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Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After the Cleveland Kidnappings

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From Michelle Knight-Cleveland kidnapping survivor and #1 NYT bestselling author of Finding Me-comes an inspirational book about healing and resilience, on the five-year anniversary of her escape. Michelle Knight-now known as Lily Rose Lee-captured the world's attention in May 2013, when she and two fellow kidnapping victims were found and freed after being held for more th From Michelle Knight-Cleveland kidnapping survivor and #1 NYT bestselling author of Finding Me-comes an inspirational book about healing and resilience, on the five-year anniversary of her escape. Michelle Knight-now known as Lily Rose Lee-captured the world's attention in May 2013, when she and two fellow kidnapping victims were found and freed after being held for more than a decade by notorious Cleveland kidnapped Ariel Castro. But many people are still asking: What happened after her escape? How do you re-enter society after years of abuse and isolation? How do you get past the trauma and live a happy and joy filled life? How do you learn to trust again? In Life After Darkness, published on the fifth anniversary of her liberation, Lily describes how she managed to heal the wounds to her body, mind, and soul-wounds, she reveals, that were first inflicted even before her kidnapping. With the help of good friends and anchored by her own inner strength, she takes us with her step by step on her journey out of darkness into the light. She changes her name. She finds her life's work in raising her voice on behalf of women and children everywhere. She finds her true home. And she finds love. An inspiring story-and for anyone who has dared to hope after suffering, a guidebook to finding new purpose for a meaningful life.


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From Michelle Knight-Cleveland kidnapping survivor and #1 NYT bestselling author of Finding Me-comes an inspirational book about healing and resilience, on the five-year anniversary of her escape. Michelle Knight-now known as Lily Rose Lee-captured the world's attention in May 2013, when she and two fellow kidnapping victims were found and freed after being held for more th From Michelle Knight-Cleveland kidnapping survivor and #1 NYT bestselling author of Finding Me-comes an inspirational book about healing and resilience, on the five-year anniversary of her escape. Michelle Knight-now known as Lily Rose Lee-captured the world's attention in May 2013, when she and two fellow kidnapping victims were found and freed after being held for more than a decade by notorious Cleveland kidnapped Ariel Castro. But many people are still asking: What happened after her escape? How do you re-enter society after years of abuse and isolation? How do you get past the trauma and live a happy and joy filled life? How do you learn to trust again? In Life After Darkness, published on the fifth anniversary of her liberation, Lily describes how she managed to heal the wounds to her body, mind, and soul-wounds, she reveals, that were first inflicted even before her kidnapping. With the help of good friends and anchored by her own inner strength, she takes us with her step by step on her journey out of darkness into the light. She changes her name. She finds her life's work in raising her voice on behalf of women and children everywhere. She finds her true home. And she finds love. An inspiring story-and for anyone who has dared to hope after suffering, a guidebook to finding new purpose for a meaningful life.

30 review for Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After the Cleveland Kidnappings

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I have so much admiration for Michelle Knight (and Gina and Amanda as well, of course). They survived something that is unimaginable, and I'm in awe that they are all thriving. I'm so glad Michelle (now called Lily) wrote a follow-up memoir, because I have wondered how she was doing throughout the years. She seems remarkably well-adjusted and finally happy, and I'm so glad to hear it. As with her first memoir the writing isn't super great, but it almost makes it more authentic that way. She has I have so much admiration for Michelle Knight (and Gina and Amanda as well, of course). They survived something that is unimaginable, and I'm in awe that they are all thriving. I'm so glad Michelle (now called Lily) wrote a follow-up memoir, because I have wondered how she was doing throughout the years. She seems remarkably well-adjusted and finally happy, and I'm so glad to hear it. As with her first memoir the writing isn't super great, but it almost makes it more authentic that way. She has a bit of a childlike quality to her, and that definitely shines through in this book. I'm still curious about the dynamic between Gina, Amanda, and Michelle though. They all insist that there's nothing nefarious going on, but since Gina and Amanda are still close (last I heard) and they won't speak to or about Michelle, there's got to be something there. Plus, the book the two of them wrote together left me with the impression that they really, really dislike Michelle. I suppose we will never know the truth, but I'll probably always wonder.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ronda

    I admire Lily Rose so much and am very happy she found true love, despite her tumultuous and brutal life. This book shows how truly strong and at peace she is now with her life. Her first book was so gritty, detailed and brutally honest it was a difficult read, but I couldn’t put it down. This book is a bit more fluff and very repetitive towards the end. It was good, although I skipped a lot towards the end. There was only one paragraph about her current relationship with Gina and Mandy, which di I admire Lily Rose so much and am very happy she found true love, despite her tumultuous and brutal life. This book shows how truly strong and at peace she is now with her life. Her first book was so gritty, detailed and brutally honest it was a difficult read, but I couldn’t put it down. This book is a bit more fluff and very repetitive towards the end. It was good, although I skipped a lot towards the end. There was only one paragraph about her current relationship with Gina and Mandy, which didn’t really tell us anything new. (I know she doesn’t owe us anything, but I read before the book’s release that she would reveal all about their relationships in this book.) There is one chapter in which Miguel, her husband, gives his point of view on things. This is the first book I have actually paid for in a year (I subscribe to Scribd), and I was happy to support Lily by purchasing it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather Timko

    Emotional story but worth the read if you are familiar with the Cleveland Kidnappings.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    I read Michelle's first book and wondered over the years what happened to her. She is now married and very happy from the sound of her book. She is a true example of strength and how anyone can go on and thrive,after really horrible stuff.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Nachman

    This was pretty much what I thought it would be-a fluff book that wasn't very well written, and mostly filled with repetition. I read her first book, and, because she was the first to tell the story at-length, it was much more interesting. However, this book just repeats a lot of what the first book says and quickly glides over her non-relationship with the other two girls from Castro's house, (sorry, no actual insight into why they don't speak, will be found here), and her wedding. Some of what This was pretty much what I thought it would be-a fluff book that wasn't very well written, and mostly filled with repetition. I read her first book, and, because she was the first to tell the story at-length, it was much more interesting. However, this book just repeats a lot of what the first book says and quickly glides over her non-relationship with the other two girls from Castro's house, (sorry, no actual insight into why they don't speak, will be found here), and her wedding. Some of what was said in the book I know for a fact were false anecdotes, but they were fairly minor, so it didn't influence my over-all opinion. I gave this two stars because it felt like it was written by a novice. I respect Michelle Knight, aka Lilly Rose Lee, and her strength of character and desire to help others. Despite that, I think her time as an author reached it's peak with her first book, and that's where it will stay. (Sorry for any bad grammar, I'm sure there's a ton).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Lynn

    First, I want to thank the public library for providing me with this book so I may bring you this review. Michelle Knight is one amazing and brave woman to go through everything she went through being held hostage all those years with the Cleveland Kidnappings, raped, impregnated only to miscarry through all the beatings she went through. However, that was in the past. In this book Life After Darkness it has been 5 years since she has been freed from that torture she was forced to endure. She gi First, I want to thank the public library for providing me with this book so I may bring you this review. Michelle Knight is one amazing and brave woman to go through everything she went through being held hostage all those years with the Cleveland Kidnappings, raped, impregnated only to miscarry through all the beatings she went through. However, that was in the past. In this book Life After Darkness it has been 5 years since she has been freed from that torture she was forced to endure. She gives you a sneak peak of what her life was like after she got out. She had her ups and downs. However, she is one tough cookie! When I heard she was writing this book I was very interested in reading this. I am a huge fan of true crime books. Not for the crime committed per say but the human side behind it. So when this case came out I was very invested in it. I watched all the news stories, watched Dr. Phil interviews, and read Michelle’s first book and related books too it. This one I was especially happy to read because It talks about how she has healed, moved on, found “her sweetie” and is helping other other abuse victims. You can tell by her beautiful cover photo and the pictures in the book that she has finally let go of the negative past and has found happiness.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary Sisney

    Tiny hero Michelle Knight's second book focuses on the five years after her escape from the house of horrors in Cleveland. Like fellow survivor Elizabeth Smart, she now tries to help other abuse victims, giving speeches and offering advice. Although I have used her, Elizabeth, and Jaycee Dugard to attack weak, older women who suffered less and whined more, I'm not surprised that she sees the METOO movement as a good step forward for abuse victims. She's an advocate for all victims, whatever thei Tiny hero Michelle Knight's second book focuses on the five years after her escape from the house of horrors in Cleveland. Like fellow survivor Elizabeth Smart, she now tries to help other abuse victims, giving speeches and offering advice. Although I have used her, Elizabeth, and Jaycee Dugard to attack weak, older women who suffered less and whined more, I'm not surprised that she sees the METOO movement as a good step forward for abuse victims. She's an advocate for all victims, whatever their circumstances. Her best advice is to suggest that victims of abuse forgive not only the abuser (she's no fan of Castro, but she told him she forgave him at his trial) but most important themselves.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Nightingale

    I can now say that I have read all the books published regarding the Cleveland Kidnappings and the three women finding themselves in dire straits. I continue to feel disjointed with Michelle Knight. What is presented in television interviews and how her story is written, for me, doesn't jive. I also got bogged down with the detail by detail of her wedding. I have now read about a true bridzilla. It is a day and when you put so much emphasis on one particular colour or theme you are bound to be di I can now say that I have read all the books published regarding the Cleveland Kidnappings and the three women finding themselves in dire straits. I continue to feel disjointed with Michelle Knight. What is presented in television interviews and how her story is written, for me, doesn't jive. I also got bogged down with the detail by detail of her wedding. I have now read about a true bridzilla. It is a day and when you put so much emphasis on one particular colour or theme you are bound to be disappointed. The reader also gets glimpses by her "sweetie" or her husband. I don't do sweet so I didn't find this a strength in her writing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Rating a book like this is always difficult because the subject matter is horrific, but Lily is a remarkable woman. R-E-M-A-R-K-A-B-L-E. She has every right to be bitter and angry and mean, but she is kind, thankful, and hopeful. She has taken her tragic life (and sadly, it's been an awful one since she was a little girl) and turned it into something powerful and is using everything she knows to teach and help as many people as possible. I am so happy for her that she has Miguel, her loving husb Rating a book like this is always difficult because the subject matter is horrific, but Lily is a remarkable woman. R-E-M-A-R-K-A-B-L-E. She has every right to be bitter and angry and mean, but she is kind, thankful, and hopeful. She has taken her tragic life (and sadly, it's been an awful one since she was a little girl) and turned it into something powerful and is using everything she knows to teach and help as many people as possible. I am so happy for her that she has Miguel, her loving husband, her safe circle, and her fur babies! Lily, you deserve so much. I hope each day brings you every ounce of happiness that you can squeeze from it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeanine

    I have seen Michelle Knight on Dr Phil where she announced her new legal name and her very happy news that she is married. I was curious so when this book presented on my library shelf I picked it up. I watched as these girls were removed from that house and I wondered how they were doing from time to time. I saw an interview somewhere and I wondered more about what wasn't said. I wondered why these girls were not friends after years of confinement. I wondered what had happened between Michelle I have seen Michelle Knight on Dr Phil where she announced her new legal name and her very happy news that she is married. I was curious so when this book presented on my library shelf I picked it up. I watched as these girls were removed from that house and I wondered how they were doing from time to time. I saw an interview somewhere and I wondered more about what wasn't said. I wondered why these girls were not friends after years of confinement. I wondered what had happened between Michelle and her mother. I had wondered where their lives were headed now. This book explained a lot to me. It told of that fighting spirit, that determination that kept Michelle fighting. It told of a mother's love that fueled an otherwise bleak existence, and of newfound freedom and just what that means. Finding one's way in a snowstorm is never easy and finding one's way when that snowstorm still rages in the mind must be carefully navigated. And navigate it she has. Simple words of wisdom. Find what makes you happy. allow only positive people into your inner circle, give to others less fortunate, drink coffee made the way you like it with animals and nature near. Give love and learn to accept it. You go,Lily Rose!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hulda Rós

    If you've read her first book, Finding freedom and followed her story after she was free'd you won't get much more from this book. What she talks about in this one is about her hospital stay right after getting out of the house, nothing about the relationship with the other girls, how she met her "sweetie" and her wedding, a little bit about her family from growing up as well as her son and what she wants to do in the future and some tips on abuse behavior and how to spot it and get people to te If you've read her first book, Finding freedom and followed her story after she was free'd you won't get much more from this book. What she talks about in this one is about her hospital stay right after getting out of the house, nothing about the relationship with the other girls, how she met her "sweetie" and her wedding, a little bit about her family from growing up as well as her son and what she wants to do in the future and some tips on abuse behavior and how to spot it and get people to tell if they are being abused. Otherwise it's mostly repeat from the first book and information you can find in interviews and videos on youtube about the abuse case involving Castro, Amanda Berry and Gina. I wish I had borrowed this book from the library instead of paying money for it. What bothered me the most about this book was her regularly talking about needing privacy because of her "celebrity status" and not being able to find work because of that status as well as being a public figure having a difficult time with everything that comes with that. Not said with the intention of tearing her or her experience down.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I enjoyed finding how Lily (Michelle) has coped since being freed from Ariel Castro in 2013. She described some the immediate aftermath in more detail than she did Finding Me. She also discloses more about her childhood traumatic experiences. As a social worker, I am saddened by her initial experiences with therapists. But this solidifies for me that we need clinicians trained to work with this type of trauma. The equine therapy is very fascinating. I read of a similar treatment center in Jaycee I enjoyed finding how Lily (Michelle) has coped since being freed from Ariel Castro in 2013. She described some the immediate aftermath in more detail than she did Finding Me. She also discloses more about her childhood traumatic experiences. As a social worker, I am saddened by her initial experiences with therapists. But this solidifies for me that we need clinicians trained to work with this type of trauma. The equine therapy is very fascinating. I read of a similar treatment center in Jaycee Dugard's book. At any rate, her marriage gives us the HEA I think I needed to see. She has a good heart and is fortunate to have her safe circle. I'm proud of the decisions she has been able to make. I wish there was news about her son, and we may never hear anything new for various possible reasons. Parts of the book are used as a platform for her to share important information about advocacy (of which I am very aware as I teach future social workers). Ultimately, I would love to see her speak at some point.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lori Desrosiers

    I had read her first book mostly out of curiosity. This book I read because here is someone that has gone through something so horrific yet she has chosen to live a good life. So many people say I have no choice I was dealt this and this. She says yes you were dealt that but it doesn't have to define the rest of your life. I really admire that and she also understand the process of healing trauma, all kinds of trauma. I wouldn't say she is the most eloquent of writers, it's more like she is sitt I had read her first book mostly out of curiosity. This book I read because here is someone that has gone through something so horrific yet she has chosen to live a good life. So many people say I have no choice I was dealt this and this. She says yes you were dealt that but it doesn't have to define the rest of your life. I really admire that and she also understand the process of healing trauma, all kinds of trauma. I wouldn't say she is the most eloquent of writers, it's more like she is sitting having a coffee conversation with you but I love that she is speaking about it and tells other to speak out because being silent gives the power to abusers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dorie

    Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After The Cleveland Kidnappings🍒🍒🍒 By Michelle Knight 2018 Hachette Books Life After Darkness, the emotionally driven and intriguing book by Michelle Knight (now known as Lily Rose) concentrates on her life today, 5 years after her escape from the brutal torture and abuse of Ariel Castro in Cleveland. She tells the reader of her pain, her emotional state and the trauma she has felt healing from this senseless tragedy. The beginning is very engaging Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After The Cleveland Kidnappings🍒🍒🍒 By Michelle Knight 2018 Hachette Books Life After Darkness, the emotionally driven and intriguing book by Michelle Knight (now known as Lily Rose) concentrates on her life today, 5 years after her escape from the brutal torture and abuse of Ariel Castro in Cleveland. She tells the reader of her pain, her emotional state and the trauma she has felt healing from this senseless tragedy. The beginning is very engaging and interesting, but it begins to unravel, for me, when she spends pages repeating the same things, in the same way. She so much wants to convince the reader that she is well adjusted, at peace and happily married but the depiction, page after page literally, distracted from the story and mellowed the intention. I am in awe of her strength and bravery. She gives hope and inspiration to all of us, but esp those that have suffered through long periods of abuse. 3 stars because the repetition was really annoying, but a really good book, overall.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    this book is a must read for anyone who has been bullied or abused it will help you feel better. It will also make you make feel learning all that Michelle went through and how she rose above it. This is so well written and so full of good advice. Michelle could teach us all a thing or two about life and how to leave it. She has become a great person and I am so glad that she shared her story with the public. She took the bad thing that happened to her and turned it to a life that is so worth li this book is a must read for anyone who has been bullied or abused it will help you feel better. It will also make you make feel learning all that Michelle went through and how she rose above it. This is so well written and so full of good advice. Michelle could teach us all a thing or two about life and how to leave it. She has become a great person and I am so glad that she shared her story with the public. She took the bad thing that happened to her and turned it to a life that is so worth living. We should all take a lesson from her on how to live our lives.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    Michelle Knight slash Lily Rose is an inspiration for us all. She's gone through more than most people be able to tolerate and come out on Top. This Book Is Not terribly graphic about the struggles that she's had but she certainly does refer to them. It's more about how she's gotten beyond the trauma to make a great life for herself. Something close to my heart at the moment as I'm trying to get past my current situation, which doesn't even come close to comparing to what she's experienced, to f Michelle Knight slash Lily Rose is an inspiration for us all. She's gone through more than most people be able to tolerate and come out on Top. This Book Is Not terribly graphic about the struggles that she's had but she certainly does refer to them. It's more about how she's gotten beyond the trauma to make a great life for herself. Something close to my heart at the moment as I'm trying to get past my current situation, which doesn't even come close to comparing to what she's experienced, to find out what Tricia 2.0 will look like.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Rosen

    I read Finding Me and wanted to know how life turned out five years later for Michelle. She is a definite survivor and I'm glad her world has turned around in positive ways, however I'm glad I didn't pay for this book but borrowed it from the library. I didn't find it a good read and ended up bringing it back after a few chapters in. I'm not sure if Michelle wrote it as there's no name other then Michelle's on the cover but whether it was ghostwritten or written by her, I found it repetitive, no I read Finding Me and wanted to know how life turned out five years later for Michelle. She is a definite survivor and I'm glad her world has turned around in positive ways, however I'm glad I didn't pay for this book but borrowed it from the library. I didn't find it a good read and ended up bringing it back after a few chapters in. I'm not sure if Michelle wrote it as there's no name other then Michelle's on the cover but whether it was ghostwritten or written by her, I found it repetitive, not written well and somewhat boring. (less)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    This author is truly one of the most incredible women I have ever read about. I loved this book especially because it was so encouraging to read about her recovery process and all the wonderful work she is doing to help others. I love to see a person take a painful situation and turn it around into something positive! I'm so thrilled that she has found such joy and peace. She deserves all the best!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jacquie Stricklind

    Lily Rose Lee, has come a long way, she has overcame so much! Really happy to see that she has gone on with her life, getting married, and speaking to other victims. I so admire what she is doing with her life helping others who are/were victims. Really good book, a must read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Stars

    It was really interesting to read how her life has progressed since being rescued in May 2013. She tells the ups and downs of dealing with trauma. I was glad to see she dealt with her initial trauma which was in her childhood.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hanes

    I have been rooting for Michelle (now Lily Rose Lee) to succeed and prosper. I’m so glad to find that things are going well for her and she is getting the life she so deserves. I really feel for her, and I wish her all the best! This was another great read from her!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Payne

    This book was very uplifting.What an amazing person Michelle Knight is.To overcome all she had to go through!She is a hero and inspiration to all.This book shows her strength and vitality. I find her so totally amazing and selfless.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    A beautiful well written update to her new found rebirth. I am glad to see she chose her path and did not let anyone change her mind. I'm glad she married a man and is going forth helping others as well in her journey!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Krickett Rayburn

    What an inspiring woman! Lilly Rose Lee, the “former” Michelle Knight, is an inspiring author and a person I would love to meet. Not only is she a survivor of a living hell, she has used the nightmare to become the special person that God formed her to be.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lynnie

    Thank you Lily Rose Lee for your continued courage to help others by speaking out. Finding Me was so powerful a memoir, those of us who follow your journey are so happy to hear that you have found love, contentment and a purpose in life by sharing your story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Contradictory.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy M

    What a remarkable and strong woman!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Duncan

    An EXCELLENT writer, and a moving after-crisis story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    very strong woman.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine Jasica

    I want to give this book ten stars! It was so sad, yet so inspiring. A true must read.

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