by Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart
Genre: Non-fiction, Autobiography, Memoir
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2013
Page Count: 308
For the first time, ten years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City bedroom, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime
On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Now for the first time, in her memoir, MY STORY, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the nine years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. In 2012, she married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met doing mission work in Paris for her church, in a fairy tale wedding that made the cover of People magazine.
Review: I don't read a lot of adult literature, something that most of you probably know if you have been reading my blog. However, I was very interested in getting this one, and asked for it for Christmas last year. I do enjoy reading a memoir every now and then, and this is one that I was very interested to read. I wanted to know more details about this girl who survived being abducted, being away from her family for so long, enduring such horrible trials, but was still able to keep her faith and move on with her life upon returning home again. It seemed like such an impossible thing to do, but she was able to do it, and that was something I wanted to read about.
I am sure that most of us know the story of Elizabeth Smart. I remember hearing about the news story, and it was obviously a pretty big thing as her parents and family worked incredibly hard to keep the story in the media and to keep people looking for Elizabeth. Despite the news stories, and the few interviews that were done, when I saw this book was coming out I was very interested to hear everything that happen from Elizabeth herself. She was the one who had gone through it; the one who had been brave and strong, and had survived all of these things I doubt that I would be able to survive myself. I wanted to know how she did it, how she kept believing that things could be okay.
I will assure you that this is in no way a light read. Elizabeth does detail what happened to her while she was abducted, and none of it is pleasant at all. She had to go through horrible, unthinkable things, and all of these things are put out in the open for the reader. It is not for the faint of heart, and I really do not recommend reading it at night before bed. While it did not effect me too much when I read before bed, I have spoken to other family/friends who read before bed and then had horrible nightmares about some of the things that they read. This book is not supposed to make you feel good; it is supposed to show the horrors a young girl went through. Though, there is the bright light of reading how she got through it, and how she put the pieces back together and moved herself forward once she returned home. While it is in no way an easy read, I would certainly recommend it to anyone over the age of eighteen.
Are there any memoirs that you have read and enjoyed? I would enjoy reading more, but would like to have some recommendations.