“My Story” by Elizabeth Smart

My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Non-Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction, Memoir, Spiritual, True Crime

Ten years ago, fourteen year old Elizabeth Smart was abducted at knifepoint from the bedroom she shared with her younger sister.


Now, Elizabeth shares her story in this heartfelt memoir about terror, love, faith, and healing.


Elizabeth spent nine months as the prisoner of Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. During that time she was starved, brutalized, and chained to a tree. She lived in constant fear for herself and for her family. In order to keep her under control, Mitchell would threaten her family daily, saying that if she even tried to escape, he’d kill them. He got into their Salt Lake City home once, who’s to say he couldn’t do it again? Throughout this nightmare, Elizabeth’s love for her family and her faith in God kept her going. It is because of these things that she survived and that she was later able to get her life back together.


I can remember when Elizabeth Smart was abducted. I was only a kid, but I recall seeing her picture on the news and hearing Oprah talk about her. When I heard that she was writing a memoir, I knew I had to get it and read it. I got it for Christmas this year (2013) and it did not disappoint. Smart reveals the details of her capture and subsequent imprisonment. She talks about her captors and their personalities as well as the way they would treat her. I knew she was kidnapped, but I didn’t previously know the extent of the brutality that was inflicted upon her. To be held captive only miles from your home knowing there’s nothing you can do to escape… that must have been so crushing. The torture she endured was physical, emotional, and mental. No wonder she eventual grew to do what she was told! He threatened the lives of her and family every day! Mitchell was an evil man who did truly evil things to her. But she managed to stay strong through her faith. It was her hope that got her through. A truly great an inspiring read. I recommend it to everyone ever. 


Content warning: Kidnapping, sexual assault, abuse of a child.