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
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
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 knew this would be a difficult read, but I didn't realize just how difficult. This took me forever to read because I could only read so much before I would have to put it down again. This book was so heartbreaking that I could only take so much of it at a time.
Elizabeth did a great job at telling her story. I think she knew that there were so many people out there that were curious to know what actually happened to her and how she coped with everything afterward. I will say that she frustrated me at times. I was never frustrated that she didn't try to escape because I understood that. What frustrated me was that sometimes to, I think, protect the reader she didn't fully explain what was happening. I'm not sure if they were moments she really didn't want to think about or if it was her Mormon beliefs, but she chose to sensor some moments.
I'm amazed by her.