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.
This book was such an inspiration. I had first heard of the story when I had watched the movie. Having read the book,I was deeply moved by how strong Elizabeth Smart’s faith was throughout this whole ordeal that had happened in her life. It was truly heartbreaking with how she wrote about how she was kidnapped from her family to only endure countless times of brutal abuse of every kind from both of her captors. I was shaken by her story by just reading it.
I was inspired how that she determined in her mind that whatever it took, she was going to live to see her family again. Her faith in God wasn’t broken no matter what she went through. I really admire that she still held on to her faith even through that bad of a situation in her life. She knew where she stood and held on to that.
I was also amazed of one instance in the book that she wrote about how she was going hungry and thirsty because her kidnappers couldn’t move freely about at that time and a miracle happened. One night she described that she was really thirsty and she looked and there was a cup of water from out of nowhere. Now her captors were asleep and they were all in the same tent asleep. I was amazed by the miracle. It was really something.
Also in other reviews, I gathered that some readers didn’t really appreciate how the story was written. To me, I think that she probably just took the standpoint of telling the story to where people who in or escaped an abused situation can really relate. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read this awe-striking book. Not only was my eyes opened to how this world could be filled with creeps and they do anything to put your life in danger, but it showed me how that God can work through any situation no matter how hopeless it may seem.
I’m thankful that she didn’t stay in bondage to the memories to the horrific cruelty but she wholeheartedly shared her story so that others in abuse could know that there is hope no matter what the situation. She’s poured her life into helping others who are in her past situation with programs like AMBER ALERT. I was inspired and really amazed by the story of Elizabeth Smart. (5 stars)
*I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger children. Many instances of violence,sexual abuse, and drug use are mentioned not in a whole lot of detail at times but it’s still mentioned.*