Her own voice

For victims of violence, speaking out can be healing; in this case, it also short-circuits any attempt by others to “cash in” on her story. In A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard tells her own story: At age 11, she was kidnapped from the street in South Lake Tahoe, held in isolation and repeatedly raped. She gave birth to two children while still a teen, and eventually was freed when she identified herself to a police officer after 18 years of abuse. Her memoir pulls no punches, but it also reveals a strong, resilient person who found ways to retain her sanity and protect her daughters. That said, this is hard to read: Dugard didn’t have a ghostwriter, and the book is raw and bluntly honest. What comes through loud and clear is her fierce love for her children and her determination to survive. She is more than able to speak for herself.