Wednesday, May 14, 2014

REVIEW--My Story by Elizabeth Smart

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I'm not a huge nonfiction reader, but when I do read nonfiction, I love to read about people's lives.  Especially people that have crazy things happen to them.  Like Elizabeth Smart.  I mean, goodness--what a crazy, unpredictable turn her life took!

I was really intrigued when I saw that Elizabeth had written her side of her story.  She was so quiet when she was rescued from Brian David Mitchell (and who wouldn't be?! She was 14 and had been attacked daily for 9 months!) and did very few interviews.  So I was interested in getting her point of view and opinion--and boy does she give them!

So let's jump into the review!

  • Standalone novel
  • Nonfiction
The Gist:
 Elizabeth writes about her experience of being kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell, a religious fanatic, and his wife, Wanda Barzee.  She was literally taken from her bedroom on June 5, 2002 and held captive for 9 months.  She was repeatedly raped and psychologically broken down, but her faith kept her going strong until her rescue.

What I Loved:
  • Elizabeth is very honest.  When I've read memoirs like this in the past, it seems that the writers spend a lot of time talking about forgiveness and moving on with their lives.  And while that is very commendable, I often find it a little unrealistic.  Smart, however, often writes that Mitchell is "evil" and "the devil" and has absolutely no problem hiding her disdain for him.  I appreciated that honesty.
  • She gives many details--in fact, I didn't feel like I missed out on much.  And she covers all bases of her life--before her kidnapping, during, after, etc.  I really felt like I got the full story.
  • This is her story (like the title states) and Elizabeth sticks to that.  She doesn't switch back to her parents' point of view (you can read their book to get that story) and instead focuses only on her experiences.  And that's what I wanted as the reader.
What I Didn't Love:
  • There were no photos in the book.  This seems to be a trend in nonfiction, but I want the photos!  I know I can look them up online, but as I was reading I wanted to see Mitchell and Barzee or see the tent Elizabeth had to sleep inside.
  • It was never made clear who contacted the police when Elizabeth was rescued.  I'm guessing it was someone from Walmart, but again, it's never fully stated.
  • It was a little mundane at times...I felt like I read every single day of her captivity, which made it difficult to pick up at times.  But I'm sure that's part of experiencing what Elizabeth suffered.  
My favorite quote:
"My next wife will be called Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz Rebeckah Isaiah," he said.
Holy cow, I thought.  That's a worse name than Shearjashub.
"Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz was a son of Isaiah," he explained.
Another boy's name for your new wife!  I wanted to say.  What is going on inside your head?
"It means 'plunder speedeth, spoil hasteth.'"
No, it only means you're stupid.

A good read!  Depressing for sure but nevertheless very interesting.  Four stars!

*Out of respect to Elizabeth's story, I won't be designing an outfit based off this book.

I'll be back this week with a home design that I think has added some "style" to our home!  See you back here soon!

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