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A Stolen Life

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  103,167 ratings  ·  8,113 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
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Simon Schuster (first published July 11th 2011)
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Bon Tom That's survival mode talking, that's all. Imagine what would happen if she didn't believe that. Also, it's America. When did you hear last time victi…more That's survival mode talking, that's all. Imagine what would happen if she didn't believe that. Also, it's America. When did you hear last time victim said "I hate motherfucker and I hope he rot in hell" in front of the camera or in a book. I'm reading tons of these documentaries and it seems it's obligatory to sound positive, otherwise, I guess, publishers assume it wouldn't sell. It's all smiles and bleached teeth, show must go on. The other comments to your question are just the proof. People are messing up their panties from how "positive" she is. (less)
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 co…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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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.

Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
If nothing else, this book definitely shows the power of hope, gratitude, and the healing power of animals.

In her own words, Jaycee Dugard recounts her life, her abduction, her abuse, and her eventual freedom from the prison of a disgusting backyard and her own fears of the world beyond it.

I read this in one sitting and was fairly enthralled throughout. Dugard has a very distinct way of writing. Very stream of consciousness, almost rambling in some ways...and almost poetic and yet cuttingly con
Huma Rashid
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Eva Marie
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
Although written by a woman with limited education due to her eighteen years in captivity after a terrifying abduction aged just eleven, this an intriguing memoir covering the years of her confinement and her re introduction into society.

For a book covering such a long period of time I was surprised this book wasn't longer, but having said that I enjoyed - for want of a better phrase - the book and thought it was generally well told.

A follow up to this memoir would be welcomed to find out more
Jul 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 02, 2014 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
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
It's amazing how one person can be kept captive for 18 years and not a single soul even suspects anything amiss. This book is Jaycee Dugard's story of her life in captivity. The story telling is simplistic in keeping with the fact that she never got a chance to complete her school education. The book could have done with some editing if only to make the sentence structure better and more readable. The middle of the book is full of journal entries written by Jaycee during her captivity and some o ...more
Kris Marasca
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 maintain ...more
Doug Bradshaw
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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'
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Bethan Watson
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Lorel Holt
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the most heart wrenching story. Jaycee went through some horrible stuff for 18 years! This was such a hard read but I so recommend it. I’m so glad her story is being told. Just a trigger warning there is rape of a minor in this book.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Ashley Daviau
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolutely brutal emotional roller coaster. I knew it would be gut wrenching even before starting it, but I still wasn't prepared for it in the slightest. I felt sick to my stomach the whole way through, the thought of someone going through something so horrific is just heartbreaking and unimaginable. I actually had to put it down at some points because it was just too overwhelming and I needed time to process my thoughts. This book will definitely haunt me for awhile. ...more
Jul 25, 2011 added it
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
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 c
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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

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