Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Story: Elizabeth Smart

Today, I am linking up with Bonnie and Bon's Book Club to talk about the book My Story by Elizabeth Smart. 

Here were the questions that Bonnie laid out and that I will answer in order.
Questions: + What made you feel connected (or disconnected) to Elizabeth throughout the story? + What was something that amazed/ shocked you when reading her story? + Was the writing style an issue for you?  Why or why not?  + What was most impressive to you about Elizabeth's story?

A little background info, Elizabeth was kidnapped when she was 14 years old from her bed, in her own house. She was held captive by a crazy man who deemed himself a prophet of God and got to have seven wives (young girls, of course) and a crazy woman who went along with this crazy man. 

What made you feel connected (or disconnected) to Elizabeth throughout the story?
I think my biggest connection was through Elizabeth's age. I teach 14 year old girls..a lot of them... and they are innocent, and pure, and I could not imagine any of them going through all of the things that Elizabeth wrote about.  Truth is, Elizabeth was so young and I could not stop thinking about that while reading. 

What was something that amazed/shocked you when reading her story?
I thought it was very interesting how Elizabeth felt the need to defend herself from the Stockholm syndrome several times throughout the story. They almost seemed to be blurted out into a section of her story. I also had to look up what Stockholm syndrome was, but it's where hostages begin to identify with their captors and empathize with them. You see, there are several occurrences in the book where Elizabeth had the option to scream/yell/say, "I am Elizabeth!!! Save me!!!" But she doesn't... she says it was due to fear. Her captor had threatened her family and made it seem like it was her responsibility if her family survived... and well, he captured her from her own bed, in her own house.. so she believed him. So, there are certain instances in the book where it almost seems like she is going off on tangents emphasizing she did not have Stockholm syndrome and she never lost sight of exactly who Brian David Mitchell was. 

Was the writing style an issue for you? Why or why not?
I didn't recognize the writing style as an issue. I think she wrote the book in a more colloquial style, but that doesn't bother me at all. For example, the almost "blurting out" of "I did not have Stockholm syndrome"... I can see how that would throw some people off.. but for me it made sense. I would rather read her story as if she were telling it and not as a reporter would tell it. 
What was most impressive to you about Elizabeth's story?
This one is simple. Her resolve to survive. And the insight she has chosen to gain from this whole experience. 
Her thoughts on evil in the world:  
"Yes, God can make some good come from evil. But even He, in all His majesty, won't make the evil go away. Men are free. He won't control them. There is wickedness in this world."

Her reaction to evil in this world:
"We can choose to be taken by the evil. Or we can try to embrace the good."

On God's miracles:
"Some of them are much more subtle. We may even have to look for His miracles along the way. But they are there. And they're important when we are struggling with the challenging battles of this life."
Would I recommend reading it? A definite yes. It's intense, but it is a remarkable story. 

Countdown to Trollie Wedding:
9 days.


  1. I thought the many times she mentioned Stockholm Syndrome was interesting too. I didn't realize how big of a deal that must have been in the media for her to have to mention it and defend herself so many times.

    1. Yes! I am glad I am not the only person! I didn't dislike it... I just thought it was interesting!