What is the summary for A Stolen Life: A Memoir?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A Stolen Life: A Memoir is the true story of Jaycee Dugard. Jaycee was kidnapped when she was 11 years old. She was walking from her house to the nearby bus stop when she was kidnapped by Phillip Garrido. Phillip used a stun gun to get Jaycee in his car and take off with her. This book tells the harrowing details of the next 18 years that Jaycee was held captive by Phillip and his wife, Nancy.

The book begins with on the morning of the kidnapping. Jaycee takes us through the morning as she gets ready for school. She tells us about her mother and baby sister and her step-father. She talks about how she wanted to ask her mother if she could shave for the first time, because she had a class field trip coming up to a water park and didn't want to be embarrassed by all the hair she had. Jaycee goes into vivid detail about the things that Phillip did to her. The first thing he did was to take a shower with her, and shave her. Jaycee remembers how she wanted her mother to let her shave, and now this man was doing this thing to her. At the end of each chapter is a refection. Jaycee tells the reader how she felt after the things she writes about in each chapter. Phillip keeps Jaycee in a locked room that has a bucket in it for her to use as a bathroom. He secures her wrists behind her back when he is not in the room with her. 

Jaycee talks about how Phillip used coercion techniques to make Jaycee totally dependent on him. He brought her food once a day and when he came to her he treated her with kindness, at first. That soon was about to change. Phillip begins to sexually abuse the young girl. Jaycee is graphic with her descriptions of what Phillip did to her, but she has to be. She is trying to get the reader to realize the horrors with which she had to live. Jaycee became completely dependent on Phillip, even though he was her abuser. Jaycee was still a child. 

In the 18 years that Jaycee lived with Phillip and Nancy, she had two daughters. In this book we are taken inside the mind of a young girl, whose innocence is stolen from her. Phillip and Nancy Garrido were eventually arrested and Jaycee and her two daughters were reunited with her mother and sister. A Stolen Life: A Memoir is a remarkable book in the matter that it shows us how strong the human spirit is. Jaycee survived the most horrific things, yet she came back to her life and is thriving. For this young girl to write this book is incredible. The courage it must have taken for Jaycee to write these things down and face them, is the same courage that helped her survive for 18 years with a madman. This is a story of what true evil looks like and the human spirit that was able to live to tell the truth.

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