PS: This book is not for the emotional people because you might cry in between the pages and might lack the courage to read it. People write about how they rose from ashes to riches in their lives but no one ever speaks of that dark moment that grabbed you your life and somehow you have to live with it each constant day.
….. So when i started reading it Michelle kept me glued to each page wanting to find out more of what happened next. I felt like going into the pages and beat the crap out of the Castro. Poverty defined her from the environment she lived in, the clothes she wore and no one ever wanted to be associated with her. At 5yrs she was repeatedly raped by a family member, became pregnant when she was of age giving birth to a bouncing baby boy, Joey. She needed to find a job and left the child in the able hands of her mother but one day her drunk mother’s boyfriend fractured the boy’s knee making her lose him to foster care under “not in a safe environment rule.”
Little did she know that her journey to fight for her son at 21 years was where her darkness would begin. She was running late for court as she did not know the direction to it and her pal’s father offered to drive her there but instead drove to his house where he raped her and made her his prisoner. The psycho made her do things that only monsters do. She was chained like a dog into a dungeon in the basement of the house, never showered, only ate McDonald’s junk, was raped each day and seasons came and went while she was in that pit hole. The most painful thing was no one ever looked for her whereabouts and this was made clear to her by her abductor.
One year later, she had her first bath was taken out of the dungeon into the upper floor of the house where she could see the sun rays penetrating into the windows but that was blocked when every inch of her room was added more card-boards so as not to attract attention. For the first time she was given a radio where she felt at ease that despite her mishaps she would reconnect with the outside world. She also had a dog Lobo that was killed when it prevented him from assaulting her. Seasons came and went, she missed her son but only the cold engulfed her as she stayed naked with no garments to warm her up. The beast would bring people to the house like his band or family members but no one ever noticed something was a miss with the so many padlocks locking doors to several rooms in the house.
Two more girls were abducted and brought to the house and each had their hell share. The funny thing was that the 3 of them were his daughter’s friends and he kidnapped them at the same place where he pretended to ask for directions. The story was the same as Michelle became pregnant severally and the demon would ensure he beat her up till she bled to lose the child. She was the most hated by him, always beaten unlike others, and although they had their notebooks to write and draw their minds out, it seemed they were here to stay.
Michelle longed for God’s miracles and it is depicted in the book but it seemed His response wasn’t coming soon. Amanda, one of the girls became pregnant but unlike her, she was allowed to keep the baby. This somehow lightened things in the house as the baby brought more joy and some freedom. As Jocelyn grew, the devil ensured he wouldn’t chain them so she was not affected, they had to change their names to avoid identification and she was taken out most of the times. From the dungeon, cubbyhole, pink room, white room, backyard and van, hard labor was another thing he loved to make them do in the backyard.
How did it all end? Relax…Amanda decided to take it upon herself to save them when she screamed her voice out when Castro was not in and a concerned neighbour helped her. She was able to call the police and that was how their eleven years of darkness came to an end. Michelle was the most affected and this made her stay in hospital for longer. She was able to testify and on 937 accounts, Castor was sentenced for a lifetime but a month into his term he committed suicide. With the help of a facility and counseling she was able to pick up her pieces but it was not easy. She lost her son since the 11 years made him forget her and he had a new family which she did not want to ruin for him. She however could not bring any other child into this world as that was taken away by the devil himself.
This is one heartbreaking book and to imagine how one can kidnap you for 11 years and no one ever minds about your disappearance is an eye opener to our societies. If you think you can handle torture in a book and imagine that is not any fiction but the story of one lady who is finding her way into life after the ordeal, go ahead and grab a copy and you will learn a thing or two about how one picks themselves up from such trauma.