In the vein of Know My Name and Unorthodox, debut author Elizabeth Gilpin grippingly chronicles her harrowing experience of psychological manipulation and abuse at a "therapeutic" boarding school for troubled teens, and how she was able to heal in the aftermath.
At fifteen, Elizabeth was an honor student, a state-ranked swimmer and a rising soccer star, but behind closed doors her undiagnosed depression was wreaking havoc on her life. Growing angrier by the day, she began drinking to excess, skipping practices, and acting out. Scared and unsure what else to do, her parents sent her to an education specialist who deemed her the perfect candidate for an “emotional growth” school with strict behavioral limitations. She was kidnapped in the middle of the night by hired escorts and dropped off deep inside the woods of Appalachia. Living with no real shelter for the first hundred days of her captivity was only the beginning of her ordeal: her name was replaced by a number, she was force-fed, and every moment was a test of physical survival.
The nightmare then continued at Carlbrook, a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens where she was held until she was seventeen. In reality, Carlbrook was more of a prison than a school, a place of emotional torment and dangerous cult-like manipulation. The staff was a group of under-qualified and unstable counselors who practiced a perverse form of pseudo-therapy on their charges. Elizabeth was isolated from the outside world, forced to participate in mismanaged group therapy sessions, and stripped of her basic human rights.
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.