A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

83%

44 Critic Reviews

Her book is brave, dignified and painstakingly honest, even when it comes to the banal particulars of how she stayed afloat.
-NY Times

Synopsis

In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen.

For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.

For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.

On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived.

A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.

---

The pine cone is a symbol that represents the seed of a new beginning for me. To help facilitate new beginnings, with the support of animal-assisted therapy, the J A Y C Foundation provides support and services for the timely treatment of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences—families like my own who need to learn how to heal. In addition, the J A Y C Foundation hopes to facilitate awareness in schools about the important need to care for one another.

Our motto is “Just Ask Yourself to . . . Care!”

A portion of my proceeds from this memoir will be donated to The J A Y C Foundation Inc.

 

About Jaycee Dugard

See more books from this Author
Jaycee Dugard lives with her two daughters in California. Learn more about Jaycee Dugard and her JAYC Foundation at TheJAYCFoundation.org.
 
Published July 12, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 31 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for A Stolen Life
All: 44 | Positive: 41 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Jul 17 2011

Her book is brave, dignified and painstakingly honest, even when it comes to the banal particulars of how she stayed afloat.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Dorothy Gale on Jul 30 2011

A Stolen Life is highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn about a young girl, who is stronger than she believes, and survives almost her entire life in captivity.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Petula Dvorak on Jul 22 2011

Dugard surprises, in the end, by her lack of bitterness.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Cassandra Jardine on Jul 25 2011

What’s remarkable about this book is not the writing, which is touchingly childlike in its innocence, but the tone.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Good
Reviewed by Steve Weinberg on Jul 31 2011

It is difficult to imagine that any reviewer will discuss Dugard's memoir negatively. Here is a nonprofessional writer - kidnapped from South Lake Tahoe, at age 11, who never received formal education beyond the fifth grade - who writes well.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Weinberg on Jul 31 2011

Here is a woman who suffered 18 years of captivity by a demented, drug-abusing rapist. . . and can tell the saga believably, unflinchingly.

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The Washington Post

Good
Reviewed by Petula Dvorak on Jul 22 2011

Thislittle memoir, which shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list the day before it was released, was written plainly and simply by Dugard herself, without the help of a ghostwriter. And in that, it is powerful beyond its voyeurism.

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Macleans

Above average
Reviewed by Dafna Izenberg on Aug 11 2011

Her new memoir sheds some light. In it, Dugard is candid about the horrors she endured...She survived. How many of us would have?

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Independent.ie

Above average
Reviewed by Indo Review on Jul 23 2011

...begs the question of how she managed to write a book which, despite the occasional childlike phrase, is impressively analytical. She is clearly very bright...

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Independent.ie

Excellent
Jul 23 2011

. . .a voice that is calm, wise, mature, balanced rather than bitter, and full of the joy of being alive and being free.

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The New Republic

Excellent
Reviewed by Ruth Franklin on Jul 27 2011

Dugard’s account is paradoxically simple.

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BuffaloNews.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Anne Neville on Jul 22 2011

The book opens with an author's note that the structure of her memoir "might be confusing to some,". . .Despite Dugard's note, the book is neither jumbled nor significantly disconnected.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Jul 14 2011

I didn’t finish the book thinking she was damaged. I finished it feeling blown away by her courage.

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The Express Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Sameen Amer on Aug 30 2011

. . .the memoir gives the readers a chance to hear Jaycee’s actual voice, which is why the grammatical missteps seem almost inconsequential.

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The Hollywood Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Andy Lewis on Jul 14 2011

The prose is spare and simple, but what it lacks in polish it more than makes up for in immediacy and emotional intensity.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg on Jul 13 2011

The book is more than just a horror story with a recovery at the end -- although it is that -- because Dugard's survival shows such extraordinary fortitude.

Read Full Review of A Stolen Life | See more reviews from LA Times

Story Circle Book Reviews

Excellent
Oct 06 2011

This enduring story of survival left me amazed at the inner strength of one little girl.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Nicolette G. on Nov 26 2016

Although distressing to read, this marvelously written story can easily bring tears to the eyes of any reader. A Stolen Life contains heartbreak, suspense, and joy all in one incredible story.

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Luxury Reading

Above average
Reviewed by Joanne Reynolds on Sep 27 2012

...how courageous and generous of her to write a story to help us understand the pain and heartache she and her family have been through, and to perhaps help other young girls. A Stolen Life is must read for Jaycee’s sake.

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All the Books I Can Read

Good
Reviewed by 1GIRL2MANYBOOKS on Aug 17 2011

Her strength is an inspiration, her story made all the more utterly heartbreaking by the amount of times she could have been found with a little more diligence, and wasn’t.

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Book Journey

Good
Reviewed by Sheila on Jan 30 2016

I feel this is a very worthwhile read. I have heard that this is actually the true story that inspired author Emma Donoghue to write ROOM.

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Book Addiction

Good
Reviewed by Heather on Apr 18 2012

I almost burst into tears several times throughout this book. But it’s the hope that she ends up with that is the inspiring, amazing piece of her story.

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You've GOTTA Read This

Good
Reviewed by Sandy Nawrot on May 31 2012

Jaycee's writing is not literary, it is simple, and what you would expect from a young woman whose schooling only went through 5th grade. What matters is that her words come from the heart.

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Laura's Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Laura on Sep 21 2011

I read through A Stolen Life quickly. I was disturbed, yet enthralled with the book. I think having the uplifting rescue, reuniting with her family, and ability to move on a try to return to normalcy made this book a great read.

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Impressions In Ink

Good
Reviewed by Annette on Sep 09 2011

This is not a book for children, nor any adult that is sensitive. It will take me a long time to "recover". It is an excellent book for anyone in the mental health field to study this story of Jaycee in order to help others who have similar stories.

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Diary of an Eccentric

Good
Reviewed by Anna on Aug 16 2011

It’s a memoir that takes you on an emotional roller coaster; like my husband (who is not much of a reader but read this book in less than a day and told me I had to read it, too) said to me, A Stolen Life makes you angry, sad, and happy.

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Everyday I Write the Book

Above average
Reviewed by gayle on Oct 20 2012

...while her writing is rather simple and at times grammatically challenged, A Stolen Life is powerful and compelling. I came away from the book understanding – from her perspective – what had happened to her, and ultimately respecting her and hoping that she has a fulfilling and healthy life ahead.

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Opinions of a Wolf Blog

Good
Aug 18 2011

Eliminating the ghost writer and letting the victim speak grants us, the readers, the opportunity to truly connect with a survivor.

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Steph the Bookworm

Excellent
Reviewed by StephTheBookworm on Oct 16 2011

This story is heartbreaking, disturbing, and worst of all, true. I highly recommend it. Everyone should know the truth about what this poor girl endured, and who better to hear it from then Jaycee herself...This story is a true testimony to what the human spirit can endure when faced with the unthinkable.

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Reading Between Pages

Above average
Reviewed by Kavyen on Oct 26 2011

I could go on and on about each chapter and what I thought of it, but you should read it to understand it. The writing is not the best but the experience and honesty is.

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Mental Foodie

Good
Reviewed by CHRISTA on Nov 16 2011

The story was a bit repetitive at times. Though it just drove home what a horrific life Jaycee had had prior to her escape. The title, A Stolen Life, couldn't have described it better.

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K'Brocking

Below average
Reviewed by Kev Brock on Sep 01 2011

This book will make you feel sorry and sad for her. I sure did. I don’t think I could read a book like this again though. Even I felt a little frightened reading it...Did I like it? Well hard to say really...Feel free to read this book if you want, but to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Read, React, Review

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Sep 02 2011

Is it a difficult book? Yes. A book full of fear and sorrow and loss? Yes, absolutely. But it is also full of hope and resilience and love.

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The Garfield Book Review

Good
Aug 08 2011

The prose isn’t fancy, but it’s exceedingly honest, and for a case like Jaycee Dugard’s, that’s far more important than literary merit.

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Miss Literati

Good
on Nov 26 2016

The story in its entirety is a great book. There are some areas where it got boring, but each chapter brought new surprises.

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The Teen Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Hayden on Aug 13 2011

A STOLEN LIFE may not be the best book out there quality-wise, but if you're like me, it may help you overcome a challenge in life.

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Technorati Technology

Good
Reviewed by PaigeKayla on Jul 15 2011

I have never read a book so captivating and disturbing at the same time. Jaycee Dugard does a wonderful job of giving readers hope for current and future child abductions.

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The Lonely Owl

Below average
Reviewed by lonelyowlbooks on Jun 22 2012

It just didn’t hold the emotion that usually gets to me when reading these kind of memoirs. It may be attributed to the child like writing style trying to convey an adult’s feelings and perspectives.

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Paranormal Wasteland

Excellent
Reviewed by Greta on Nov 27 2011

...the way she describes what her captors did to her will shock you. I honestly can not believe she is still alive having to have lived through such a tragic life.

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Paulette Alden

Good
Reviewed by Paulette Alden on Nov 21 2011

The story she tells is incomprehensible and yet she lays it out straightforwardly, candidly, bravely, without self-pity and with calm sanity.

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Becca's Backyard

Good
Reviewed by Becca on Feb 05 2012

If you've ever had any questions about Jaycee Dugard's story, you should read this mind-blowing book. Parts of it were definitely tough to read, but I feel like I really understand her unfortunate situation now.

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Shykia Bell

Good
Reviewed by Shykia Bell on Feb 15 2012

. . .the book is often written in simplistic language. . .but in all fairness, I think the author did well considering her level of education at the time it was written.

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Reference Counterculture

Good
Reviewed by Kathryn Bergeron on Jan 17 2012

The most spectacular thing about the book is the fact that it is written with such hope for the future.

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Writer's Diary

Good
Reviewed by Carolyn Jewel on Jul 14 2011

I came away with a profound respect for Dugard, and I wouldn’t give that up for any of the tears I shed reading it.

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Reader Rating for A Stolen Life
87%

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