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Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  59 reviews
How does a mother cope when her twelve-year-old is suddenly abducted? What goes through the mind of a child when she is far from home, helpless to determine her own destiny? How is a family affected when the oldest child is gone for weeks, months—when they don’t know whether she is dead or alive, when they have no idea where she is?

Stolen Innocence follows the real-life t

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Paperback, 306 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by 16th Place Publishing (first published October 2003)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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Brenda
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is insane... I read the whole thinking "red flag red flag." I've never seen people as blind as this. Wow. Come on people, pull your head out. ...more
Corinna Lyons-Revello
This book was good, but as a mother myself it was the craziest story I've ever heard and at times I was just speechless at the stupidity of this girl's parents. I can understand how a little girl can be manipulated and made to believe things that a trusted family friend who she calls "uncle" tells her, but this child is taken away by this "uncle" and the parents don't call the police. Are you kidding? Granted, it was the 1970s and the world was a different place, but COME ON. I almost stopped re ...more
Carolyn  C.
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
I heard Jan Broberg tell her horrific story at a Women's Conference. She was abducted as a child by a family friend...and then brainwashed. An unbelievably bizarre and awful experience. If you have daughters...this is a must read as, like Elizabeth Smart, it can happen to anyone. As if this wasn't bad enough...her abductor showed up at the conference (outside) and nearly ran over one of the men that was there to protect her (I watched it all happen - the man was plastered on the hood of the abdu ...more
Teri
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very important book. The story of a twelve year old girl kidnapped and abused by a family friend. Her mother writes this story that gives an awareness to abuse, and shares mistakes made, hopefully to help others. This occurred in the 1970's and truly innocence to this crime contributed to mistakes made. We read this book for a book club, and were honored to have MaryAnn and Jan in attendance. Thanks to this family for sharing their experiences. ...more
h
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
The purpose and ultimate downfall of this book can be found simply in the first sentence of its description: "How does a mother cope when her twelve-year-old is suddenly abducted?" The tagline is "The Jan Broberg Story," and yet the first line isn't even about her: it is about her mother. Throughout the story, Mary Ann inserts herself needlessly into the story, making herself look concerned and as if she is doing her best. But she made countless unbelievable mistakes that ultimately scarred her ...more
Carol
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
As others have stated, the decisions made by the parents seem insane in our world today, but the early 70s was a different time, and there was little awareness or understanding of pedophiles like Berchtold--these parents had never even heard the term! Priests had not been discovered as abusers of children yet either. Children weren't under the constant watch of their "helicopter" parents. I got the book at a film festival screening of the documentary film about Jan's abduction, "Forever 'B.'" It ...more
Shaikha Alahmad
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This book made me really angry! It’s very triggering how stupid and blind they all were.
Rachel Robins
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a true story about a local woman in St. George (Jan Broberg-Felt) who was abducted and manipulated by a terrible man (who was a close friend of the family)from the time she was 12 to 16 while living in Idaho in the '70s.

I have seen Jan in local musical productions and have always admired her remarkable talent, I had no idea she has suffered something so horrible. In the book, you hear details from her mother and Jan herself about how something so terrible happened. They were so native t
...more
Marissa
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's been awhile since I've hate-read my way through a book, but I sure did with this one. I finally got around to watching the very effed up "Abducted in Plain Sight" doc on Netflix recently, and thought maybe this book would have more light to shed on how this family allowed all this to happen. Instead, it reads like the diary of a narcissistic mother (seriously, Mary Ann, it's called the JAN Broberg Story), who was either incredibly naive and/or incredibly stupid. I noticed she leaves a lot o ...more
MaKayle
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eye opening story that needs to be shared! So much has changed since this time that we’re all not quite as naive but still more awareness needs to be brought to these kind of things. 3 out of 4 kids will be sexually abused in their lifetime. Most likely by someone they know. Take the needed precautions to protect your kids! And keep an open line of communication so if something does happen you’ll know. I met Jan and her dad at my work and was blown away by their story. Such an incredible family!
Lisa Shepherd
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this after watching Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix. It has more details in some areas and less in others. This book reveals so much about sexual abuse and perpetrators—it's validating for those who have suffered sexual abuse and all of the psychological and emotional trauma that goes along with it, and provides valuable insight for those with children to protect. (Warning: though she doesn't go into much detail about the actual sexual abuse, this book has plenty of triggers.)
It's sad
...more
Josi
Apr 20, 2008 rated it liked it
This is the true story about a young girl who is kidnapped by a family friend. The man psychologically manipulates her for years after the event as she feels a dependence on him. This is a true story, which makes it all the more powerful and so sad, and it's written by both the girl and the mother, showing both of their thoughts and feelings as events occurred. The writing was hard for me, it reads choppy and contradictory sometimes, I wish they had hired a really good editor or even a ghostwrit ...more
Camille Sylvester
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring story of family strength and healing, and an eye-opening story about the naivete of American families and law enforcement about kidnapping in our not-too-distant past. I think the most important parts of the book are the foreword and afterword in which the judge straightforwardly addresses the way the Brobergs, a loving, religious, perfect family, did absolutely everything wrong in handling their daughter's multiple kidnappings and brainwashing. Mary Ann is also self-aware enough to ...more
Karla
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
DO NOT buy this book. This the mother's story -- and it is just her seeking fame. The parents were not "naive" or "ignorant" -- they were culpable. Both the mom and the dad had sexual relationships with the pedophile. They sacrificed their 9 year old child to get what they wanted. People keep saying "it was a different time" -- I am the same age as Jan, and even then -- married men knew not to have sex with other men, and married women knew not to have sex with other men. The parents weren't "gr ...more
Tonya
Jun 17, 2009 rated it liked it
At times I was dumbfounded at how unbelievable this story is, and how utterly stupid this family was to allow this to happen. After completing the book, I realized that it does take place in the 70's, in a place where people are often much more gullible and naive than in other places. I came to the conclusion that it's a good lesson for people to learn about trusting others and discounting the unthinkable. I'm allowing my teenage daughter to read it, after much thought and consideration, because ...more
Carolyn
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Amazing story. I met the author and discussed her life with her. I cannot believe that everything in this book actually REALLY happened to her. This book makes me thankful that the topic of child molestation is so much more talked about today than 30 years ago. As mothers today, we know much more of how to protect our children than the mothers of the past. We are more aware of the dangers, and we know that when we see a red flag, and something doesn't feel right, we SHOULD NOT IGNORE IT! I alway ...more
London Hainsworth
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jan's story is incredible. She was kidnapped twice as a teenager by the same man who only spent a few days in jail for it. He brainwashed her, took her abroad, and made her hate her own family. This story will make you want to rip your own hair out at the innocence of the 1970s and make you wonder how on earth this man got away with it. ...more
Cherie
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This story is disturbing in many ways.
Shalanna
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book after watching the documentary, Abducted in Plain Sight. I had to buy the book on Amazon, as my local library did not carry it. I don't usually purchase books, but I was curious after seeing the documentary. I should note that the book was written years prior to the release of the documentary. The book isn't as candid about what actually happened as the documentary is, and seemed more like it was used to justify the ignorant parents actions. Perhaps the mother decided her b ...more
Jacquelyn Stevenson
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a heart wrenching, jaw dropping, confusing, and empowering book. The story is told from the mother’s perspective about the horrific kidnapping of their daughter and all the circumstances and events that went along with all of it. The events that transpired are hard to read and fathom but are necessary for all parents to read in hopes of preventing these events from happening to their children. What makes this book empowering is that readers can get first hand experience of common ta ...more
McKenna Quandt
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Oh my lanta. I read and watch a lot of true crime but this was a whole different level, I had to put it down several times because it was so hard to read. That being said it is a powerful story that needs to be told. Gave it 4 stars because the writing quality is not the greatest, written by the mother not a professional writer.
Brittany Taggart
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a quick read. It is “Abducted in Plain Sight” in book form. The story itself is sickening and horrifying and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. It is essentially reading somebody’s trauma narrative.
Jan S
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Garbage book from a horrible mother trying to monetize decades of disgusting choices and behavior. Who tries to make money on this crap? The Broberg parents exhibit just as much mental illness as the predator and they want money out of it. Sick, sick people.
Alex
Apr 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
grace rivera
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
i kinda like it but made me mad with so many thing parents did wrong
Selene
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a hard book to rate as this was a true story of a young girls life.
Jennifer
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I watched the movie. I have now read the book. I'm still baffled by the ignorance of the parents. That being said, the book did lend some insight about the parents, that the movie did not. ...more
Anne
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
So glad when I finished this book!
Linda Griffin
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting story, but awkwardly written and poorly edited.
Danielle
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This a sad story with an apt title. I feel so bad for the little girl that was the focus of the tale. Knowing that it’s true makes it all worse.
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