by Elizabeth Smart

Reviewer Rating:


Kidnapped when she was 14 yrs. old and held captive by a religious fanatic, David Mitchell and his wife, she was repeatedly raped, humiliated and lived in constant fear. His “religion” allowed him to drink, look at pornography and force sex whenever he wanted.  She was kidnapped because she was going to be one of seven eventual wives he thought he was entitled to. She was rescued nine months later. Now ten years after the crime, and her courageous confrontation of Mitchell at his trial, she is telling her side of the story. The book does not go into graphic detail, but the author is adamant that she was not a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. She never felt any empathy for a man who took her. She stayed with him, biding her time waiting for escape or rescue,  because she  truly believed he would kill her family. She used her religious faith, and her belief that she would see her family again to maintain hope in a terrible situation.  Despite the nationally televised coverage of her ordeal and the subsequent  trial, She has managed to maintain some semblance of a normal life.  Despite all the horrible things that happened to her, the message of the book is one of hope, and she does not see herself as a victim, but a powerful person who survived the unthinkable.


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