About My Book Reviews

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

Title: A Stolen Life

Author: Jaycee Dugard

Published: 2011

Genre: Memoir

Grade Level: Adult

-Trigger Warning: Sexual assault of a minor

-Movie Rating: R


Blurb (from goodreads): 

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. During her time in captivity, at the age of fourteen and seventeen, she gave birth to two daughters, both fathered by Garrido.

Dugard's memoir is written by the 30-year-old herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991 up until the present. In her stark, utterly honest and unflinching narrative, Jaycee opens up about what she experienced, including how she feels now, a year after being found. Garrido and his wife Nancy have since pleaded guilty to their crimes.

Disclaimer: My review of this memoir is not in any way a reflection upon the author or their life. I am a book reviewer, I review books… not people.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Good

The structure of Dugard’s sentences were all rather simple, which made for a very fast read, but I can only imagine how much better her prose would have been if her education hadn’t stopped around the 7th grade. Despite her circumstances, she wrote a well-organized, engaging, and emotionally raw memoir. 


Characters: Fully Developed

I did want more physical descriptions (of everyone) throughout the novel, especially how they might have changed over the span of 18 years. 

Instead, Dugard focused most of her attention on how her mental and emotional well-being was impacted by the unusual events of her life, which I found riveting. Even though unspeakable horrors had happened to her, she still maintained an incredible amount of empathy (especially towards the animal kingdom). I only wish the best for her and her daughters now that they are free. 


Plot: Absolute Page-Turner

The ending is obvious from the outset. Of course she escapes captivity in order for her to publish a book, that’s not the interesting part of the novel. “A Stolen Life” is not another news story, it’s Dugard’s personal account of everything that happened to her, that’s the interesting part. 


Overall: Obsessed

I am trash for these kinds of novels because they are proof of the indelible strength of the human spirit. Sometimes these stories just help me make it through another day of my normal life with normal struggles. For anyone looking for a little hope and a little gratitude for their normal life, I would recommend this novel. 


Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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