Book Review: Abducted: The Fourteen Year Fight to Find my Children by Jacqueline Pascarl

About the Book
At seventeen, Jacqueline Pascarl married a royal prince and embarked on what she believed would be a fairy-tale existence. But it soon became a nightmare. After years of abuse at the hands of her husband, Jacqueline escaped with her children, hoping to leave her past behind. But what followed would haunt her for the next fourteen years. In this heart-rending story, Jacqueline describes how her husband kidnapped their two young children and forced them to cut off all contact with her. She tells of the pain and helplessness she felt at their loss but also of how she channeled her grief, forging an existence as an aid worker and humanitarian ambassador, all the while desperately hoping to hear news of them. In 2006, she was reunited with her long-lost children, and in “Abducted” she reveals the dramatic events that led to their meeting. This is a candid, compelling account of living under the shadow of child abduction. It is an unforgettable ride through tragedy, loss and, finally, triumph.

This was another great find from my Inama Bookshop. Surprisingly, the copy that I found was in great condition. It looked new and so I carried home in glee.
Abducted: The Fourteen Year Fight to Find my Children by Jacqueline Pascarl is a moving autobiography about a mother’s love and heartbreak after losing her children. The author tells of the abduction of her children by her ex-husband. The first pages are fast paced as the author narrates about the abduction. She writes about the harrowing ordeal of dealing with media and her husband’s publicists after the loss of her children. All her attempts to find her children seem to bear no fruits.

“A mother knows what her child’s gone through, even if she didn’t see it herself.”
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Gadis Pantai

After the first few pages, the author then starts talking about her life as a relief worker. It was interesting to read about the effects of war and get firsthand experience of what the relief workers have to deal with. There were sections that were too sad as the author narrates the stories of the refugees and the hurdles that they faced in the camps. At times, the perspectives in the narration changed too abruptly and this affected the flow of the story. In addition, I felt that this section was dragged out, perhaps this was done to show the passage of time. Nevertheless, it felt as if the author spent too much time on it.


“She is the creature of life, the giver of life, and the giver of abundant love, care and protection. Such are the great qualities of a mother. The bond between a mother and her child is the only real and purest bond in the world, the only true love we can ever find in our lifetime.”
― Ama H.Vanniarachchy

The last part of the book is again exciting and fast paced. After 14 years, her children finally make contact and now Jacqueline has to do everything in her power to bring them back home. This section of the book is quite nerve wrecking and I kept wondering whether she will finally have the kids back. Each rescue plan brought new hope but every time that a plan failed, I could  feel Jacqueline’s despair and devastation seeping through the pages of the book.

Abducted: The Fourteen Year Fight to Find my Children by Jacqueline Pascarl is an interesting story. As I already mentioned before; it is based on true events and so does not have the twists commonly found in fiction. However, it is a heart wrenching and inspirational story that will move each reader. It also contains a number of lessons about child abduction. This is a heartrending story of a mother’s love, bravery and relentless fight to find her children.

once i was a princess
I am now looking for Jacqueline Pascarl’s other book, Once I was a Princess. Below is its synopsis:


Can you imagine what it would be like to be swept off your feet by a royal prince to live a charmed life in the marble palaces of an oil-rich nation – and then to watch your fairy-tale romance turn into a nightmare of Islamic superstition, isolation, betrayal and abuse? What would you do if you managed to escape your life of torment – and then your children were kidnapped by their own father? This is what happened to Jacqueline Pascarl. In Once I Was a Princess, Jacqueline recounts her part in this controversial, headline-grabbing international drama with heart-rending honesty.

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