Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bon's Book Club - My Story

This month’s book for Bon’s Book Club was My Story by Elizabeth Smart. It was originally supposed to be for December of last year (which is when I actually read it) but it got postponed. I was really excited to read this book.  I actually met Elizabeth at a luncheon in March of 2014 and received a signed copy of her book.  I got to hear her speak on what happened to her, so when I read the book, I could almost hear everything in her voice and the way she spoke. Here is a description from Amazon:

March 2014, with Elizabeth Smart
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.”

I really enjoyed this book!  It was such an easy read and I was sucked in from the moment I first opened it.  I sat there the whole time just reeling over the fact that this was a true story and these things really did happen to this young woman.

It’s hard to say anything bad about a book like this, when it is such a personal story.  Even after reading it though, it’s hard to believe how uncomfortable she must have felt to not tell someone who she was in the many times they were out in public. I know a lot of people question that, but all I can say is that we will hopefully never be in this situation to know what we would do.  I certainly don’t criticize her for not saying anything, but I happy it all worked out in the end.

After I read it I sometimes wonder about how she moved on with her life.  She is now married, which is awesome.  At the luncheon I attended she spoke for quite a while on her story.  I gained a sense that she has really disconnected with it all and just regurgitates everything that happened, but doesn’t really let the feelings sink into her mind.  Some of the things she said in her speech were almost word for word from the book.  She has probably recited it so many times that she is able to completely disengage, which I suppose is a good thing. She also seemed so young still, even though she is now 27 years old.  She was very timid and meek, but its 100% understandable.
Next up for Bon’s Book Club is Yes Please by Poehler.  This is a book that has been on my list for several months, so I love that we are covering it in book club!  I have a big love for funny memoirs and I am hoping this one doesn’t disappoint!

Have you read My Story? What are your thoughts?
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