Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review : Eight Days in Darkness

Title : Eight Days in Darkness
(The True Story of Abduction, Rape and Rescue of Anita Wooldridge)
Author : Anita Wooldridge and Angela Roegner
Publisher : Synergy Books
ISBN : 0-9840760-3-4

Eight Days in Darkness is a true story of kidnapping and rape victim - Anita Wooldridge. An extremely chilling account of how she was abducted by a convicted rapist - Tom (Victor Thomas Steele) from her parent's home in broad daylight and the days that followed this unfortunate event. During those eight days in captivity, Anita was mercilessly beaten and raped repeatedly by the captor and she was kept locked up in a metal storage cabinet for long durations. While enclosed in that metal box she tried to focus her attention on chanting hymns and praying hard for her survival. And her prayers did get answered when a very efficient and courageous local police team in association with FBI was able to nail down the culprit and return Anita's rightful freedom back to her. Her unwavering faith that God is watching over her, helped her survive through those times. There were occasions when Anita could actually see herself rising above her body and elevate her soul so that it remains untouched by whatever atrocities being meted out to her physical body.

Just reading through the book demanded a lot of courage and it is amazing how Anita chose the difficult path by obeying to whatever the captor demanded from her so as to buy some time for the authorities to find her. Shows the real display of grit, determination and undaunted faith in God.

The author has given a glimpse of the abductor's background which indicates how the experiences early on in life actually make an impact on the personality that gets developed later on. The madness to control things made an animal out of a human being.

The book is a compelling page turner and very engaging. It is hard to not read the next page to know more about - either what is happening to Anita or how the rescue team is progressing in its pursuit to find her, both of which are handled in parallel very meticulously. And when finally Anita's ordeal comes to an end, it felt as if my heart is celebrating the triumph of faith over evil and the teary eyes joined too.

By sharing her experience through this book, Anita is trying to educate people that it is not easy to come out of such experience and it does need a lot of courage to put it behind oneself. The scars do remain but she has found the best way to heal them - by being on the 'Howard County Community Corrections Advisory Board' as victim's advocate. She is also an active member in local church where she is leading the youth group. This is her way of showing gratitude to God who helped her sail through those abominable days.
{Image courtesy : Amazon}


  1. Don't know whether I have the courage to read it. Especially when something like this is not fiction. :(

  2. I agree, I would not have chosen this kind of book myself simply because it is too traumatic to even read through the book. But this review was written on the request of the publisher.
    The courage of the protagonist and the diligence of the rescue team are really appreciable.

  3. I guess I will read it after all, making my heart a thing of stone first.


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