Â â€œI want to go on and I will finish it â€¦â€
These are the brave words of Jaycee Dugard, the 11-year old girl who was abducted and abused for 18 years in South Lake Tahoe, USA. She tells all in her book, â€œA Stolen Life,â€ which was published in the middle of 2011 â€“ two years after she was rescued. She may talk about loneliness, fear, and uncertainty all throughout the book, but these words best represent her thoughts and attitude that made her survive all those years.
Someone who thought I might want to read it sent me a copy of this book. When I scanned the book and saw the photos, I remembered I came across her story in a real-life crime show on TV. But even if I already knew how her kidnapping story went, it didnâ€™t prepare me for what I read in the book.
â€œI do not want comfort from this awful man, but there is no one else here and I reluctantly lean into what comfort he givesâ€¦ Now I feel like a rabbit being comforted by a lion. I am so scared.â€
Dugard wrote with raw emotions and words that I donâ€™t recommend the book for the faint of heart. She told parts of her ordeal in graphic detail that made it a chilling piece. What made it even more disturbing was that I knew it happened in real life.
I liked how she disclosed everything that was running through her mind from the time she was snatched by Phillip Garrido while she was walking to the bus stop. Her comparison of her family to Phillip and his wife, Nancy, made me feel her confusion, loneliness, regrets, and fears in her life. For me, this contributed a lot in making her account a powerful one. It also made the whole story even more real.
â€œMaybe if I go to sleep, then when I wake up I will be in my own bed and this will be just a bad dream.â€
Whenever something bad happens to me, I also have these same thoughts going through my head. The words Dugard used in the book were so simple but direct that you can relate to many of the things she said, whether youâ€™ve been a victim of someone elseâ€™s cruelty or not.
â€œLife is too short to think about all the things you donâ€™t have.â€
The book is filled with so much darkness that enveloped Dugardâ€™s life even from the time prior to her abduction. But it is this very darkness that makes the redemption, hope, and spirit in Dugard shine all the more as you read the book further.
Her â€œReflectionâ€ after every chapter of the kidnapping account is a clever touch for a detailed story like hers. It gives more feelings and wisdom about everything that happened to her. It explains, puts the details in perspective, and, at times, makes her story even heavier, particularly when she talks about her family and friends.
Youâ€™ll find a lot of reminders about surviving the heartaches and hardships in life in this book. And one of those reminders that I liked best is this: â€œI donâ€™t believe in hate. To me it wastes too much time. People who hate waste so much of their life hating that they miss out on all the other stuff out hereâ€¦ If all my heart was filled up with hate and regrets and what ifs, then what else would it have room for?â€
â€œWrite a best sellerâ€
This was in her March 26, 2008 journal entry entitled â€œMy Dreams for the Future.â€ In July 12, 2011, â€œA Stolen Life: A Memoirâ€ was on its first day of sales and already sold 175,000 copies. The book made it to the various lists of best sellers, including that of the New York Times.
As Iâ€™ve mentioned earlier, Jaycee Dugard’s account of her 18 years of captivity contains some disturbing details and may be quite heavy for some. But her book is an excellent read for those whoâ€™d like to know how someone can turn from victim to victor.