8hYg8kJ3by - Download and read Elizabeth A. Smart's book My Story in PDF , EPub online. Free My Story book by Elizabeth A. Smart. 4 days ago My Story By Elizabeth Smart - [Free] My Story By Elizabeth Smart [PDF] [EPUB] Elizabeth Ann. Smart was kidnapped at age fourteen on June 5. My Story Elizabeth Smart Free - [Free] My Story Elizabeth Smart Free [PDF] [ EPUB] Elizabeth. Ann Smart was kidnapped at age fourteen on.
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On June 5, , fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon To ask other readers questions about My Story, please sign up. The harrowing true story of abduction and survival from the courageous young woman who lived it—now the subject of a Lifetime original movie, I Am Elizabeth . Get Free Read & Download Files Elizabeth Smart My Story PDF. ELIZABETH SMART MY STORY. Download: Elizabeth Smart My Story. ELIZABETH SMART.
Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — My Story by Elizabeth Smart. My Story by Elizabeth Smart ,. Chris Stewart. 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.
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, , she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
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. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about My Story , please sign up. How mature is the content in here? I don't want anything too I understand she was raped, but does she go into a lot of detail when she describes it?
She's LDS, so I would imagine so. Just making sure. Deirdre No, she does not give details at all about the continual sexual assaults. Even at one point where she talks about a pornographic magazine that he …more No, she does not give details at all about the continual sexual assaults. Even at one point where she talks about a pornographic magazine that he makes her look at, she just says that it showed things she never imagined people ever doing, but doesn't say what those things are.
I feel like she went to great lengths to not provide details that would encourage those with only prurient interest in her ordeal. Does anyone else have a hard time reading this book? I picked it up at my library, and I'm really thinking about returning it. I know her story because I am a Utah native, but since I do live here I am sickened and scared to go any further.
I have a hard time sticking with books in general, but I wanted to finish this one. I just get very disturbed. Would you keep reading? Dalisay Hidalgo-McGregor I hope you finish it. I read this book in two days. Can't put it down. I agree with Laura. Reading it makes me feel like she was just telling me her …more I hope you finish it.
Reading it makes me feel like she was just telling me her story in person. I learned a lot about God's tender mercies and being grateful. See all 6 questions about My Story…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Oct 08, Amanda L rated it did not like it Shelves: This was about as far from what I was expecting as it could possibly be. Not the case here.
I should have known what I was getting into, but there's just a childlike naivety about this text. And I'm not just talking about the littered paragraph breaks for dramatic effect or the unnecessary and overuse of both italics and exclamation points. It's entirely on the surface and takes a conversational tone wher This was about as far from what I was expecting as it could possibly be.
It's entirely on the surface and takes a conversational tone where I was really expecting a learned and psychological adult reflection piece. Very surprising because, when she speaks, Elizabeth Smart definitely has a presence about her.
You're so precious. Of course, the woman isn't a writer. I rarely expect dazzling prose when I pick up a run-of-the-mill memoir. But here I've got to blame the co-author Chris Stewart for this mash-up of choppy sentences and for letting all this crap fly: Case in point: And in the same vein: And you're gonna get it on repeat.
Ad nauseam. But please understand, I don't at all mean to imply that Brian David Mitchell isn't a heinous person or didn't do heinous things; I'm just saying that Smart is keeping us and perhaps herself at arm's length and I even wonder if that's unwittingly.
Uhm, ok? What I was really craving to know and understand, picking this up, is how she managed to cope with this life for so long and how it impacts her even to this day. Because to say that the experience is no longer affecting her or that her existence is completely divorced from it as she continually implies and even expressly states is total denial.
Her story is severely lacking in any emotional depth and she represents herself as only a shell of feeling at best, as her descriptions are completely devoid of internal reflection.
I mean, for crying out loud, she's talking about how she hated the pattern on the sheets they slept on "I didn't like the print one bit," p. That, of all you have endured, is what resonates with you? This is unequivocally the epitome of superficial reflection. Needs to be gone back over with a fine tipped brush to paint a bit more nuance.
A little more 'show us, not tell us' would be much appreciated. But there's certainly a DSM diagnosis for all his delusions of grandeur, at the very least. I'm not here to diagnose, but I'm also not here to say "just mean" and "not crazy.
Obviously that's just in there for dramatic effect. And to me it's just plain cheap. It is utterly amazing to me that the text could be so sparse and at the same time completely littered with unnecessary verbiage see remarks on bedsheets, above. An enigma. On top of and severely more egregious than all the above flaws is her obvious privilege and the way it colors her description and seemingly even affects what she takes away from her experiences. Worse yet, she ostensibly holds a boastful pride for that privilege.
She was a friend to the Polynesians, the Mexicans, the Caucasians. She was friends with everyone. She was just so nice. So I thought, ok I can be like her" p. And then: In all seriousness, is this genuine naivety?
Does she really not understand that this is the way sensationalized for-profit American media works and the audience response it begets? Yes, the search absolutely should have been omnipresent, as it should be for any missing child , regardless of how "pretty" or white? Even after these years of reflection and even working with and advocating for victims, with countless many more abductions since, she really doesn't see that the inequity between her search and any other comes down to the "pretty" "blond hair and blue eyes" she continually revisits in her text?
I have to wonder if she even comprehends the fact of that injustice? Use your privilege for good. And I certainly admire the courage that doing so necessarily requires and I fully admit that writing about trauma can be freeing and cathartic. However, as I was reading this I was not convinced that Ms. Smart has actually come to terms with her past. The will power she was so emphatic about only takes one so far. I sensed throughout an adamant tone of denial, as if she were on the defensive about any further struggle that is typically part and parcel to an extended traumatic experience such as hers.
Flashbacks, PTSD, nightmares She was adamant, "there was no Stockholm Syndrome going on with me! Again, a bit more 'show us, not tell us'. It seems as if she was obsessed with being rescued and refused to take matters into her own hands or responsibility for her own fate, even when surrounded by bystanders in libraries, on buses, and eventually in various shelters and even when confronted by police, no less.
I'm no professional but that's utterly helpless behavior and her statements that she didn't want to be viewed "at fault" for her escape seem to imply some sensitivity to the emotions and concerns of her captors, which, as a vulnerable year old who was wholly relying on them for basic necessities in addition to being tortured and manipulated by them , would be completely understandable. And then in the end there's that admission that she refused any professional help or counseling. Admirable if you can get through it at all, let alone on your own, but, again, I am not convinced that she truly is past the experience or that it would ever even be possible to truly be "past" it-- coping is a lifelong journey, but her tone and manner vehemently deny this fact.
If you're really interested, listen to the Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross instead. But then don't get conned into reading it. Admittedly I should try to have more respect for this tortured girl, but instead my response is clouded by disdain for how much slop is published merely on the basis that it will sell.
Is this review going to be censored? Or am I flattering myself again? View all 83 comments. I just can't bring myself to give this a star rating. I've no problem with Elizabeth or her family profiting from the morbid public interest in her sad tale. Writing a book from Elizabeth's point of view seemed a logical conclusion, and I'm frankly surprised it didn't come sooner. However, it's not terribly well written -- a shortcoming that should be blamed entirely on the ghost writer and not Elizabeth herself.
There's a lot in this book that made me feel as though I was both intruding into El I just can't bring myself to give this a star rating. There's a lot in this book that made me feel as though I was both intruding into Elizabeth's privacy and participating in her unhealthy to me coping.
For instance, Elizabeth's belief in miracles stretch the limits of believability and instead seem as though you're reading the account of a child desperate to feel as though she was not alone something that makes me incredibly sad and uncomfortable. Some of the details she reports directly contradict reports in the media AND her parents book, Bringing Elizabeth home, particularly the events near the end of her imprisonment and whether or not she had Stockholm syndrome.
Oh, Stockholm syndrome. A very large part of the book is dedicated to trying to prove to the reader she did not have Stockholm syndrome, that she would never betray herself or her family by developing such a commonplace psychological condition, etc. She proudly states she had no therapy and I'll grant that she says some people may need it , further causing my discomfort with the book. Elizabeth is undoubtedly a very strong woman who does much good in the world. However, this book reads like somebody who has a highly specific version of her story held in her mind particularly that she did NOT have Stockholm syndrome and feels that she needs others to believe it.
There's very little of the book dedicated to her healing and recovery process, simply because it seems she didn't really go through much of one by her own admission. Ultimately, I feel that the story is hers to tell however she chooses and that she should be applauded for every single thing she has done since those brutal nine months. She has rebuilt her life. I just don't feel comfortable holding this up as a book other survivors of trauma ought to read because it is a pretty religiously based book -- if you aren't Mormon, don't have an entire family structure dedicated to helping you suppress memories, and aren't well off enough to afford access to horses, I don't think her story has much to offer other survivors of unimaginable trauma.
I just have a lot of conflicted feelings about this book. View all 11 comments. Oct 08, Beverly Diehl rated it it was ok Shelves: Let me say first, I am a huge Elizabeth Smart fan. I've seen her on various television programs, and seen video clips of her speeches. THAT articulate, intelligent, passionate young woman is mostly muted in these pages, and there are many questions that either are not explored at all, or sometimes touched upon and not finished.
Whether that was by her own choice, or whether she was toned down by her ghostwriter, it makes the book less appealing. The "voice" was very young throughout! Okay, she WAS very young when she was kidnapped, and it makes sense that as she relived the experience, her vocabulary would regress to that of a sheltered young girl. But there's an excess! There's an emphasis made about her red silk pajamas, and mention that Mitchell, her kidnapper, was going to do something disgusting with them.
We never find out. Elizabeth is so physically immature when she is first raped, she has not yet begun menstruating. Did she begin menstruating while in captivity, or did the starvation diet she was on prevent her from reaching menarche?
Did she worry about becoming pregnant with the monster's child, or perhaps contracting an STI? Smart has spoken openly and more than once in public about how the abstinence-focused "sex ed" was part of what also held her captive: I applaud her for speaking out about this in public, and wish it was more than briefly mentioned and quickly glossed over in this book.
Has she been able to enjoy a healthy sex life since she married or are there still hurdles to overcome? I didn't need the Penthouse blow-by-blow intimate details, but just a hint: Never explored. Did she ever hate her captors, hope they died, and perhaps feel guilty because of her "unChristian" thoughts?
If so, never mentioned. Does any member of her family still struggle with guilt over her abduction? Did she have any issues with healthy eating once back with her family, or did she ever have impulses to binge or hoard food? Not mentioned. There are only three chapters about her post-captivity life: It's wonderful that she had the support of family, of faith, and the comfort of horseback riding and playing the harp - but what did she STRUGGLE with?
Was there anything about rejoining civilization that surprised her, or was different than she expected? While I applaud the work Ms. Smart is doing on behalf of abducted children and their recovery, and appreciate that she may need to reclaim her privacy after all she endured, and admire her deeply as a human being, I am not sure what the point is in releasing an autobiography that leaves so many questions unanswered and doesn't dig deeper emotionally.
View all 5 comments. Dec 06, Kelly rated it it was amazing. Before I read the book, I read a lot of reviews about it. Almost all of them were the same: Great story, great girl but poorly written book.
I actually loved the way the book was written while at the same time I can see why it got those reviews.
I mean it wasn't a fictional story written for fun or to entertain. So I think she achieved her purpose in writing. I loved that she got Before I read the book, I read a lot of reviews about it.
I loved that she got to defend her younger sister and her mom. I love that she had the chance to tell everyone how evil and selfish Mitchell was. I love that she was able to describe her fear and explain how that dictated every decision she made even when she was faced with the chance of escape. I'm willing to bet that most people reading her book can't comprehend that level of fear. I love that she shared what her mom said to her after she was found and I thought that was a fantastic thing to say.
Living in Utah, her story was on the news constantly and I'm she took the chance to tell her story because sometimes the media isn't always kind or truthful.
I think Elizabeth is a true hero and I wish I could tell my girls all about her, but obviously, I can't. I'm amazed at her resilience, her ability to move on and her ability to never let go of her belief in God. I'm amazed that she could realize how even though her situation was horrible, it could have been worse. She's right She didn't get pregnant. There was no death involved. I worked with a girl who went through similar trauma experiences, probably even worse, and I'm amazed that Elizabeth has been able to forget him and build a good life for herself.
I think it was a lot harder than she really talked about, but I'm so glad that she could do it and truly not give him any more of her life!
I still remember exactly where I was and who told me that she'd been found. It was pretty shocking. The court cases of Barzee and Mitchell were on the news and every time the case was suspended because he would come into the courtroom singing and wouldn't stop, it made me angry.
I'm so glad they didn't determine him to be mentally incompetent. It was so obvious he knew exactly what he was doing and I'm so glad she got to affirm that in her book. I'm glad she had the chance to testify against him and stare him down and seal his sentence! You go girl! View all 12 comments. Oct 12, Lauren Hopkins rated it liked it. It is what it is After hearing Smart speak on NPR, it's clear she's a very eloquent and insightful person who is able to articulate her feelings about her ordeal in a way that would make you think this book is going to be fantastic but it's very clear the person with whom she wrote it a politician who has written a weird handful of books including one about how miracles have "saved the United States" including the "miraculous creation of It is what it is After hearing Smart speak on NPR, it's clear she's a very eloquent and insightful person who is able to articulate her feelings about her ordeal in a way that would make you think this book is going to be fantastic but it's very clear the person with whom she wrote it a politician who has written a weird handful of books including one about how miracles have "saved the United States" including the "miraculous creation of the constitution" I'm sure it's on the shelves of every prominent historian sarcasm took the reins and erased all sense of who she is.
I've never read any other books about her ordeal and don't know more than what I read in the news, but I would imagine most books out there are better than her own, which is a bummer because this is, as the title suggests, HER STORY, so it's a shame that so much of the book's material is straight out of crime reports and the news rather than in her own words.
That being said, she does elaborate on her feelings at certain points in her captivity, but it's really not much and the same language is used repeatedly, making it come off as rather insincere. Again, as she sounded incredibly genuine during her NPR interview, it's just too bad that you don't get a great sense of who she is in this book. It's generic. That's the best way to describe it Oct 11, Erika B. It's as if I can still smell the air, hear the mountain leaves rustle above me, feel the fabric of the veil that Brian David Mitchell stretched across my face.
I can picture every detail of my surroundings: I can feel the cut of the steel cable wrapped so tightly around my ankle, the scorch of the summer heat lifting off the side "It's funny, some of the things that I remember, many of the details forever burned in my mind.
I can feel the cut of the steel cable wrapped so tightly around my ankle, the scorch of the summer heat lifting off the side of the hill, the swaying of the Greyhound bus as we fled to California.
I remember so many overwhelming feelings and emotions. Terror that is utterly indescribable, even to this day. Embarrassment and shame so deep, I felt as if my very worth had been tossed upon the ground.
Starving hunger. Fatigue and thirst and a nakedness that bares on to the bones. Intruding hands. Pain and burning. The leering look of his dark eyes.
A deep longing for my family. A heartbreaking yearning to go home. Looking back, I realized that at one point, early on the morning of the first day, something had changed inside me.
After I had been raped and brutalized, there was something new inside my soul. There was a burning now inside me, a fierce determination that no matter what I had to do, I was going to live! I also discovered something that is harder to imagine, and much more difficult to explain.
Sometime during the first couple of days, I realized that I wasn't alone. There were others there beside me, unseen but not unfelt. Sometimes I could picture them beside me, reaching for my hand. And that is on of the reasons I am still alive. I'm going to be perfectly honest with you-this book is going to be HARD for me to review! I will tell you right now if you aren't comfortable with the issue of rape skip this one.
Elizabeth Smart is about a year older than I am. I remember when she was taken because it scared me! She was a girl about my age and only lived an hour away from me! It was very real and very close to home. Her kidnapping was everywhere on billboards and in the media.
I remember it was summer and one night I went around shutting all of the windows because I was freaked out about someone coming through the screens and taking me.
So to read this book period made me a little apprehensive! I will admit that reading it did scare me! Elizabeth didn't sugar coat her experience at all. She tells about being taken from her home at knife point and dragged up into the mountains.
There she became the "second wife" to a psychopath and his psychopath wife. Essentially she talks about becoming a slave to Wanda Barzee and a sex toy for Brian David Mitchell for her nine months of captivity.
She talks about the horror of being cabled to a tree and being able to her rescuers and not being able to call out for help. She rehashes each horror and terrifying situation with complete honesty. Had the story been only these facts I think I might have abandoned it for simply not being able to handle the sadness of it all. BUT Elizabeth Smart also weaves another tale throughout the story. It's a story about faith and tender mercies. It's a tale about gratitude and forgiveness and some seriously big miracles.
I felt her spirit radiating through the pages almost as if it was reaching out and saying that even in the darkest times there is light. As a person she is truly inspiring! We all face trials. We all have ups and downs. All of us are human. But we are also the masters of our fate. We are the ones who decide how we are going to react to life. Yes, I could have decided to allow myself to be handicapped by what happened to me.
But I decided very early that I only had one life and that I wasn't going to waste it. As of this writing, I am twenty-five years old. I have been alive for months. Nine of those months haven't been very good.
I have been happy. I have been very blessed. Who knows how many more months I have to live? But even if I died tomorrow, nine out of seems like pretty good odds. Faith in a loving and kind Heavenly Father who will always care about me. Faith that my worth will never be diminished. Faith that God knows how I feel and that I can depend on him to help me through it all.
I believe that God not only suffered for me, but that He will make everything up to me in His own time and His own way. That gives me the peace I need to feel like justice will win out in the end. View all 4 comments. Nov 16, Colleen rated it liked it. Elizabeth Smart's story is riveting, intriguing, heartbreaking and inspiring. Smart's faith and hope in the midst of some of the most horrifying trials imaginable can't help but impact the reader for the better, and her resilience as she faced a hopeful future or the ruin of her soul is beautiful.
As an addendum to my review above, I read a few reviews after I wrote mine, interested in what others thought. I agreed in most part with the commentary on the writing, which is why I only gave the book Elizabeth Smart's story is riveting, intriguing, heartbreaking and inspiring.
I agreed in most part with the commentary on the writing, which is why I only gave the book 3 stars. At times I found myself wondering if she was purposely trying to sound like a year-old, since that was her age at the time of her kidnapping. However, I found it interesting that several people didn't like the book because they felt that her strength in her faith, which she felt got her through the ordeal, and the process through which she healed afterward, with the help of her family and her faith but without counseling, were not legitimate and that she was still in denial.
They also did not like that in the book she emphasized several times that she never had Stockholm Syndrome. Regardless of whether you are a person of faith, to discount that for HER faith was a source of strength which allowed her to survive and to heal is not the place of the reader.
This is Elizabeth Smart's story from Elizabeth Smart's point of view. And regardless of whether she actually did come to connect with her captors over the 9 months she was held, her belief that she never truly did feel anything more than fear and anger toward them has helped her to move forward. She is doing great, important and powerful things with her life to protect those who need it so that more young people don't find themselves in a situation like hers.
At the end of the book, she makes it clear that everyone needs to find their own way to healing, and that counseling or medication could be part of that, it just wasn't for her. And when people gripe that she didn't include more details about her abuse and rape Her book is not to dwell on the evil she endured, but to share how she endured it. View 1 comment.
Nov 03, Jessica rated it it was amazing Shelves: I was fascinated and horrified by her abduction, though I wasn't one of the people who pored over every report in the paper. I did cry a little when she was found, alive, since I had been convinced that they would only find a body, as the days and months passed. But I've been even more fascinated by her life since then. She has emerged from a harrowing ordeal as a gracious, gentle, intelligent woman.
She's used her "fame" to help others. She's graduated from college, served an LDS mission, and married in the temple, all goals that she set long before Brian David Mitchell kidnapped and abused her. This book is amazing. Without being graphic or sensational, but rather with a sort of matter-of-fact clarity, she recounts her captivity and what she endured, which included being force-fed drugs and alcohol, living outside in extreme weather, and nearly dying of starvation.
But through it all she speaks of her great faith, her will to survive, and her love for her family that sustained her. This is a truly inspiring book, and certainly an interesting one for anyone who knew about her abduction and rescue. View 2 comments.
Oct 08, Cynthia Sillitoe rated it liked it. Having given this more thought, I wanted to do a more thorough review. Parts of this book are riveting and details only Elizabeth could know. She makes some interesting choices, including not going into much detail as to the sexual abuse, which is totally her right to do.
One myth the book shoots down is Stockholm syndrome, at least not in the sense that she begins to identify with them. She figures her captors out pretty fast and doesn't believe their delusions, but is terrified of them with go Having given this more thought, I wanted to do a more thorough review. She figures her captors out pretty fast and doesn't believe their delusions, but is terrified of them with good reason. But there are loose threads and inconsistencies.
One frequently reported story about her rescue included a back story of them going to Florida, her name being Augustine, her captors insisting it is true, and Elizabeth insisting it is true. In the book, while she evades the questions at first, the whole Augustine story is not mentioned.
I thought, "Ok, so that didn't happen. Also, there's some question as to whether she said she was Elizabeth when she was first found or after some time separated from her captors and at the police station. I don't know what the process was for this. I don't know how much she wrote or if it was more that the co-author interviewed her.
I also can see that it might have been too difficult for her to read draft after draft. If she couldn't read it, somebody should have been reading it and comparing it to her testimony and other comments, and then asking her for clarification.
Because if it's to be the definitive account, it needs to be consistent. It's not that I think she's lying. I think, like many survivors of trauma, her memory is fragmented and has never been totally reconstructed. Having lived in Utah, I know some of what followed in terms of the legal process.
Mitchell, especially, used every tactic he could to avoid a trial. For years, the questions loomed--would there be a trial? Would Elizabeth testify? Would she have to testify in front of her captors? Would Barzee testify against Mitchell? And I know that she did testify though Mitchell acted crazy so he didn't have to be present and her testimony was graphic. Also, she sat through the rest of the trial, including Mitchell's defense team trying anything they could to minimize his crimes.
And that must have been hellish for Elizabeth.
If I didn't know all that, I would think this is too neat and too "happily ever after" as many reviewers do. And I wish Elizabeth a happy life. I just don't think she can get it without counseling. I don't care how strong or positive a person is, you can't opt out of PTSD after this type of trauma. I understand that she might not want to discuss the lasting effects of trauma, but it would be nice if she would acknowledge that they are there.
Jaycee Dugard, for instance, was younger when she was taken and held longer, and she's still amazing resilient and optimistic, but I think she is more frank about how long the road to recovery is. And I just dread the message. Yes, she has a caveat that counseling is fine for people who choose it, but then she opts out, and it makes my heart break for her and for anyone who might be influenced more by her actions than her words.
We live in a country that does not put enough emphasis on mental health. There's still a stigma to any kind of therapy and so people and especially Mormons, who are ridiculously stoic decide they don't need it. And sometimes not dealing with the trauma becomes worse than the trauma itself.
Apr 10, Rissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: She never lost hope and it was such a horrible terrifying thing to happen and at such a young age. I dont think that if it happened to me even now as an adult i would have been able to deal and survive to keep faith and keep fighting everyday just to survive. She is brave and even braver for telling her story reliving her pain all over again. She was an amazing child and continues to be an amazing woman.
I am terrified to fall asleep and live her story in my dreams. Her story will stay with me for a long while. Her words break the edges of my heart. Her story made me sick with fear, compassion, how i never could have survived. Words cant describe the feeling and faith while reading, she does an excellent job at making the reader feel as though they were their too.
Feb 27, Lynn rated it liked it Shelves: I listened to this on audio, and while I was riveted by Elizabeth Smart's story and the horror that she endured, I have to agree with others who admit to having problems with the book itself.
The audio is narrated by Elizabeth Smart herself, who very often took a sarcastic tone when reading parts where her disgust and disdain for Mitchell and Barzee were obvious. While I have no doubt that she did have sarcastic thoughts, the tone gave her the feeling of an irritated teenager rather than an abuse I listened to this on audio, and while I was riveted by Elizabeth Smart's story and the horror that she endured, I have to agree with others who admit to having problems with the book itself.
While I have no doubt that she did have sarcastic thoughts, the tone gave her the feeling of an irritated teenager rather than an abused kidnap victim. It was almost as if, in her overzealous effort to assure readers that she never developed Stockholm syndrome or ever had any positive feelings at all for her captors, she's allowing her grown-up self to interject a higher level of disdain than I can imagine her teen captive self would have felt free to express without fear of retribution.
Too, I became very frustrated by Smart's constant suggestions of abuse and horror only to be followed by a complete lack of detail. Not that I expected a prurient description of the degrading things she was forced to endure, but it does no good to say simply that Mitchell "described a disgusting act" without any context. The spectrum of "disgusting acts" is pretty broad. Or another example - she states that when she tried to escape once, she was severely chastised to such a degree she wasn't willing to risk it again.
In my mind, a severe scolding doesn't seem so dis-incentivising. What, exactly, had her punishment been? She talks about how Barzee treated her like a slave, but she doesn't mention what that meant.
Did she have to do all of the work in camp, and if so, what was there to do? They lived in filth and Mitchell would never have let her go off on her own to get water or food, so how was she treated like a slave? Details like that would have better fleshed out her story and helped to paint a clearer picture of what she went through. If she truly wanted to express her real experience, she chose to leave far too much in the dark.
And while I know that this is strictly Elizabeth Smart's story and she stated up front that she had no desire to ever understand what drove either Mitchell or Barzee to commit their twisted evil crimes, there were parts of the story that could have benefited from objective, pscyhological input. For example, at one point it appears that Mitchell has abandoned Barzee and Smart, leaving them to starve to death in their camp.
While Smart re-iterates ad nauseum why she never felt capable of trying to escape even when Mitchell had left the camp, I kept wondering why the adult Barzee would remain there without food for that long.
We get no insight as to her actions at all. One thing that I found strange - Smart was taken when she was fourteen, turning fifteen while in captivity. Many, many times she describes herself as a "little girl", giving this fact as a key reason for her absolute submission to Mitchell and belief in his ability to kill her entire family should she try to escape, thus her inability to speak up when the chances of rescue were within reach.
I am the mother of a fifteen year old girl, and I would never consider her "little". When I hear the phrase "little girl" I see a six or seven year old, or even a ten or eleven year old. I think this means that at the time of her kidnapping, Elizabeth must have been relatively immature or extremely sheltered to view herself as so much younger than a person in their teens would be.
NOT that I am saying she didn't truly believe her life was in danger and wasn't in constant fear and thus had good reasons for her actions, just that I needed some more backstory to correlate her reactions with her chronological age since they seem a bit shifted to me. For those who know nothing or very little about the Elizabeth Smart case - I vaguely remembered the news stories but never paid attention to the story once she'd been rescued and didn't know anything about the trials - this is an informative way to learn the story.
However, after listening to the book, I don't exactly feel like I got the behind-the-scenes truth about what she went through. Jan 09, Amanda rated it it was ok. Not sure how to rate this. It was poorly written in my opinion and very child-like.
Not sure if that's the right word I'm looking for? It was a little bit hard to read. Parts of it felt like she was talking in circles. Parts of it felt like it was just a platform to say emphatically that she didn't have Stockholm syndrome and that she couldn't have escaped because she was just a child.
It was also hard to read because of the actual content! Her captors were so evil. It's just unbelievable wha Not sure how to rate this. It's just unbelievable what mitchell did -- all of the different forms of abuse he inflicted on Elizabeth. I'll admit I was a little curious how or why she didn't escape when she had the chance. But I understand more what was going on in her 14 year old head. I tried to think of how I would have acted in the same situation.
It's scary! She was very vague on some of the aspects of abuse. Which I totally get - privacy or whatnot. But when someone alludes that something horrible and unbelievable happens or that they had to do something deplorable and unthinkable, and they don't specify what it was, it just makes my mind try to think of the worst possible thing she might be referring to!
I think the thing that shocked me and bothered me the most was Elizabeth saying that she had never gotten professional counseling??????????!!!!!!!!!!! She listed several therapeutic things she uses playing the harp and horse back riding. And I don't doubt that she has a strong support system. But are you kidding me? Although I guess I should say that I truly believe that everyone can benefit from a good counselor, let alone someone who went through what she did!
She does have a good attitude, strong faith, a deep sense of gratitude, and loving and supportive family. She's taking her experience and helping other victims and that's very admirable. Elizabeth 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, , she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life. With My Story, Elizabeth 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 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. She and her husband, Matthew Gilmour, now have two children. She first gained widespread attention at age fourteen when she was kidnapped from her home and rescued nine months later. Smart's 1 New York Times bestsellin We want your feedback! Click here.