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Once, We Were Stolen [Paperback]

Courtney Symons
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 20.17 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2013
Once, Violet and Ben Wrigley were stolen. The siblings discover what it takes to find love in desolation, to seek beauty in everyday ugliness, and to battle emotions for a man they struggle to hate. As their time together passes, the Wrigleys learn that their keeper is as much a captive as they are, and wonder if the three of them will ever break free.

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Product Description

About the Author

Courtney Symons lives in Ottawa, Ont. where she works as a journalist. Her work has been published in various print and online media including the Ottawa Business Journal, the West Carleton Review, Metro Ottawa and The Landowner. She writes non-fiction all day and comes home to write fiction at night. This is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneySymons or @OnceWeWreStolen and on Facebook at Once, We Were Stolen. Visit her website at www.courtneysymons.com (a work in progress) and learn more about her at www.about.me/courtneysymons.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Kristin
Format:Kindle Edition
Once, We Were Stolen grabbed me from the very beginning and didn't let go. I found myself counting down the minutes to nap time, hoping for some undisturbed reading time. And as I neared the end I couldn't put it down until I saw the story to its surprising conclusion. I finished the book with my sleeves drenched in tears and my heart racing.

It is the story of three characters, a small boy, his teenage sister, and their kidnapper. Set in the Northern Ontario town of Blind River, Ben and Violet Wrigley are held captive after offering a harmless looking stranger a ride home. "The siblings discover what it takes to find love in desolation, to seek beauty in everyday ugliness, and to battle emotions for a man they struggle to hate." I read this teaser on the digital book jacket and found the premise doubtful. I took it as a personal challenge. I dare you to keep hating this man. I was skeptical of her ability to make me feel otherwise. And for much of the book I won that bet. As a mom, the story made me squirm as I imagined the horror of my son being stolen. But, ultimately, I struggled to hate the kidnapper, Jeremy Ridgeroy, as much as the siblings did.

Symons' has created characters that are as flawed as they are compelling. But beyond getting wrapped up in their individual stories and predicament I also found that I couldn't help but consider the ways that we, as human beings, relate to one another more broadly. What does it mean to be held captive? And what are the chains, imagined or tangible, that hold us where we are? How do we differentiate the emotions of love and hate, freedom and captivity, desire and disgust? And what happens when those seemingly steadfast lines become blurred?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It grabbed me and didn't let go Feb. 3 2013
By Kristin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Once, We Were Stolen grabbed me from the very beginning and didn't let go. I found myself counting down the minutes to nap time, hoping for some undisturbed reading time. And as I neared the end I couldn't put it down until I saw the story to its surprising conclusion. I finished the book with my sleeves drenched in tears and my heart racing.

It is the story of three characters, a small boy, his teenage sister, and their kidnapper. Set in the Northern Ontario town of Blind River, Ben and Violet Wrigley are held captive after offering a harmless looking stranger a ride home. "The siblings discover what it takes to find love in desolation, to seek beauty in everyday ugliness, and to battle emotions for a man they struggle to hate." I read this teaser on the digital book jacket and found the premise doubtful. I took it as a personal challenge. I dare you to keep hating this man. I was skeptical of her ability to make me feel otherwise. And for much of the book I won that bet. As a mom, the story made me squirm as I imagined the horror of my son being stolen. But, ultimately, I struggled to hate the kidnapper, Jeremy Ridgeroy, as much as the siblings did.

Symons has created characters that are as flawed as they are compelling. But beyond getting wrapped up in their individual stories and predicament I also found that I couldn't help but consider the ways that we, as human beings, relate to one another more broadly. What does it mean to be held captive? And what are the chains, imagined or tangible, that hold us where we are? How do we differentiate the emotions of love and hate, freedom and captivity, desire and disgust? And what happens when those seemingly steadfast lines become blurred?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Feb. 3 2013
By AvidReadingMom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Excellent read. Love that the author is Canadian and the book is also set in Canada. Would highly recommend! Finished it in a day... couldn't put it down! PLEASE write another book soon!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story that still haunts me Feb. 10 2013
By P. Moran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I know the author personally. However, I would not write a review at all if I didn't genuinely believe what I'm about to write.

"Once, We Were Stolen" is one of the best reads I've had in quite a while. It's not the type of book I would normally have chosen, but since I know the author, I wanted to give it a try. I was very impressed and devoured the book faster and faster as I got deeper into it.

The story of Jeremy and his two "houseguests" had me hooked from page one. Symons has a knack for portraying the damaged, yet very human characters in her story. Jeremy particularly is a compelling and fascinating character, and throughout the book, I wanted to know more about him.

Since I finished reading it, the book has haunted me. It's almost like the characters are real people and I keep thinking about them in that way. I keep questioning their motives and their reactions during and after the main events of the novel. I find myself mulling over the opportunities Violet had versus her choices.

There are a few stunning moments in the book where I found myself exclaiming out loud. Always a sign of good storytelling. Another good sign: the number of days I was late back to work after lunch because I was too wrapped up in my reading to stop!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read that I could NOT put down April 23 2014
By Catherine M. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Long before finishing the first chapter I realized that "Once, We Were Stolen" by Courtney Symons was one of those rare books that I wouldn't be able to put down until I'd finished it.

More than just the story of two missing siblings and the man who abducts them - it is a story of love and hate, and finding beauty in the most unlikely of places.

I found the characters to be very real - and the plot quite suspenseful. Courtney Symons' writing style keeps the story moving nicely.

Great job!

Now, I'm off to read it again....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swallowed this up. June 10 2013
By Jenna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this book in a day, which I think probably says enough about the book. The other books that i've read at that same pace were the last Harry Potter, and Room. Sleeping just wasn't an option until I was done!!! I think I will be haunted by these characters for a good, long while.
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