My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Published by St. Martin’s Press on September 30, 2014
Buy This Book: Barnes and Noble
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.
When first learning about Elizabeth Smart in a psychology class, I immediately knew that I needed to know the entirety of her story. After picking up this novel, I was not able to put it down. Though tough to read at some points, Smart perfectly captured her emotions during her abduction and time away from home. It follows her long, nine month period of time away from home under the control of her captor, Brian David Mitchell.
Picturing my fourteen year old self, I can not imagine how Smart was able to empower herself to battle through what she was experiencing in order to survive. Describing herself as the most innocent and awkward teenage girl around, it sickens me that this horrible man was able to take away her young and innocent mindset. Smart did a lot of growing up within that amount of time, and it amazes me what she was able to endure.
The best part of this novel was when she was finally reunited with her parents. When first seeing her, she described her dad as though he was looking at a ghost. And for her captor, he tried every thing in the book in order to get out of sentencing. However, justice was finally served for Brian David Mitchell and his disgusting accomplice, Wanda Barzee. Mitchell will be serving life in prison, while Barzee will be serving two separate fifteen year sentences. No time imprisoned could repay Smart for the terrible acts that she described in this book that were done to her by these people, but her success is the best revenge she could possibly get.