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In May 2013, the nation was stunned to learn about the discovery of three young women held prisoner for ten years in a house in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland is the unforgettable story of two of those women, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. As teenagers, they were separately lured away by a man named Ariel Castro and kept prisoner in his house for over a decade. Using dual narratives, Ms. Berry and Ms. DeJesus recount the day they were each abducted, the years they spent in captivity, and their eventual escape.

Although the subject matter sounds dark and depressing (and be warned: certain events are heart-wrenching to read about), Hope is a tale about courage and perseverance. Ms. Berry and Ms. DeJesus have endured the unimaginable and still they refuse to be thought of as victims, to be silenced by any longer by their tormentor, or to be denied their dignity. More importantly, they refuse to give up, to lose hope. Their story will stay with you long after you read the last page.

If you like memoirs, you may also enjoy “The Glass Castle: A Memoir” by Jeannette Walls, “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt or “Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir” by Seloma Miller Furlong.

Recommended by Leah Staab


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