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Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

recomended

Too much Emotion


Stolen Lives, by Malika Oufkir, tells a great story of suffering through hardships. Malika is imprisoned for 20 years with her family in a desert jail. She attempts to remain strong because she acts like a role model for her family. Malika tries...
Too much Emotion


Stolen Lives, by Malika Oufkir, tells a great story of suffering through hardships. Malika is imprisoned for 20 years with her family in a desert jail. She attempts to remain strong because she acts like a role model for her family. Malika tries to stay strong on the outside, but in reality, she is doing all of this for herself. She writes as though she is the strongest in the family in an almost arrogant type of way. She just wants to believe that she is the one that led them to freedom and gets them through hardships.

The author uses the real emotions that she goes through to write this memoir. It feels as though she is pulling all of her feeling right out of her and putting them on the paper. It is very inspirational when you hear how she feels. You can really tell that she forgets about pain and helps lift her family out of imprisonment. After reading, I have a sense of hope, I know that I can't always give up at the first sign of trouble. Knowing that no matter what life throws at me, I will be able to overcome it. Malika writes about fear and hope using these emotions to express everything she wants to say.

I really enjoy how this book was written. Malika makes it very clear with her feelings on how she feels. Malika didn't reach her goal. She told mostly about her feelings, but she left out details about the main plot. I don't feel like she got her full story across, she does make it interesting when she shows so much feeling. She mostly wants to show the world about the injustice that is this story. But apart from the emotions that takes place in this story, it feels as though we were clueless as what was happening. She focuses on emotions which is great, but I think she needs to find a balance between how she is feeling and actually telling her story. In the end, we knew how she feels, but we should know more about what was going on in the outside.

Compared to others, this book exceeds them on the subject. Sometimes, in other memoirs like this, you don't get a sense on how they were feeling. They usually more focus on what is happening than what they are feeling. It ties emotions to the book in a whole new way. I really feel the same way that Malika describes. She also makes it so we had a strong idea of the theme. She does a fantastic job on making us believe that everything will always be okay as long as you never gives up hope. But on the other hand, you sometimes never know what is going on in the plot. It is like she is leaving out some important details. On some occasions she states that the guards pays no attention to them and are barley noticeable. But on other occasions, she describes the guards searching them and being very intrusive on all the minute details of their lives. There were times like these that were contradicting. These things make it irritating throughout the book. But overall, I think that her memoir is pretty good.

Having read this book, I really feels that I knew what hope was. She writes with such strong emotion and sense of hope and believing in yourself. I recommend this book, and I would give it a B-. This is a good book and it is great in the category of suffering through hardships. If she could have just put in more details about the plot. Sometimes, too much emotion will actually start to take away from the memoir.

posted by Gioblah2 on January 29, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Amazing Book

I believe it is one of the greatest books I ever read. I still remember what they went through, after three years. I couldn't believe the horror and cruelty they felt, and knowing it was a true story, it was more difficult to realise the growth of pain.

posted by Anonymous on February 14, 2002

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    recomended

    Too much Emotion


    Stolen Lives, by Malika Oufkir, tells a great story of suffering through hardships. Malika is imprisoned for 20 years with her family in a desert jail. She attempts to remain strong because she acts like a role model for her family. Malika tries to stay strong on the outside, but in reality, she is doing all of this for herself. She writes as though she is the strongest in the family in an almost arrogant type of way. She just wants to believe that she is the one that led them to freedom and gets them through hardships.

    The author uses the real emotions that she goes through to write this memoir. It feels as though she is pulling all of her feeling right out of her and putting them on the paper. It is very inspirational when you hear how she feels. You can really tell that she forgets about pain and helps lift her family out of imprisonment. After reading, I have a sense of hope, I know that I can't always give up at the first sign of trouble. Knowing that no matter what life throws at me, I will be able to overcome it. Malika writes about fear and hope using these emotions to express everything she wants to say.

    I really enjoy how this book was written. Malika makes it very clear with her feelings on how she feels. Malika didn't reach her goal. She told mostly about her feelings, but she left out details about the main plot. I don't feel like she got her full story across, she does make it interesting when she shows so much feeling. She mostly wants to show the world about the injustice that is this story. But apart from the emotions that takes place in this story, it feels as though we were clueless as what was happening. She focuses on emotions which is great, but I think she needs to find a balance between how she is feeling and actually telling her story. In the end, we knew how she feels, but we should know more about what was going on in the outside.

    Compared to others, this book exceeds them on the subject. Sometimes, in other memoirs like this, you don't get a sense on how they were feeling. They usually more focus on what is happening than what they are feeling. It ties emotions to the book in a whole new way. I really feel the same way that Malika describes. She also makes it so we had a strong idea of the theme. She does a fantastic job on making us believe that everything will always be okay as long as you never gives up hope. But on the other hand, you sometimes never know what is going on in the plot. It is like she is leaving out some important details. On some occasions she states that the guards pays no attention to them and are barley noticeable. But on other occasions, she describes the guards searching them and being very intrusive on all the minute details of their lives. There were times like these that were contradicting. These things make it irritating throughout the book. But overall, I think that her memoir is pretty good.

    Having read this book, I really feels that I knew what hope was. She writes with such strong emotion and sense of hope and believing in yourself. I recommend this book, and I would give it a B-. This is a good book and it is great in the category of suffering through hardships. If she could have just put in more details about the plot. Sometimes, too much emotion will actually start to take away from the memoir.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Stolen Lives was a hard book to understand in the beginning and

    Stolen Lives was a hard book to understand in the beginning and throughout the middle. Sometimes the author didn’t give specific names and details which made it difficult for me to understand what was going on. The book was hard for me to get into at first but it slowly got more and more interesting. I liked how the book was told from Malika’s perspective but it also gave some insight on the other characters. In some parts of the book, Malika would explain how some of her siblings were coping with being imprisoned. I also liked how the author included imagery in her writing. Malika gave details about where her and her family was staying and how they were living.
    I would recommend Stolen Lives to anyone around my age and older because you don’t need to be interested in history to understand this book and be able to read it. It isn’t a slow or fast read but it has some harder words. Stolen Lives is actually quite interesting when Malika Oufkir starts to talk about her and her family’s imprisonment. Coming from someone like me who doesn’t prefer reading history books, it is a fascinating read!
    I would recommend Stolen Lives to certain high school students, but not any student. I would recommend this book to a student who needs to read a book for a history report like me, or a student who is interested in reading history related books. I say this because it is not a book I recommend if someone was looking for a book to read just for fun. I think adults would be able to understand Stolen Lives quicker and find it more interesting than people my age. Although, I do believe it was a good book to read for my history report.
    I am glad I chose to read Stolen Lives because I learned a few things from it. I really admire the author for telling her story through this book. I think it’s very neat to read about a true story, especially when it didn’t happen too long ago and they are still alive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2012

    Palaces to Prisons

    In the early 1970s, a mother and her children were forced to live as prisoners in the deserts of Morocco for the crimes of her husband against the king. It is for the next twenty years that they spend their lives as prisoners. Over this time the family learns of the extent of human cruelty and of the tendency for the rest of the world to just ignore it. This is the basic plot of the story that Malika Oufkir, the eldest daughter of the mother, tells of a very hard time in her life recorded in the book Stolen Lives by Michèle Fitoussi. Through telling her memoir, it is my belief that Malika is trying to open the eyes of her reader to the cruelty and suffering that is still occurring in our world. I believe she wants her readers to stop ignoring this suffering and start acting against it.

    For the most part this book was very well put together, however I did have a few issues with it every now and then. The clarity of the writing would be one of these issues. For most of the book I could easily understand what was going on but there were a few occasions when the family was in prison that I got confused as to how certain things were happening. I think this was a either a result of a slight lack of description of the prison or the book being translated. Small problems such as this one didn’t affect the Malika’s ability to get her point across though. Instead, she was able to use the experiences she and her family went through to create a very persuasive and inspiring work. It makes the reader feel the pain the Oufkirs went through and makes them angry about what happened. This anger creates a want in the reader to do something about this cruelty, fulfilling Malika’s goal.

    Now obviously I have no personal experience on suffering in a prison for twenty years but I have read many books involving human suffering. Compared to theses books, I’ve noticed a few similarities and differences which both contribute and hurt the book. In this book Malika includes a lot about her life prior to the time she spent in prison. Usually books similar to this one include very little about this topic, but in this case much of the first half of the book was based on it. This was important to the story because of the fact Malika lived in the royal palace with the king before she went to prison. However, I would have still liked to see the book focused a little less on this topic. Malika also includes how her family’s experience has affected them in the long run. Most books I’ve read like this one just end as soon as the main character’s experience of suffering is over, but in this book Malika goes on to tell us what her family is like today. This strengthens her message by showing the long-term effects of their suffering. One last thing I was very happy to see was Malika helped the author write the book. I find it crucial for someone who experienced the event to be involved in the writing of the book about it. I think it just makes it more believable and meaningful. Luckily Michèle made the right choice and chose to involve Malika in the writing of her book.

    Due to the fact that Malika was the one experiencing the traumatic event of human cruelty she describes in Stolen Lives, she is able to use her experiences to easily voice her opinion to her readers. This ability along with the incredibleness of her story allowed her to create both a very interesting and informative book. Because of this, I give this book an –A and recommend it to all mature

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    Wonderful

    I read this book and could not put it down!!! Wonderful reading. My emotions became so tangled when reading the book. I often found myself sad, hopeful, and excited. Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    MUST READ

    This book was GREAT. It kept my attention and was very educational. The story was sad, exciting, and heart-warming. i would recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2004

    A family of true survivors.....

    I decided to read this because I couldn't believe that something so horrible could be done in this day and age. It is amazing to know that some of the events of this story were taking place while I was still in High School learning about the ways and customs of other countries. Yet it is so weird that I never heard about this family until I was skimming through titles one day. It makes you wonder what other cruel practices are taking place at this moment. This book is definitely worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    Ever been taken away from an undeveloped life?

    The Novel Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir is a down to earth book. It shows how hard it is for kids of young ages to survive in the streets. Malika was just five years old when she had to spend the rest of her life with her adoptive royal family. This is a wonderful story and it is one to be heard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2002

    An Eye Opener!

    I was amazed at what I learned from this book. I think that Malika Oufkir and Michelle Fitoussi did a wonderful job. In their writing, I was able to see the difference in the freedom and justice that we take for granted here in the 'free world.' The Mid East appears to be strewn with governments full of despotic leaders. My heart goes out to the Oufkir children for all that they were deprived of for so many years.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2001

    Incredible story of strength and hope

    This incredible book details the life of Malika Oufkir who spent twenty years imprisoned with her Moroccan family following her father's death and the 1972 coup attempt against King Hassan II. At a young age, Oufkir was adopted by King Muhammad V and was to be raised as a companion and equal to his own daughter. What follows in an amazing story of political unrest and a family's strength and will to survive under deplorable conditions. This book held my attention from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2001

    Very interesting

    I really enjoyed this true story, very informative, you also get a sensation of what life is on the other side of the world. Just so different from us, customs, families, respect. It really makes you appreciate living in America, and how life can change from one extreme to the other. Very well written, and you feel you are with this character through everything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2001

    Paradise Lost / A Reversal of Fortune Story

    The passions of power playing out in a very Grimm tale. General Oufkir - husband and father, is killed in his attempt to assassinate the King. The true reversal of fortune story of a family who due to their place in the royal palace and the subsequent tragedy which befalls them, have their world turned upside down. It is expected that they are to be torn apart due to love, loyalty and betrayals; betrayals which cast them exiled and almost buried alive for years in desert prisons. The fact that the prisoners are the children of Morocco leaves the reader in a state of horror. The courage, faith and humour keeping this family's spirit together is the thread that binds and the reason for their ability to live through their years as hostages. So much of what we read seems difficult to fathom and yet we know from history that these things do happen. It is always important to learn from history. The light at the end of the Oufkir tunnel signals that we should do more for others in the world who might have befallen a similar fate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    Capturing !!

    I was able to read only a few pages of her story from an excerpt in a magazine. I cannot wait to get the book. I, too, thought back to what I was doing at given dates in her story, thinking of my own life, comparing it to hers. What trials and immense grief they suffered, while still just children. Thank you, Malika, for sharing your story.

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    Posted February 25, 2011

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    Posted March 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

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