“I am alive, but I’m not living, I remember thinking as I walked. I am the living dead. I am nothing but a shell.”
-Elizabeth Smart, My Story
Summary (from amazon books): 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.
What I thought:
I wasn't even sure what to expect going into this book. I just remember being a little girl when she was taken from my hometown and being terrified that I might be kidnaped. I couldn't decide if I even wanted to read this story but I was so invested in it when it happened that I felt like I needed to. I found the book to be interesting but poorly written. I found Elizabeths strength and hope to be inspiring. She does not go into any detail about her physical abuse, to which I am grateful for, and at no point are you subjected to any of the gruesome details that happened to her. As you embark on her horrific journey you realize how articulate and precise her memory is. She can account for things in great detail. I always had a hard time understanding why she didn't escape when she had the few opportunities to. After reading the book she explains how fear takes over for all senses and she was simply to scared for what might happen to her family. If you overlook the writing the story is phenomenal and inspiring.