Janice’s Review Blog

Memoir reveals abducted child’s ordeal

Posted on: October 1, 2011

On Monday, June 10, 1991, Jaycee Lee Dugard’s life changed when Phillip and Nancy Garrido abducted the 11-year-old girl as she walked to the school bus stop. For the next 18 years, Dugard remained with her captors and gave birth to two daughters in the compound behind the Garrido’s house.

Jaycee Dugard writes "A Stolen Life: A Memoir."
Jaycee Dugard writes “A Stolen Life: A Memoir.”

In “A Stolen Life: A Memoir,” Dugard describes in vivid detail the horrors she endured after her abduction from the numerous, forced sexual encounters with Phillip Garrido to the way she lived in various buildings and a tent in the backyard. She tells what she did to survive and how eventually when she went out in public with the Garridos, she never told anyone who she was and why. 

Through the years, Dugard never forgot her mom, younger sister, aunt or close friends. She determinedly hung onto her memories, learned how to endure the sexual and mental abuse from her captors, took solace in various animals that came to stay  at the compound and raised her daughters. Dugard survived with her daughters until Aug. 26, 2009 when a strange turn of events finally gave Dugard and her daughters their freedom from their captors.

Dugard says living in the outside world sometimes scares her. She writes, “I was raised to always be polite to my elders. In most cases that is right, but there are moments in which all of us need to have a backbone and feel that we have the right to say no to adults if we believe they are doing the wrong thing.”

After Dugard’s discovery, many people helped her and her daughters readjust to the outside world and kept them safe from the prying media. Although Dugard went through a harrowing experience, she feels fortunate. She set up the JAYC Foundation, to which she donates some of her book proceeds, to provide support “of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences…. Our motto is Just Ask Yourself to…Care!”

Jaycee Duard wrote an excellent book of her kidnapping and her life with her abductors as well as her discovery and reinstatement back into the outside world. At times, the book is difficult to read, but her honesty and bravery in committing her ordeal to paper makes it an excellent read.

Photo by Janice Semmel

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