Book of the Week 10/10/11

‘Tom,’ I said, bracing myself for the threat that was sure to follow. ‘I need to talk to you about something. About leaving here, I mean.’

He didn’t hit me. Didn’t threaten. Instead, he looked at me with great sadness.

‘Who saved your life?’

‘You,’ I replied, ‘but…’

‘Who takes care of you?’

‘I know that,’ I told him. ‘I just can’t live like this.’

‘You can’t live? What about me? You would destroy my life if you left. I am the only person to ever show you love, and you would leave me? Don’t be stupid.

–Excerpt from Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid

Among the heroic stories of Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, Tanya Kach tells her story in Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid (Tate Publishing, 2011).

Written with her attorney Lawrence Fisher, Tanya speaks of her harrowing ordeal as the hostage of her school’s crossing guard, Thomas Hose, for over 10 years Last seen February 10, 1996, at the age of 14, she was found alive at 24 in a residence in McKeesport, PA where Hose lived with his elderly parents.

Literally hidden in plain sight just two miles from her father’s home, she seemed to have fallen through the system’s cracks. Tanya was left to live in a second floor bedroom (and occasionally the closet), eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drinking Faygo soda, or whatever he smuggled to her from his dinner. A bucket was used to relieve herself.

At first, Tanya thought she was in love with her captor, brainwashed into believing her family no longer wanted or needed her. When asked by anyone who approached them, both kidnaper and hostage would say Tanya met him when Hose was 18 and working as a security guard at a mall.

Her decade as House’s prisoner is a haunting story, Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid is a story of a true test of faith, never losing hope, surviving a chaotic childhood and then a decade as an abduction victim, before rising from the ashes on her road to recovery. It’s a book that reminds us that though at time we have it rough, there are others who do – and had – it so much worse.

Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid is intense reading, and Tanya’s words draw readers into her story and keep them there right up until her rescue and her present day as an adult reaching out to others with her amazing bravery.

Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid is scheduled to hit book shelves on October 11, 2011, and it is one memoir that shouldn’t be missed.