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Having read the horrifying experiences of Amanda Smart and Jayce Dupree, I really didn't think that anything would surprise me that much. I was so wrong. Finding Me is the story of Michelle Knight's abduction and captivity at the hands of a true madman. What makes this story stand out is the author's ability to count her blessings and find joy in a life that has been so incredibly cruel. The life that was interrupted was not the idyllic world of Amanda Smart, or even the less than perfect (but stable) world of Jayce Dupree. Michelle's childhood was one that was marred by neglect and brutal sexual abuse at the hands of her own family members. The only light in her dark life was her son, who had been taken from her after the child was attacked and injured by a family member. This young woman had suffered enough for a lifetime even before she was was taken by Ariel Castro.
It's hard to imagine how she could have survived the eleven years that followed.
Michelle was trying in earnest to get to a visitation with her son, when she took a ride from the father of her friend. The next eleven years was a horror movie more terrifying than anything Hollywood could produce.
In the Dupree story, where the girl was held captive from age eleven to 29 years old, the abductor had an occasional bout of conscience which only brought on an almost (but not quite) Stockholm Syndrome situation. Ariel Castro was only capable of brief interludes of humanity but, sadly, even those stopped coming after he kidnapped his next victim.
The most heart wrenching piece of this story is that the happy ending for Michelle wasn't like it was for the other girls in Castro's prison, nor was it anything like Dupree or Amanda Smart experienced. Michelle had no homecoming because she had no home. Her younger twin brothers were the only ones she saw or cared to see and after seeing them, she was left, at 31, to recover the pieces of a stolen life, alone. And her son, the one thing that kept her alive, was no longer hers.
Incredibly, this woman shows a remarkable resilience and strength that almost anyone would have to admire. Life dealt her one hell of a bad hand, but she doesn't complain-in fact, she possesses incredible selflessness and maturity as the reader will see in the end.
This story simply broke my heart. It was so difficult to listen to at times, yet, I learned something from this remarkable young woman by the end. Life isn't fair, and she never really expected it to be. This monster stole so much more than time from this woman and yet she has accepted her lot with grace. I can only pray that the rest of her life is full of joy and beauty because I am pretty sure she had her fair share of suffering.
This is truly one of the most uncomfortable yet inspiring reads ever. Not for the faint of heart,'
42 of 44 people found this review helpful
I certainly didn't expect to be entertained by this book, nor was that my intention. My heart absolutely goes out to Michelle Knight. She never deserved the horror's she faced. Her faith and tenacity are incredibly inspiring and I wish nothing, but the best for her. Having said all of that I can't help but think if she had the "right" person helping her write her story that the message would have been more powerful. I was way more moved and got to know her better on 1 hour of the Dr. Phil show than I did reading this entire book. God bless her.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful