The Book 'Stolen. A letter to my captor' by Lucy Christopher is one of the first books in a long time that I began to read and simply could not put down, reading the entire thing in a day and a half (a personal record). Set in the Western Australian outback Stolen is the story of kidnapped teenager Gemma who is taken by her captor from an airport in Bangkok and smuggled onto a plane to Australia. Told in second person through Gemma’s voice, the book addresses the man who stole her. Throughout the book we feel her sadness, anxiety and fear as she tries to work out ways to escape and figure out what is going on behind her kidnapper’s shocking blue eyes. Although the book is tense for the majority of the time, with us as the reader not knowing what will happen to Gemma as she tries to survive the situation she now finds herself in, what soon unravels is the story of the relationship between Gemma and the man holding her prisoner, Ty. As the story goes on the reader becomes less and less convinced that Ty wishes Gemma any harm, and that there is something else going on underneath the surface: a desire to protect and save Gemma.
Published in the UK in 2009 Stolen was described as ‘a vivid new voice for teens’ and won many awards, even being shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s literary awards. There is even talk of the book being made into a film. The book clearly has a lot to give, and is a book I would really recommend to readers. I would suggest that all read this who want a change from the typical boy meets girl love stories, to one that explores deeper issues such as kidnap and the idea of reality and the world around us. With the book exploring the concept of the condition Stockholm syndrome, where the victim of an abduction forms an emotional bond with their captor, we as readers are left to make up our own minds as to Gemma’s state of mind and how we feel about Ty’s actions. This was a great read and definitely one for the summer reading list!
For more information (Spoiler alert!) on Stolen look at this interview with the author Lucy Christopher: