I Choose to Live by Sabine Dardenne

I Choose to Live

In 1996 Sabine Dardenne was kidnapped by Marc Dutroux, the man who turned out to be one of Belgium’s most heinous paedophiles. She was 12 years old. She was his prisoner for 80 long days. Surviving, at the age of 20 years old, she finally decided to write this book, for three reasons: “so that people stop giving me strange looks and treating me like a curiosity; so that no one asks me any more questions ever again; and so that judicial system never again frees a paedophile for ‘good behaviour’.”

A quick and packed book, I finished it in one weekend (and a bit more). Sabine is strong and it’s shown in the book. There’s nothing too graphic, so it’s not too disturbing to read (doesn’t mean the whole thing is not horrifying of course).

I found Sabine was very strong and full of dignity. There was no trace of self-pity and indulgence in sorrow and misery. The writing is clear and straight to the point. I really admire her. I thought the book was great as a memoir and biography. It’s almost flawless.

Rating: 4 out of 5
terrible » poor » mediocre » okay » good » very good » excellent » superb

First line

My name is Sabine.

Last line

And then to forget.

Quote

“Falling in love is a serious business, especially when you’re sixteen.” ~ p143

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