Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Little Prisoner” as Want to Read:
The Little Prisoner
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Little Prisoner

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,654 ratings  ·  171 reviews
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
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published January 17th 2005 by Element
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
A Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerDear Teddy by J.D.  StockholmPhenomena by Susan TarrTelling Teddy by J.D.  StockholmStupid Boy by J.D.  Stockholm
True Story Child Abuse Books
11th out of 146 books — 226 voters
A Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerWhen Rabbit Howls by Truddi ChaseWhat's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective ... by Martha Char LoveA House Without Windows by Stevie TurnerThe Color Purple by Alice Walker
Trauma And Dissociation
144th out of 191 books — 51 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
♥ 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
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
Honestly, this book didn't make me sad or cry.


It pissed me off to no end.


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
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...

"’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
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} Winchesterღ
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
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.
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
This was very eye opening. I wanted to put it away and not open it again so many times because it got hard but I read through it. My sister sat down with me and we read together in silence. It was a very good book tho
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Ahmed Shaltoot
In Harper Lee's novel "To kill a Mockingbird" once wrote "Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird". But what about abusing a child? Is not abusing a child deserve severe punishment?
Frankly, I tried my best to finish this book as fast as possible since it depressed me knowing the details of her miserable life. Literally, I could not live her life for a couple of hours.
Now I am trying to imagine how strong she is. Living this wretched life for 17 years since she was 4, keeping it a secret for al
Meagan Houle
Chilling. This book may not be the most horrific (I'm looking at you, "A Child Called It"), but it had an authenticity that makes it even more painful to read. If this abuse didn't really happen--as is so common with memoirs like these--then I'll have been fooled. The sexual abuse, degradation, and physical violence this brave woman has endured are so beyond what I can imagine that I found it emotionally draining to get through this book. It seemed that she couldn't catch a break. While I apprec ...more
Christine Fay
To say that reading this book was easy would be to tell a lie. Even though it only took me two sittings to finish it, it was probably the hardest book to read for me. I kept re-reading parts, just getting sick to my stomach over the awful sexual abuse that Janey had to endure under the control of her domineering, evil stepfather. Jane was unsure of exactly how much her mother was aware of when it came to the abuse. After all, “Family life provides so many little opportunities for grown ups to in ...more
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 this book, ...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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Rebecca  Porter
I read this book in just a few hours because I could not put it down. I had to see the story through and know that Jane's tormentor received the justice he so badly deserved. I could not have gotten a wink of sleep tonight had I not known the outcome. What she suffered through, not only as a child but through her whole life, just begged belief. I ached for her as I read her story and tears came to my eyes many times. I wish her all the best and hope she's happy now. She deserves that so much.
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
Lauren Jackman
Read this book very quickly

found it harrowing and lefted me feeling distressed . Writing was dis-jointed and did not always flow very well . There were sections of her life that were skimmed over and needed to go into more detail .

I hope ' silly Git' gets what he deserves and he never gets his freedom given to him

to the author I hope you are able to find peace in your life and enjoy the simple things in life .
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Incredible & Heart breaking 2 10 Nov 26, 2013 06:29PM  
  • Deliver Me from Evil: A Sadistic Foster Mother, a Childhood Torn Apart
  • Behind Closed Doors: A True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Survival Against the Odds
  • Broken
  • Please, Daddy, No
  • Abandoned
  • Street Kid
  • Daddy's Little Earner: A Heartbreaking True Story Of A Brave Little Girl's Escape From Violence
  • Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You
  • Don't Tell Mummy: A True Story of the Ultimate Betrayal
  • Mummy Knew
  • Childhood Interrupted
  • Don't Ever Tell: Kathy's Story: A True Tale of a Childhood Destroyed by Neglect and Fear
  • Scarred
  • Cry Silent Tears: The Heartbreaking Survival Story of a Small Mute Boy Who Overcame Unbearable Suffering and Found His Voice Again
  • Betrayed
  • Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted
  • Unbeaten
  • Punished
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Jane Elliott...
Mummy's Little Girl: A Desperate Race To Save A Lost Child Sadie Children's Encyclopedia Using Narrative In Social Research:  Qualitative And Quantitative Approaches The Super Body Fun Fair (Sunshine Books)

Share This Book

“If you have been a slave all your life, used to being ordered about and abused from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, it’s impossible to adjust to normal life overnight. I had never been free to make my own decisions before and had no idea how to do it. I was like a bird that has been bred in captivity suddenly being released into the wild: I fell apart.” 0 likes
More quotes…