Leta’s Book Review: Stolen

Stolen by Elizabeth Gilpin felt like an attack on the memories of my peaceful teenage hood. Not a bad one: a necessary one now that I’m an adult and hoping to be a parent. No matter what, I believe that this is an important memoir for those who struggle with their teenagers or people hoping to be parents. Teenagers are so delicate and mouldable. They need support and love and time to figure out who they are and what they are going to be. There are safe ways to do this, but it hinges on supportive parents who aren’t going to decide when they’ve had enough. By becoming a parent, you’ve signed up for it all and it’s your responsibility to raise that child.

Before I go further, I want to say that I won’t be talking about the events in this memoir. Elizabeth’s words are the important ones because these are her experiences. If you are someone who needs trigger warning for mature content, look up content warnings or be prepared for descriptions of many types of trauma and abuse.

Despite this, Elizabeth wrote this memoir. Her story, and the stories of so many other teenagers, is immensely important. Knowing the terrible things that happen to these children should help us not to repeat the same mistakes.

This is a short review, I know, but I don’t have too much to say. It was a struggle to read, but I’ve come out the other side glad to know Elizabeth’s story. The entire time I was reading, all I wanted was to hug her, hold her tight, and help her. I hoped time and again that her parents would come to their senses. That someone would help her.

I finished Stolen and felt relief. I, too, had felt captured by this memoir and Elizabeth’s story. Because of that, I felt her freedom too. Her powerful storytelling technique is evident here – she is unafraid and unapologetic about what she’s telling. It’s necessary.

I hope that you pick up this memoir and give it a chance. It won’t be for everyone, since the content is very heavy, but I think it’s important that as many people read it as possible. Understanding Elizabeth’s experience is important.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for telling your story.



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