Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

4.7 207
by Michelle Knight

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Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. 
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Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. 
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In the 12 years of doing the ‘Dr. Phil’ show, no one has changed me like Michelle Knight and her story of survival.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

“The story of an incredibly brave and resilient young woman and of a spirit that refused to be crushed, even through the worst time.” – Daily Mail

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Weinstein Publishing
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Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings 4.7 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 207 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I sat down at my kitchen table to look over the book on the day it landed on my Kindle, 3.5 hours later I had finished the book, and had not moved from my spot. What an incredible woman, and her story is heart wrenching, yet moving. God bless her and so appreciative that she was able to share her story of captivity at the hands of a monster. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an inspiring woman! Being from the area and actually knowing the Castro family, this story was extremely special to me. I often had to put the book down to let it sink in that this really happened, to a human. I admire your strength and your abilityto forgive!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I bought it as soon as it came out and have been unable to put it down. It is such an incredible story, and although it leaves you feeling depressed, at the same time it is full of inspiration. I originally bought it because I thought that after all she had gone through the least i could do for her was read her memoir, and I am so glad I did. You have to get this book; it will change your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not know where to begin! This book was incredibly sad and some parts are just a torture to read. This woman is amazingly strong and positive. I personally couldn't have done it. The ending is very uplifting and I am so happy that she is moving on w her life. Would love to meet her one day and just hug her and tell her how brave she has been for so long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is interesting enough that I finished it one day, but I wanted more details. I suppose I'm too greedy when it comes to information. Good book, sad story. All the best to Michelle, Amanda, and Gina.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be astounding. The details are so vivid. The author truly draws you in and keeps you turning pages. At times it is heartbreaking. Michelle should be applauded for her courage and perseverance to reclaim her life.
LetsBookIt More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to pick this book up. I didn't really want to know what happened to any of the women in Ariel Castro's (hereafter referred to as 'the dude') prison. I wasn't after some sensational, disgusting account of abuse and slavery. The deciding factor for me was seeing an interview with author Michelle Knight. What a feisty, down to earth woman! So it was with trepidation I turned to the first page. Michelle starts her story from the beginning - her beginning. We are introduced to a little girl living a life of sadness who, somehow discovers faith and hope and refuses to let either go. She is discreet in her description of the hell she ended up living in for 10 years, which I truly appreciated. In telling her story, she manages to make the abuse understood without having to stoop to specifics. The real story here is how Michelle managed to hold on to her faith, her hope and her true self no matter what 'the dude' did to her. I am in no way saying she didn't have and doesn't continue to have issues to work out - who wouldn't!! But her attitude and fierce will to heal and be happy serve as inspiration to anyone who has ever been through hell; to anyone who has wondered 'why me'; to anyone who has dared to take their life for granted. Michelle's story ends up being an uplifting reminder that we can not only survive, but bloom no matter what happens in our lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Naturally, the book was hard to read at times because my heart broke for her son Joey and the girls. However the book turns into an amazing story of friendship, hope, and survival. This woman is truly remarkable and I wish her all of the love and happiness the world can offer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope Michelle Knight will be able to experience nothing but joy and love the rest of her life.
berenice75 More than 1 year ago
This book only explains the horror that poor victims that are or were abducted by psychos go thru. I'm so amaze what this poor young woman Michelle went thru since childhood. I can't believe that her own parents let this happens to her! And then she was kidnap by this Evil Man that did horrible things to her! But it's a lesson of strength, hope and the will to live. All I can say it's that she got away and now she's free, she lost her son which it's the worse of all things that can happen to a loving mom like Michelle but she loves her son so much that she did the best for him by letting his son be happy with his adopted parents. Michelle you are a inspiration for us women, you are an example of strength, I know that you are going to get the best of life for now on, You deserve happiness for all the sad, horrible times you went thru.
Theamb More than 1 year ago
Michelle is an amazing person.  I bought her book on my nook earlier this evening and read it completely.   Living near West 105th people in the neighborhood always talked about how 3 girls from the same area were missing & it never made any sense why not one of them was found.    We saw Amanda's mother on TV, we saw the signs up for Gina missing.My heart just aches for these women for what they went through & survived.   For Michelle to have been treated so much worse by that monster, to have the monster abuse her to protect Gina, for her to deliver Jocelyn when the monster would not let her keep her babies-her strength and love of her son reflect what an incredible power she is.  She is an inspiration beyond belief.  People need to listen to her when she says if you see some thing that does not seem right-bring it to someone's attention, the police or whomever.  Michelle's family life before the kidnapping would be enough to destroy a person.  Combine everything and you see that Michelle is one of the most amazing spirits ever to be on this earth. I hope to meet Michelle/Lily in person one day to thank her for being a true Hero!
HiHowYurDoin More than 1 year ago
I cried.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Picked it up, didn't put it down until I was finished. My prayers go out to her. What an incredible young lady she is.
WonderWmn More than 1 year ago
Reviewing a victims book is always hard. Just for what the author went through and being able to talk about it, is worth 5 stars. I do recommend this book to everyone though, because how she and the other two women who were also victims were kidnapped, could easily happen to others.  This book isn't just about the kidnapping and the daily torture she went through. This book starts when the author is very young and the abuse she endured from youth and on. How she tried to get out of that situation again and again. This woman just could never catch a break. She was rescued at the age of 32 and basically that is when she finally got the taste of true freedom. The author details the torture that the other women and she went through. The rapes, the miscarriages, the birth of a child. The author didn't go in graphic detail about the rapes, but let it be known just how severe they were. The heartbreak of the forced miscarriages comes through. This is a woman who treasures life and wanted the children, even if they were created from a man who was her kidnapper, rapist and torturer. She missed her son, who she last saw when he was 2, and it felt like she was looking for someone she could mother during that separation.  Out of the three women kidnapped, Michelle was the first and in turn was there the longest. The things she describes would break a person, instead of giving up, Michelle pushed through each day, living for the hope of seeing her son again one day. She was the big sister to the other women, giving them the strength to not give up. By the time I finished this book, I wanted nothing more than to give Michelle the biggest hug and tell her, she did good, the evil is gone and one day she will have the happy ending she is looking for. Now after all this, I couldn't give the book 5 stars. The writing was a bit underdeveloped and the way time jumped it sometimes was a bit confusing. There was also descriptions of various things that seemed a bit jumbled and could have used some fine tuning. I know, she's not writing this to be an author, but to get her and the others stories out there, but as a reviewer, this is what I have to do. Mothers and fathers, read this. Once your daughter turns 13, have her read it. Read it to your daughter, who is under 12, leaving out whatever you feel would be too much for them. This book is not just a memoir but also an education in what victims go through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My heart goes out to Michelle. I cannot even imagine the horror her and those 2 other girls went through. God bless you Michelle! You are stronger than I ever would've been in that situation. I am glad to know that by me buying your book, it helps you have that much more of a free life. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! Read it in a matter of hours. Can't believe what these girls went through. Amazing journey of survival. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional book for being such a tragic story.  There were times I had to put it down and walk away because it was so painful to read.  It is amazing the strength that Michelle and the other girls had to have had to survive such an ordeal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
that poor lady. i read the book in 3 days. she suffered so much by that monster. I really feel Joey new family need to make her seee her son and just hug him..he is what made her survive and now she cant even see heartless..i hope one day she gets to hold hime again and may she always be blessed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So glad she's giving other victims a voice, very much an inspiration to others
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't remember the last time I willing have read a book.  I knew right away I would have to buy this one.  I read it in 2 days.  Such a heartbreaking tale, but a wonderful insirational book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am amazed at what this woman, along with the two others, has gone thru in there life and the uplifting outlook she still has. It was difficult to read this book, I can't even imagine what it was like to live it. Makes me sick that Ariel died so soon in prison, he deserved many more years of suffering for all he did. What a sick bastard!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read in two days easy and interesting read' , you go girl your strenght is crazy, i will pray for you and joey, that boy has the best mom ever not many would think about his life first,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a true was a great read.and a easy was also a page only took me a day and half to read kept u wondering what was gonna happen next. I would definetly recommend for adults only to read it though.there was some pretty graphic things told in the book. It is a must read.
Brunette_Librarian More than 1 year ago
     I was astonished by the news reports when Michelle Knight was liberated from captivity in Cleveland. I had looked forward to hearing Michelle’s story and when I saw that she had a book coming out, I immediately made sure my library purchased the book. Reading this account through Michelle’s words was horrific, heartbreaking,  awe inspiring, and ultimately a story of survival when dealing with monsters.        Michelle Knight was taken and held hostage by Ariel Castro for over a decade. Blockaded in a house in Cleveland, Michelle was held with two others and suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her captor. Sexual, mental and physical abuse was a daily occurrence.        I felt as if the book was written in a conversational style that really worked for me. While horrific, I could feel Michelle’s spirit. While graphic in places, the book wasn’t nearly as graphic as I’m sure it could have been. In the end, Michelle seems to have accepted that bad things happen but isn’t about to let it shape her future life. Trying to better herself, Michelle is going to school, meeting new people and isn’t going to let her past effect who she is going to become.       Not for the weak of heart, Finding Me is an amazing story of survival. A fast read, Michelle’s story touched my heart in a way that I can’t really explain. Painful to read, Michelle is now a story of hope. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Considering the very sad circumstances of this book, Michelle did an incrediable job of telling her story. Very tactful without all the horrific details. Three very strong ladies who never gave up their hope of freedom. I most definately would reccomend this book!