Review: A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard


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.

My Review:

This is Jaycee’s story, in her words, as she recounts the moments leading up to her abduction and the 18 years she was held captive.  Her story is raw with intimate details about the sexual and psychological abuse she endured by the two people who kidnapped her.  I won’t say who they are because they don’t deserve any recognition for the pain and suffering Jaycee experienced.  In her memoir, Jaycee includes journal entries she kept regarding her cat, Eclipse, and her own personal entries about her dreams, her goals, and her longing to see her mother again.

Jaycee Dugard has slowly worked on rebuilding her life and transitioning into society with her daughters.  While she wants to keep her children’s names and pictures out of the public life, she does write about her pregnancies with them and her relationship with them as mom and later as sister (which her captors wanted her to be regarded as).  Her story was very difficult to read as she describes her first days being handcuffed and sequestered to a small room with locks.  When she was found, she had been living in a tent and using a hole she made to pee.  With a 5th grade education, she homeschooled her daughters, who are her saving grace. Despite the fact that her captor is their father, she loves them without any boundaries.  She loves them freely and has the same dreams for them that she has for herself: to be free.

Jaycee’s strength and hope shines through despite everything she has experienced.  I highly recommend this book and encourage you to also visit The JAYC Foundation, Inc. or on Facebook.  In her memoir, she describes the significance to pine cones and monies received for her jewelry goes to her foundation to help children and families impacted by abduction.

5 thoughts on “Review: A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

  1. I have been wanting to read this book, but have hesitated because of the pain and trauma I will find within its pages. Not that I normally pull back from these things, given my years in social work, but I have wanted to wait until the right time to read and absorb this story.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  2. I live in Colorado Springs my grand babys Mom just got out of prison she is a sick sick girl the parole system here is a joke she has sex in front of her using toys to masturbate i called the parole crying as a grandmother would he said call DHS i did and nothing is being done. This women had 35 sexual misconduct write ups in prison should not be around a child , so much for our system


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