41 Following

A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 38/100: Finding Me - A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings - Michelle Knight

This is one of the best memoirs I've read of this type -- regular person (not a writer) goes through something traumatic, interest is generated in her story, she writes a book with the aid of a ghostwriter to satisfy people's curiosity/voyeuristic tendencies/etc.

This book felt less "ghost-written" than most of the others I've read, and Knight's memory for detail is very strong. I think this is partly because she actually wrote about her experience in journals, poetry, etc., as it was happening. I felt like I got a much more vivid picture of the personal hell she lived through than in a lot of these types of memoirs -- I could see the room and house where she was imprisoned, got a sense of the personalities of the other girls and of her kidnapper. This all amounts to an incredibly harrowing story.

Knight's story is also unique because she was not snatched out of a perfect or idyllic life, nor does she romanticize her life pre-captivity. By the time she was kidnapped, she had already run away from home, dealt with neglect, poverty, and sexual abuse in her home, and experienced teenage pregnancy and an ensuing custody battle. The outcome of that particular thread of her story is one of the most heartbreaking of all.

Ariel Castro was truly an evil man, and I am amazed by Knight's ability to survive him.