a long time. It is very well written but if you have never read a book like this before I wouldn't...more
Maria
It� s hard to imagine that the kind of evil described in � The Little Prisoner� happens, but tragically, it does happen. After reading this book, I thought I should wait a few days to write this review until shock of Jane Elliott� s story wore off. Then I realized I am still in shock after reading � A Child Called It� so many years ago, and believe the shock of this story will never wear off just as the shock from the Pelzer books will never wear off. Anyone working with children should read thi...more
Kendra saunders
Apr 10, 2013 Kendra saunders rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any who are brave enough to tackle a heart wrenching story
Recommended to Kendra by: A friend
Do not read this if you cannot handle HEARTBREAK! It is a terribly sad story in which some people may have found had a happy enough ending. I do not agree, I feel that this poor woman has been robbed her entire life, not just the seventeen years she was abused. No punishment that anyone could ever think of for the monster who caused the abuse, will ever make up for the pain she has had to endure. I will never forget this heart wrenching story that will possibly give me nightmares but for which I...more
msKAHSHIN
The Little Prisoner is the book that i have the interest to read on and have been looking forward to the ending.

Jane's parentes had divorce when she was young and her mother married to another man and gave birth to three sons. Richard, the stepfather wanted to have his own daughter but unfortunately he does not have.

at the age of 4, Jane was treated as a slave of her stepfather, Richard. she was bullied and sexually abused by her stepfather and all these continue for 17 years even until she had...more
Janette Ozoa
It's difficult to find the right words to describe the impact of books like this one. Sadness, for sure, that this ever happened and still does happen to people. Pride, perhaps, that "Jane" plucked up the courage to come forward. A combination of confusion, anger, and sadness that her relatives came together and not only stood behind Richard but also physically attacked Jane for speaking up.

I think one of the most important lessons to take from this book is a deeper understanding of victims' sta...more
Andrea
I'm not entirely sure how to rate this novel. The writing was a little disjointed, which I found a little disconcerting, but I understand this is due to the mixed up nature of the author's memories. I don't want to rate it any higher than 3 stars because I did not enjoy this book. It wasn't anything to do with the writing, but the subject matter; it was hard to read. The author writes in the prologue that she 'suspects that the audiences for books like The Little Prisoner fall into two categorie...more
Mindee
When Jane Elliott was four years old, the nightmare began. She became the helpless victim of a sociopath—bullied, dominated, and sexually abused by a man only fourteen years her senior: her stepfather. For nearly two decades she was held prisoner, both physically and emotionally. But at the age of twenty-one she escaped . . . and then she fought back.

The Little Prisoner is the shocking, astonishing, and ultimately uplifting true story of one woman's shattering twenty-year ordeal—and how she triu...more
Khulood
I'll post the review for this book from my blog:

The little prisoner by Jane Elliot is a true story of a girl who was sexually abused by her stepfather for 17 years.

Jane’s nightmares started when her stepfather showed her how much he hate her & treated her as a slave, beating & shouting on her all hte time.Then the nightmares became worse when he started to have six with her.

Jane kept this horrible secret & didn’t tell any one about it because her stepfather was threatening her all th...more
Georgina Ball
Fantastic, well written book! Heart wrenching, sick tale of a young girl and her life long mental, physical and sexual abuse. It's hard to read because of the terrors it talks about, it's sad and sickening. However you are spurred on to read to the end as you know the main character, Jane, has survived and has broken free of her abuser and become strong enough to write this book. So throughout reading the book you are well aware there is a happy ending which makes you read on. It's also very sad...more
Selkie
Not having read Pelzer's books, the only thing I have read to compare with reading this book is Jennings Michael Burch's "They Cage the Animals at Night".
Is difficult to believe that one that suffered every form of abuse (verbal, mental, physical, & sexual) to such a degree could survive for so long.
All forms of child abuse are horrible, & made worse when the other parent, relatives, or neighbors, turn a blind eye. That her stepfather held such fear & control over not only the fami...more
Katrina
Wow... This book was hard to read. The abuse this woman suffered at the hands of her stepfather is probably one of the worst cases I've ever heard about. I can't imagine the pain she went through and is still going through. It bothered me a little that it's written under a pen name. It bothered me because I feel if she wanted to punish him even more and make the world (this case takes place in the United Kingdom. It doesn't specify where and it's one of my complaints about the book because I did...more
Love
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aliya
May 18, 2014 Aliya rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, victims of abuse
Shelves: makes-you-mad
Unimaginable. The author's right - someone who's grown up in a safe, protected, loving environment finds it very difficult to believe such a world can exist/ exists. I can't give this book a 5, 'cause how can you say the book was amazing? I mean the bravery of the author is amazing, but most of the other things that she had to go through were downright crappy! So, yes, for the author's bravery- a 5.
Esmie
Janey, poor poor Janey. She tells her story properly and this book is amazing coming from such a strong woman. It's a must read especially for those too naive to see that there are some people who prey on people because they want power and control as well as enjoy their fear and loathing.
Sherry
May 05, 2013 Sherry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Sherry by: no one
This was an amazing, but sad book, but it ended great. Jane is very brave and should be commended on how she came out after such a horrible life. Her step-father and mother should be shot for their behavior and so should her brothers and sisters. IT is horrbile for a child to find out when they are an adult that the people that were in their lives new about what was happening to the child and did nothing to stop it because they were "afraid" of the peratrator is a double whammy and it makes it h...more
Sabrina Stobbs
Very sad and another one that made me cry a lot.

The reason I read books like this is to bring it home that there are people who have lived worse than me and came out the other side!

This was sad but gripping and if you are into books of this nature I would recommend it as one of the best in its category!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
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