Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight & Michelle Burford

June 23, 2015
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight, InToriLex, Book Review
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings


Michelle Knight was kidnapped by Ariel Castro and suffered imprisonment and appalling abuse for the next ten years. But it was not until two other girls, Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry were also trapped in the house that news of the missing girls, all from a close area in Cleveland, Ohio, came out. When they were finally released in 2013,the world at large was shocked. How, in a modern society with high-tech communications, could three teenage girls simply disappear? Michelle tells her gruelling, yet riveting story in honest, clear prose that is difficult to put down.


This was tough to read, I can only imagine the horrible reality that these three girls faced when they were kidnapped by this Monster. I UN-apologetically sobbed three times while reading and I'm in awe at how they could live through hell for ten years. There was more then one time where an observant neighbor could have intervened or would have learned something was wrong by taking a step closer. The monster in this book targeted and preyed on these two girls dehumanizing them over and over as he used their bodies and took away their freedom.
"After years of being in prison a crazy thing starts to happen: the locks move from off of your wrists and your ankles and up to your brain.” 
The chains from the house that were kept on the girls at all time. 

I am blown away by how the human spirit finds a way to reach for hope. In the book all three girls used drawing to pass the time, two kept journals. Even though they were beaten, half starved and dying, those journals gave them peace and helped prosecute the monster that kidnapped them. The scenes described are graphic but not overly so. It does describe plenty of upsetting and violent scenes involving rape, so if you can't handle that kind of thing, this is not for you.  The chains pictured above are something I kept thinking of when she was describing their daily lives. Michelle and the other two woman kidnapped were chained most of kidnapping for over ten years. The depravity and cruelty of the monster that took them knows no bounds.

Michelle's life even before she was kidnapped was filled with hardship. She had to survive poverty, sexual abuse, and be a caretaker to her younger siblings while growing up.  If you followed the case then you already know that the monster who did this killed himself not long after being sentenced to life on parole and pleading guilty. The fact that he killed himself rather than facing a life in jail, is really frustrating and makes me angry. But if Michelle can find forgiveness for him, then I find comfort in knowing that they are all alive and free.
“Forgiveness is the only way I can truly reclaim my life. If I don’t forgive him, then it’ll be like he imprisoned me twice: first while he held me in his house, and now even after he’s gone. I’m letting my hatred of him go so I can truly get my life back.”  
This a memoir that gives you insight to a horrible tragedy, and it challenges you to appreciate and nourish what you do have in your life. It's not a long book, but it has a lot of people and events packed in that will keep you flying through it. I honestly wished was longer, but this is a wonderful sorrowful account from a very strong woman. Read this with tissue nearby.
“We all go through hard things. We might wish we didn’t, but we do. Even if I don’t understand my pain, I’ve got to turn it into some kind of purpose.” 


100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book 1 (Issues 1-19) by Brian Azzarello (writer), Eduardo Risso (illustrator)

June 15, 2015
100 Bullets, Comic Book Review, InToriLex

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