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At fifteen, Elizabeth was an honor student, a state-ranked swimmer and a rising soccer star, but behind closed doors, her dysfunctional family was tearing her apart. Growing angrier by the day, she began drinking to excess, missing practices, and acting out. Her parents and school counselors deemed her impossible and petulant, and decided that Elizabeth needed a school program with strict behavioral limitations. Her life was then ripped in two: the years before she was kidnapped in the middle of the night at the request of her parents, and everything that came after.

Officially, Carlbrook, the institution where she was held for two years, was a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. In reality, it was more of a prison than a school, where children were known only by their number. The staff was a group of under-qualified and unstable counselors who practiced a perverse form of pseudo-therapy on their charges. Elizabeth was stripped of basic human rights, forced to participate in mismanaged group therapy sessions, and force fed when she wouldn’t eat.

In STOLEN, Elizabeth chronicles the abuse she endured, the friends she lost to suicide and addiction, and, years later, the way she was finally able to pick up the pieces.