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Book Review: “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Lee Dugard

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Now that the Casey Anthony trial is essentially over, I have moved on to mildly obsessing over Jaycee Lee Dugard. You may or may not know that on July 12th she released a book called “A Stolen Life”, about the 18 years her kidnapper, rapist, and all-around-sicko kept her hidden in his ghetto backyard.

I don’t really remember when she went missing, because I was just a little older than her, and didn’t pay much attention to the news. I still find it so amazingly shockingly wonderful that she was found alive after so many years. And with the bonus of two healthy daughters. (Remember, no one picks their parents [in this case, father] by choice. Poor girls.) I remember when they were found, thinking, “My God. They have to get birth certificates & Social Security Numbers & get their teeth cleaned & get immunizations!!!” There are just so many things that they would be behind on. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Jaycee mentioned how she had to learn to drive from her younger sister. If no one had dragged her into a car that fateful morning, she would have already been driving for years by now.

When they found her, I will admit I sent a small amount of money to an account that had been created for donations for her. Now she has created her own foundation called “The JAYC Foundation”. I’m still a little vague on it’s purpose, but you can order cute pinecone necklaces & keychains to support it. They are slightly too pricey for me though, as the stability of my job cracks a little more everyday.

The book sold out of bookstores & wholesalers almost immediately. Four days after it went on sale, Amazon was saying it would ship in “1 to 3 weeks.” I was afraid to read it, because I thought it would be too graphic & horrible. But I also wanted to get a copy before they were all gone, so I would have the choice to read it or not. Plus, I knew my mother was interested in reading it. The things that happened to her WERE HORRIBLE. But the book is written in her own easy-going, matter-of-fact voice. Her life was lonely & miserable & filled with terrible sexual acts, but she survived it. The stories in the book are very haunting though. I found myself during the day going “did I dream about that last night”, and I would realized that I had not had a dream, but read it in Jaycee’s book.

A big thing I took away from “A Stolen Life” was to follow your gut feelings. Some people would probably call this your “vibration.” Jaycee had a bad feeling that morning and thought about staying home from school. She should have. The universe was trying to tell her something. The campus police who took notice of Phillip Garrido & looked into his background were following their instincts that something was not right. More than just that he was crazy & hearing voices. We should always follow our gut instinct. If you stay home from work or school that day, you might never realize that something awful was waiting in your path.

I heard someone say the book is selling as fast as Oprah bookclub books used to. If Oprah was still doing her daily show, I’m sure she would want to be all over this one. I think I’m glad I read the book, because now I no longer had to wonder what Jaycee’s endless days of captivity were like. And although Jaycee went through these terrible things, she still has many of the normal emotions/reactions that we would all have. It is good to realize that we are all just human beings, trying to live on this planet together. Well, except Phillip & Nancy Garrido. They are real-world monsters.

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