Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Published: Chicken House Ltd, 2009
"It happened like this.
I was stolen from an airport.
Taken from everything I knew,
everything I was used to.
Taken to sand and heat, dirt
and danger. And he expected
me to love him. This is my story.
A letter from nowhere."
This small and slight summary, along with the title, is what drew me into reading Stolen. The idea and concept is so intriguing and quite haunting. Gemma is on vacation with her family in Vietnam when she is abducted from the airport by Ty. This strange, yet seemingly gentle, man brings her to his remote home deep within the vast desert of Australia. He has set up this home with the idea that he and Gemma will live her together for many years with no outside communication. Gemma is now secluded with no hopes of seeing her family again, returning home to London, or having a life of her own. We also learn that Ty has been watching /stalking/creeping on Gemma for many years, simply waiting an biding his time.
However...despite all of this, Ty is still a quite charming and sympathetic character. I never identified him as creepy or the pedophile type. I did sympathize and understand him. You never find yourself hoping he will get caught of something bad will happen to him. He is simply too sweet and caring. This is something VERY weird to be writing about a kidnapper, but it's true. This causes great conflict for both the reader and Gemma. She finds it hard to completely hate this man that took her life away from her. Ty is written as such a great, complex character.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the environment. Ty and Gemma are deep in the Australian desert, yet have everything they need and more. I loved the descriptions and interactions with the landscape and wildlife. Especially interesting was the camel chase. The vast, lifeless desert scene really added to Gemma's hopelessness and desperation.