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Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland

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Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape   On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”   A horrifying story r Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape   On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”   A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughter—Jocelyn—by their captor.   Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.


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Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape   On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”   A horrifying story r Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape   On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”   A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughter—Jocelyn—by their captor.   Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.

30 review for Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    First of all, I have nothing but admiration for these THREE women who survived this. I say THREE because while occasionally thrown into the story as an annoying afterthought, Michelle Knight was also in that house the longest and endured the worst experience. While they did ask Michelle if she wanted to participate in this book, she said she wanted to tell her own story. If they took offense to that, shouldn't they of all people understand everyone needs to heal in their own personal way? I do ha First of all, I have nothing but admiration for these THREE women who survived this. I say THREE because while occasionally thrown into the story as an annoying afterthought, Michelle Knight was also in that house the longest and endured the worst experience. While they did ask Michelle if she wanted to participate in this book, she said she wanted to tell her own story. If they took offense to that, shouldn't they of all people understand everyone needs to heal in their own personal way? I do have a bit of a problem with Michelle's story in it saying part of it has been fictionalized. HOWEVER, the essential pieces all seem to line up with Gina's and Amanda's story. What I take offense with is that Michelle always paid respect to the entire story. She talked about all three women being in the house and spoke about what each was enduring, if not somewhat implying Amanda was somewhat being favored a bit...which in fact even Amanda admits herself after a while. Gina, who SHARED A ROOM with Michelle, barely acknowledges that she even existed; and Amanda sounds like a character on Mean Girls acting like she's some annoying girl in class who isn't worthy of her time to even mention. At other times, she treats her worse than the family dog who craps on the carpet. What she did for her daughter is truly remarkable. Her honesty about her Stockholm Syndrome-like emotions is admirable. Any story of bravery like this is inspiring. But whatever petty crap that went on the scenes behind this that made Michelle the cast-out throwaway in a survival story like this is pretty disturbing to me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    This is one of the most riveting books I have ever read. We need to suspend everyone's right to privacy for one day and check all basements, bedrooms, attics, etc. for kidnap victims. This book shows that if a twisted mind is careful enough, it can hide despicable horrors for years right under their neighbor's nose. While this book is riveting, it is very, very hard to read. If you are sensitive to hearing descriptions of acts driven by pure evil, this is not the book for you. De Jesus and Berry we This is one of the most riveting books I have ever read. We need to suspend everyone's right to privacy for one day and check all basements, bedrooms, attics, etc. for kidnap victims. This book shows that if a twisted mind is careful enough, it can hide despicable horrors for years right under their neighbor's nose. While this book is riveting, it is very, very hard to read. If you are sensitive to hearing descriptions of acts driven by pure evil, this is not the book for you. De Jesus and Berry were very brave to tell and revisit this tale. It is seriously unimaginable!

  3. 4 out of 5

    jeni

    Amazing As a sexual assault survivor I often sit and wonder why? It's hard to get up and just live sometimes. These women are a inspiration to all survivors. Thanks to them all the old backlogged DNA cases are finally getting tested. After almost 15 years I have received closure for my own case. I want to thank these courageous women for sharing their journey.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Snotchocheez

    I'm sure y'all are clamoring for my insightful review of this, Amanda Berry's and Gina De Jesus' harrowing account of a decade in captivity in Cleveland (and the reprise of sorts of fellow abductee Michelle Knight's book, Finding Me). (ok, that was sarcasm, obviously; only the weirdest true-crime voyeurs would relish reading about those girls' horrid plight. Or reading about Elizabeth Smart's ordeal in Utah, or Jaycee Dugard's eerily similar, equally horrific abduction in Northern California.) I'm sure y'all are clamoring for my insightful review of this, Amanda Berry's and Gina De Jesus' harrowing account of a decade in captivity in Cleveland (and the reprise of sorts of fellow abductee Michelle Knight's book, Finding Me). (ok, that was sarcasm, obviously; only the weirdest true-crime voyeurs would relish reading about those girls' horrid plight. Or reading about Elizabeth Smart's ordeal in Utah, or Jaycee Dugard's eerily similar, equally horrific abduction in Northern California.) I'm a sucker for "happy endings" (and goodness knows, there's no such thing when a teen girl is subjected to repeated rape, beatings, and psychological torture for nearly half her life). If there's a silver lining in this (and Ms. Knight's) frightful account, it's that possibly, by allowing these women to share their harrowing stories with us, it might provide them some sort of closure so that they can somehow pick up the pieces and have some semblance of a normal life. Unlike Ms. Knight's Finding Me, Hope feels more polished (probably thanks in part to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists that assisted Ms. Berry and Ms. De Jesus in the telling of their story. That is not to say this is necessarily the better of the two books. Each of these young women had her own unique story to tell; it's a shame that they couldn't resolve the rift between them, banded together and compiled all their stories instead of having to read two books to get a more complete picture of what they went through, because each story demands to be read. Both books are horrific, unforgettable glimpses of overcoming a freak's depravity, and if you were, like me, dumbstruck over the news of their escape, and wanted to learn more of their ordeal, both books are must reads.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I don't know how these girls survived this tragedy. My heart goes out to them and I hope they continue to stay strong and heal. Heartbreaking

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kim Thebwordpoet

    This book was the account of the horrible kidnappings from the two more well-known victims; Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus. This book truly touched me - as I'm sure it has touched everyone whose ever read it. However, I definitely identify with Michelle Knight's book more - and not just because I read her book first - but because her story was much, much more tragic. And though Michelle and Gina were chained together for years and years - Michelle was in this book as like another inanimate detail. This book was the account of the horrible kidnappings from the two more well-known victims; Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus. This book truly touched me - as I'm sure it has touched everyone whose ever read it. However, I definitely identify with Michelle Knight's book more - and not just because I read her book first - but because her story was much, much more tragic. And though Michelle and Gina were chained together for years and years - Michelle was in this book as like another inanimate detail. It made her story that much harder. And then Amanda and Gina have done so much together and are very, very close friends which drives the wedge in deeper because they didn't like each other in the house. But if they can become BFF'S outside the house - why can't the three of them band together in friendship? The OBVIOUS dismissal of Michelle Knight by Amanda and Gina is a definite black mark in their story for me. I don't know if they completely ignored her or whatever to respect the book she had put out on her own - but none of their stories match up. Why is it that Michelle remembers Castro abusing her most and in front of them while they don't recall that? When Michelle had her last miscarriage and when Castro made her sick off of mustard and Gina helped her through it - Gina never talks about that. Gina said she became a cutter and then a rubber band snapper - but Michelle never talked about that in her book. There were many other examples of things that Gina talked about or Michelle talked about that they BOTH should have went through together. They were chained together for a LONG time - why do they not mention the things they went through together while chained? They didn't even recall the van situation the same way as Michelle did! Outside of some tiny dialogue inconsistencies, the only thing all three of them seem to recall accurately is their rescue! Doesn't the wedge between the three of them means ultimately Castro finally won their obedience? I'm also extremely upset with the cold and unfeeling 911 operator who answered the phone when Amanda got free; Ariel ' s COMPLETELY UNOBSERVANT neighbors; and the FBI who couldn't see the OBVIOUS connections between Ariel Castro and Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus!!! I'm not saying it's not a good book or a book that truly touches you in ways you can't imagine. And I'm not saying Amanda or Gina are bad or unfeeling. I'm SOOOO sad about what they went through in that house and I'm SOOOO glad their now safe and sound and free and happy and with their families. But the complete dismissal of Michelle Knight in this book (and in their lives now) is completely disheartening. I wish they all could be friends. As Michelle had no family or friends to come home to, I believe Michelle needs them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Really thought that this was going to be great. Surprisingly, Michelle Knight's book was way way better. There's a lot of "I can't believe it's been X months, Y months, Z years" in this book. Much stronger personal connection w/ Michelle Knight in her book. Still worth reading, esp if you are from Cleveland, as I am. Scary. Stranger than fiction stuff.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This was an intense read, but it was always going to be. This is one of those cases that has stuck with me. As news of the "Cleveland Three" broke, I was in the midst of a career change. I was applying to a program that would get me my degree in Crime Analysis, and I wanted this because I wanted so badly to work on missing persons cases. This case steeled me and gave me drive, even in the midst of a horrible bout of depression at the time of my career change. Someday I hope to use my analytic sk This was an intense read, but it was always going to be. This is one of those cases that has stuck with me. As news of the "Cleveland Three" broke, I was in the midst of a career change. I was applying to a program that would get me my degree in Crime Analysis, and I wanted this because I wanted so badly to work on missing persons cases. This case steeled me and gave me drive, even in the midst of a horrible bout of depression at the time of my career change. Someday I hope to use my analytic skills on some of the cold cases mentioned in the epilogue. Lots a lot of personal blathering, I know. It's hard for me to be dispassionate about this. I'm around the same age as these women. I have watched the tv shows they mentioned, was listening to the music they liked before and during captivity, and reacted to the news events they say they watched on tv. The decade between your teens and later twenties is a crazy busy time, and a lot of the time it sucks for most people I know. But you can't overestimate the importance of choice and free will. Both in terms of major life events, and in small details. Getting to cook what you want. Listening to music, or not listening to music. Choosing when to go to the store. Choosing to go outside at all. There are very few people who deserve to have choice taken from them. And even in prison, Castro had more choice than his captives. Amanda Berry had to forage for writing surfaces, even from fast food cartons and paper towels. Meanwhile Castro had paper on demand, to write an endless series of complaints. The power of this book is often in the little details. It's claustrophobic and repetitive but that's a strength. That's what these women had to live with for ten years, and so you can live with it being relayed to you over the course of a few hours. Especially when it's written as well as this book is. No frills, but lots of no nonsense lines that strike a chord, and often make me want to sob. I see so many people judge victims, saying things like "well I would do it this way, why didn't she scream, why did she laugh with him once or twice, why, why, why??" Well, this book throws you right into it. It shows you horrible violence and petty degradations. You live through how the years can erode your ability to fight. It also shows how victims can and will fight back, always, even if its in ways like making sure your daughter has a kindergarten experience. It shows how Amanda and Gina didn't have the same reactions to everything, because there's no right or wrong way to be a victim or survivor. It shows how the victims often antagonized each other and fought amongst themselves, and it portrays this in a stark, non-judgmental way. Because they're human, and humans do fight even in the best of circumstances. But they also found the strength to at least try to reach out to each other, even though this kind of horrifying situation that can erode sympathy. That takes so, so much strength. I also appreciated the passages about what was going on in the "outside" world. If Castro is one of the most evil humans I've ever heard about, at least this book shows the tireless efforts of the families, the friends who stood by them year in and year out. They represent some of the best of humanity. And, of course, now these women are in the "outside" world too. I wish them nothing but the best.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    So I have been reading a lot more audiobooks because of work and this is one of the ones I chose. This is about Amanda Berry and Gina de Jesus who were kidnapped and imprisoned by Ariel Castro for 10 years. It was their memoire and a story they wrote together about their time there. I was very shocked while listening to hear that they didn't really get along in the house. I figured they would want to have bonded, but with the way things were set up I guess it makes sense. I didn't love the audio So I have been reading a lot more audiobooks because of work and this is one of the ones I chose. This is about Amanda Berry and Gina de Jesus who were kidnapped and imprisoned by Ariel Castro for 10 years. It was their memoire and a story they wrote together about their time there. I was very shocked while listening to hear that they didn't really get along in the house. I figured they would want to have bonded, but with the way things were set up I guess it makes sense. I didn't love the audiobook if I'm honest. I think there were 3-4 people who did the narration and I didn't really like that. Actually, the way the book was written didn't translate to audiobooks well. Between Amanda and Gina's chapters were chapters of the real world and what was happening. In the book it might have flowed well, but in the audiobook it was really jarring to go from 2 women to a man. I also didn't really feel the need to hear about what was happening in the real world, given that Amanda and Gina told us what they were seeing from the real world on the TV. I loved Amanda and loved hearing her story, but Gina was very difficult for me. Had this been fiction I would likely have said I disliked her, but being nonfiction and her actual life, I just don't think I connected with her. Something about Amanda and her strength through the entire process was empowering to me. Gina was less strong and more willing to accept her fate. I don't feel like that should ever be looked down upon, because I absolutely DO NOT know what that situation is like and I can only imagine how hard it would be to stay positive, but it was kind of harder to read about in that sense. I also didn't like the lady narrating her parts so that didn't help much. Overall I mean I liked this, it's the type of book I tend to gravitate to and they lived such a horrible life and it was all so sad. I am glad that they were rescued though and it makes me sad that there are people out there who are probably experiencing the same thing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tgordon

    This was a great book of well-Hope, just as the title says! How did this monster hide 4 girls including his own child for so long with no one, not a neighbor, not the postman, no one know. These amazing ladies showed great courage and care for each other during their ordeal. I can’t imagine the despair and it’s so sad that Amanda’s parents did not live to see her freed with her daughter. Lots of emotions go through my head but one very prevalent emotion is fear! This has happened before and is m This was a great book of well-Hope, just as the title says! How did this monster hide 4 girls including his own child for so long with no one, not a neighbor, not the postman, no one know. These amazing ladies showed great courage and care for each other during their ordeal. I can’t imagine the despair and it’s so sad that Amanda’s parents did not live to see her freed with her daughter. Lots of emotions go through my head but one very prevalent emotion is fear! This has happened before and is more than likely happening now.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alissa Patrick

    So disturbing, disgusting, vile. It's a shame this piece of garbage didn't suffer longer before killing himself. This audiobook was very hard to listen to, but it was a great story. God Bless Michelle, Gina, Amanda and little Jocelyn for being strong and enduring this horror.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Steeden

    Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan are journalists and they helped Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus write this book. Michelle Knight was also a captive in Ariel Castro’s Cleveland house (2207 Seymour Avenue), but she decides to tell her story separately. The book switches from Amanda’s point-of-view to Gina’s. The initial part is from Amanda and how she was abducted by Castro and then in diary form of events at the house. My word it is a harrowing read. Ariel Castro is one sick guy. What he did to Aman Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan are journalists and they helped Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus write this book. Michelle Knight was also a captive in Ariel Castro’s Cleveland house (2207 Seymour Avenue), but she decides to tell her story separately. The book switches from Amanda’s point-of-view to Gina’s. The initial part is from Amanda and how she was abducted by Castro and then in diary form of events at the house. My word it is a harrowing read. Ariel Castro is one sick guy. What he did to Amanda and Gina is just too horrifying for words. Amanda questions ‘Why do so many men hurt women?’. Indeed. Amanda has to dig deep for the title of this book – ‘Hope’ - ‘At some point this has to end, doesn’t it? If I thought I was going to never get out of here before I died, what would be the point of even getting up in the morning? I have to believe that one day I will walk out that door, free, and it’s going to be like coming back from the dead’. This is interspersed with quick but very interesting history / biographies of Amanda’s mother, Louwana and Castro himself. Castro’s marriage to Nilda is an eye opener. What a piece of work this guy is. The book will pull at all your emotions. Sadness, anger, disbelief and hope. There must be hope. The way he manipulated the girls was also frightening. He’ll tell Amanda that he was not having sex with Gina and Michelle. ‘I realize now what he’s been doing. He lies to them about me, and he lies to me about them. That’s his way of dividing us and making sure we don’t trust one another. Screw him’. This really twists Amanda’s feelings towards them. He’ll do other things as well like letting them watch their families on the news desperately asking for their children back. As the book goes on you tend to analyse their thinking and thought processes. Of course, luckily, not being in that situation it is hard to grasp. I personally thought that the book was put together very well and the pages rattled past. It’s not one that you are going to enjoy of course although there is joy, thankfully. These girls are amazing. They really are. I wish them all the very best to try and get as much out of life now as they possibly can. They deserve it. It must have been incredibly difficult going over the horror of those years spent chained at 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland to get this book out. I hope in some way that it helped getting it all out there. Remarkable. At one stage he asks Amanda, ‘Are you going to write a book about this?’ I am glad she had the opportunity to do just that.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate Kaput

    As other reviewers have noted, it feels uncomfortable to give this book a star rating, given how generally horrifying a story it is. It's a fascinating, compelling, moving story, though, & ultimately it is one that I am glad Amanda Berry & Gina DeJesus chose to tell in their own words. The media has told their story for them, but it is only in reading about their experiences through their voices that we can learn about even a fraction of the horrors they went through at the hands of kidnapper Ar As other reviewers have noted, it feels uncomfortable to give this book a star rating, given how generally horrifying a story it is. It's a fascinating, compelling, moving story, though, & ultimately it is one that I am glad Amanda Berry & Gina DeJesus chose to tell in their own words. The media has told their story for them, but it is only in reading about their experiences through their voices that we can learn about even a fraction of the horrors they went through at the hands of kidnapper Ariel Castro. It is absolutely worth the read, especially for anyone who followed their cases or cried at their rescues. Though it is a story filled with pain & suffering, I found myself truly blown away by these girls' strength & positive outlook, both during their captivity & following their escape. I will say that, having first read Michelle Knight's book, I found myself a little bit surprised by how largely absent she was from Amanda's & Gina's telling of their story. Amanda seems not to have spent much time with Michelle, by Castro's design, & admits that she was not the other girls' biggest fan, but Gina shared a room & a bed with her for the better part of a decade. It feels surprising to me that her existence was so whitewashed from this telling of the girls' shared - albeit very different - experiences. I found myself feeling bad for Michelle, whose own story is additionally horrifying (abusive family life, homelessness, a son taken from her, multiple miscarriages as a result of Castro's brutal beatings). Because I read Michelle's story first, I already felt attached to her & thus felt very defensive/protected of her when I read so little about her - & what I did read, mostly negative or apathetic. I understand, though, that these women must have a million different feelings, about one another & what they went through, & I can't fault them for feeling whatever it is that they feel - toward one another, toward Castro, to the world. Still, I encourage anyone who reads Amanda Berry's & Gina DeJesus' story to read Michelle Knight's, too, as I worry that her rescue, like her kidnapping, is wholly overshadowed by the two more well-known victims; her story is unique & worth reading. This book, which is incredibly well-written & supplemented by journalistic reporting & background stories, is one that you won't soon forget - & it will have you feeling extra-grateful for every single thing in your life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ♛✨Christine ♛✨

    An incredible read. It matches up with Michelle Knights account and provides an indepth memoir of both Berry and Dejesus during this horrific time they had to endure this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Xanthi

    I think it is important that these women have a voice and that is why I am glad they decided to tell their story. Having read Michelle Knight's book, I can't help comparing it. I think Michelle, having been kept in captivity the longest, copping the worst abuse and being older, she did need to tell her own story. Michelle's book is much more graphic and harrowing to read, due to the violence, mental abuse and forced abortions she had to endure. Whilst this book does cover some of that, it is not I think it is important that these women have a voice and that is why I am glad they decided to tell their story. Having read Michelle Knight's book, I can't help comparing it. I think Michelle, having been kept in captivity the longest, copping the worst abuse and being older, she did need to tell her own story. Michelle's book is much more graphic and harrowing to read, due to the violence, mental abuse and forced abortions she had to endure. Whilst this book does cover some of that, it is not as intensely written. One of the main things this book provides, as opposed to Michelle's, is detail on how Amanda strove to raise her child as 'normally' as she could, and what her child's life was like. Amanda also tries to communicate her complex relationship with her captor - made complex by being the mother of Castro's child - which is understandable. Gina, on the other hand, voices her loathing of him in a very strong and blunt manner and her defiance of not allowing him to get to her, mentally, is gratifying. (See her story about the hair cutting, as a good example of this.) Overall, their story is so terrible and so drawn out, that it is hard to believe it happened and they survived it - and yet they did. Like all survival stories, it gives one reason to pause and see one's own challenges in a new perspective.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Black

    I'm from Cleveland and remember when they disappeared, and when they escaped. It's an incredible story and very well told--the horrific situation never get gratuitous, and even though I knew the ending I couldn't stop reading it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was a more well written book than Michelle Knight's. It is still such a sad book, but again, I can not get over how positive these girls are after such horrendous things happened to them.

  18. 5 out of 5

    J.C. Ahmed

    "On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: 'Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.'" A very honest account of what life was like during the years Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus spent in captivity. They had asked Michelle Knight to join them in writing this book and she refused so she could focus on her own account. She isn't talked about much during the book. She only comes "On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: 'Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.'" A very honest account of what life was like during the years Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus spent in captivity. They had asked Michelle Knight to join them in writing this book and she refused so she could focus on her own account. She isn't talked about much during the book. She only comes up when necessary which I feel is the only correct approach. Amanda and Gina mainly focus on their own stories. And that includes a frank discussion of Stockholm Syndrome and jealously. They openly admitted to being downright mean to each other at times. They were envious when they perceived favoritism. These girls/women were stuck in this horrible situation for years and it isn't really surprising they didn't always get along, especially since Castro played a lot of mind games and deliberately made them mistrust each other. I appreciated that they were so open about it. "Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations." The families of Amanda and Gina went through a lot while they were missing. The book gives some insight into what they went through. It also covers Castro's background and provides details of the police investigation.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Casey

    All 3 women who endured this captivity (including Michelle Knight who has written a seperate memoir) should be commended for their miraculous endurance and survival. I will say that I didn't enjoy the structure of this book which shifts between Gina & Amanda's accounts AND lengthy reporter pieces. The shifting views of both women tends to focus on how much the women didn't like each other which, although i understand their treatment in captivity was varied, was strangely confronting to read abou All 3 women who endured this captivity (including Michelle Knight who has written a seperate memoir) should be commended for their miraculous endurance and survival. I will say that I didn't enjoy the structure of this book which shifts between Gina & Amanda's accounts AND lengthy reporter pieces. The shifting views of both women tends to focus on how much the women didn't like each other which, although i understand their treatment in captivity was varied, was strangely confronting to read about. Unfortunately (as i have read other reviews stating similar - ) it makes you form judgment on some unflattering traits that one of these women has. (which seem to come from personality rather than situation) Regardless, it is worth a read if you have followed the case or support missing persons awareness. I wish both these women the best.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susie

    This book was a very emotional read. These girls are heroes. Being a parent is challenging in the best of circumstances. I commend Amanda for trying to her best to allow her daughter to experience as many "normal" day to day tasks as possible in "that" surrounding. I personally think Michelle should have been discussed more in this book as she was also in that house at that time. I wish Amanda, Jocelyn, Gina and Michelle a wonderful future.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Audra Costello

    Everyone in CLE needs to read this book. Don't accept hearsay and rumor as the truth. Learn this story from the women who lived it.I met one of the authors at a park shortly after she was freed two years ago. At the time I was tongue-tied and awkward and didn't know what to say to this woman who had survived so much and was now just trying to enjoy a sunny day with her family. I'm glad I was able to read her story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

    I always find true crime books so interesting. These girls went through hell, and hearing this story was unreal. Thank god that they were found!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rissa

    They each got in the car willingly unknowing of what was to come to each admitted fault on that one simple thing. I can’t imagine how they must’ve felt as they were chained in their rooms in the basement in the garage. Do you speak of Jaycee and Elizabeth How they could survive how those men tormented them and he agreed how sick is that? He agreed that what they did to those girls was awful yet he was doing it to them. Amanda lost her mother while she was still trapped she also became a mother in They each got in the car willingly unknowing of what was to come to each admitted fault on that one simple thing. I can’t imagine how they must’ve felt as they were chained in their rooms in the basement in the garage. Do you speak of Jaycee and Elizabeth How they could survive how those men tormented them and he agreed how sick is that? He agreed that what they did to those girls was awful yet he was doing it to them. Amanda lost her mother while she was still trapped she also became a mother in that time I cannot imagine how they survived for 10 years. Although they did occasionally get food and television in music the life trapped a life raped is no life at all. Each story I read shows a different variation of pain and how these people are tormented over months or years. How their lives changed so quickly how they would never be the same. Amanda had a child. Tried to give her a normal life. Amanda broke out called the police and saved her friends. You know its coming but it still made my heart race for them. Castro admitted some fault but mainly said they wanted it. Said they cared for him which baffled me that his mind was that screwed up. I feel badfor his children and Amandas daughter for sharing his DNA and pray they dont follow his tendencies. Pray for them that one day they dont feel his presence or remember the pain he caused them. It makes me think about how many people are still beig kept captive or died in captivity...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    I never expected this book. Not in the general sense, anyway. After reading Michelle Knight's account in 2014, this was on my radar and I added it to my GR list figuring I would maybe track it down someday, but I wasn't going to put a ton of effort into it. What happened to these women was harrowing and horrendous beyond words, and I wasn't sure I necessarily wanted to hear more about it. I never expected to walk into the secondhand shop yesterday and find a copy staring me in the face. I had br I never expected this book. Not in the general sense, anyway. After reading Michelle Knight's account in 2014, this was on my radar and I added it to my GR list figuring I would maybe track it down someday, but I wasn't going to put a ton of effort into it. What happened to these women was harrowing and horrendous beyond words, and I wasn't sure I necessarily wanted to hear more about it. I never expected to walk into the secondhand shop yesterday and find a copy staring me in the face. I had brought two other books with me that I needed to finish. I didn't need another book (don't we all say that?), but I picked it up and began reading almost immediately. All afternoon I read. I never expected to read it in one day, but I couldn't stop. I finished around midnight. I cried when they got out. I cried for Amanda's mom, who died five years before her escape. I had a wild moment of wonder if any of them ever watched ROOM, the film with Brie Larson, and hoped they hadn't. These women did not deserve what happened to them, and they do not deserve to spend the rest of their lives being reminded of it in any way. I skimmed the bits about Castro's background, because this story is not about him. But I was struck by how he made it out to be their own fault for getting in the car with a stranger. Each of these girls knew him/knew of him/knew his kids. He was not a stranger to them. Reading this book made me remember how heartbreaking Michelle's part of the story was. The police wrote her off as a runaway when she disappeared and stopped looking for her. She is separate from the other two because she was older, 21 years old and a single mother, when she was abducted. Hope tied Amanda and Gina together because their families were adamant about keeping them in the news as much as they could. Michelle's story wasn't like that, and my heart aches for her. I rolled over and kissed my husband good-night and explained that I hadn't banked on finishing it the day I started. He said, "Sweet dreams," and fell back asleep. But there were no nightmares, because this book had a happy ending. I wish each of these ladies all the peace and happiness in the world. My review of Michelle Knight's FINDING ME

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    Every time I read stories like these, I'm so in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit. These girls were treated like animals, and yet just two years after their ordeal ended, they seem remarkably grounded and happy and sure of themselves. I hope the rest of their lives are filled with joy--they've more than earned it. Well worth reading if you're interested, as is Michelle Knight's Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings. You'll notice that th Every time I read stories like these, I'm so in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit. These girls were treated like animals, and yet just two years after their ordeal ended, they seem remarkably grounded and happy and sure of themselves. I hope the rest of their lives are filled with joy--they've more than earned it. Well worth reading if you're interested, as is Michelle Knight's Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings. You'll notice that the third victim chose to write her own book, and I was a bit puzzled by that until had the chance to read her story. A note on the writing: I have to say that the actual book is very well put together, too. The girls' two voices are distinct and their diary entries/narration are compelling. The writers who helped them with this project did a great job with the structure of the overall book (unlike A Stolen Life, for example) to help us see the timeline and to provide important context.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    There's not a whole lot to say about this book. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus spent about a decade as prisoners inside a twisted man's home (along with Michelle Knight, who wrote her own book). This is their account. There are a ton of things that probably should've been done differently stylistically in order to make an already compelling account that much better. At the same time, I'm betting that it was more important that the young women who spent far too much of their young lives being rape There's not a whole lot to say about this book. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus spent about a decade as prisoners inside a twisted man's home (along with Michelle Knight, who wrote her own book). This is their account. There are a ton of things that probably should've been done differently stylistically in order to make an already compelling account that much better. At the same time, I'm betting that it was more important that the young women who spent far too much of their young lives being raped and emotionally abused liked how the book came out. And they very well might have felt that a tighter edit was another victimization.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This isn't the kind of book I usually read, but I found myself riveted by the stories of these young women, who are all she-roes for finding a way to persevere and survive under horrible conditions. Worth the read, but expect nightmares and a tendency toward overprotecting your children afterward.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This book was written together by Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus,{Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan helped fill in the outside coverage} Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were two of the three young women who were held captive by Ariel Castro. The other woman was Michelle Knight who wrote her own memoir last year. Amanda and Gina were kidnapped one year apart in Cleveland Ohio by Ariel Castro. Amanda was held against her will for ten years, and Gina for nine years. Amanda was one day short of 17 years This book was written together by Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus,{Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan helped fill in the outside coverage} Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were two of the three young women who were held captive by Ariel Castro. The other woman was Michelle Knight who wrote her own memoir last year. Amanda and Gina were kidnapped one year apart in Cleveland Ohio by Ariel Castro. Amanda was held against her will for ten years, and Gina for nine years. Amanda was one day short of 17 years old, Gina was only 14.The women take turns describing the hell they both went through at the hands of this perverted, twisted, horrible man. Both along with Michelle Knight endured constant rapes, starved with only one small meal per day. All were chained for years so no way they could escape the hell house they lived in. Amanda gave birth to a baby girl on Christmas day 2006. for years they were terrorized beaten at times. and even taunted by this cruel sadistic man. Finally in May of 2013 Amanda Berry found her chance to escape when Castro forgot to lock her in the bedroom she was held captive in. This book gives the ten and nine years of horror these two women endured. This is a very difficult book to read. Knowing this is a true account of what the three women endured at the hands of this beast of a man. the other part of the book is from Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan who describe what is going on in the news with the families and police trying to find the missing teenagers. it was not until May 6,th 2013 that the world found out that Amanda and Gina were in the same house of horror. I give this a five to give a hands up to the brave women who were willing to tell their "story"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    For anyone who doesn't know, this book was the autobiographical account by two girls who were imprisoned for 10+ years by a man named Ariel Castro. They were subjected to (view spoiler)[rape, torture, mind games, starvation, forced abortion (or possibly forced to give live birth only to have their child murdered immediately by their captor) and other atrocities (hide spoiler)] . A third girl was present, Michelle Knight, but Michelle decided to write her own book rather than participate in this b For anyone who doesn't know, this book was the autobiographical account by two girls who were imprisoned for 10+ years by a man named Ariel Castro. They were subjected to (view spoiler)[rape, torture, mind games, starvation, forced abortion (or possibly forced to give live birth only to have their child murdered immediately by their captor) and other atrocities (hide spoiler)] . A third girl was present, Michelle Knight, but Michelle decided to write her own book rather than participate in this book. These girls have an amazing survival story to tell and I appreciate that the girls, Amanda in particular, were so candid about the complex emotions they dealt with during their captivity. Amanda even admits to occasionally having less than hateful feelings towards her captor, who did father her child, and actually treated the child well. I think this and Michelle Knight's book are important reads. We can learn a lot from what these girls endured. While I'm glad Ariel Castro is dead, much could have also been learned if he had lived. We could have studied his brain. He was probably a sociopath but he was a very unusual sociopath. He seemed to crave intimacy. In his head, he built fake relationships with these girls. He expected them to love him and became enraged on the occasions when he was forced to confront the fact that they did not.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tahlia

    This is without a doubt the most emotional book I have ever read. I actually am not going to give the book a rating based on that fact alone. I do not believe that a true story like this should ever be rated. I also do not wish to rate the book because I do not want Ariel Castro copycats to see all these reviews and think of it as way to get fame. Although in saying that, all of these women are 5 star people. The strength and perseverance that all three of them demonstrate on every single page re This is without a doubt the most emotional book I have ever read. I actually am not going to give the book a rating based on that fact alone. I do not believe that a true story like this should ever be rated. I also do not wish to rate the book because I do not want Ariel Castro copycats to see all these reviews and think of it as way to get fame. Although in saying that, all of these women are 5 star people. The strength and perseverance that all three of them demonstrate on every single page really puts into perspective how important it is not to stress the small stuff. Absolutely beautiful women and I wish them and their families all the best in future.

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