“Stolen” by Lucy Christopher

Sixteen year old Gemma is abducted while waiting to catch a flight home with her parents from Bangkok airport. Her kidnapper, Ty, takes her to an isolated spot in the Australian outback, and Stolen is a letter written by Gemma to Ty, looking back at the time they spend there.

Compelling, absorbing, engrossing – you won’t want to put this book down once you start it. Gemma’s letter evokes all the emotions you’d expect from the story of an abducted teenager, but what surprised me was how I came to feel about Ty from Gemma’s retelling of his story.

The heat and isolation of the outback is brilliantly described, and the observation of the natural world in Australia is detailed and beautiful, and in another context could make the reader yearn to visit, but in the heightened emotional situation of this story it is a claustrophobic prison that you’re desperate to escape from.

Or are you? The author challenges you to listen to Gemma tell you Ty’s background and his explanation of events leading up to his meeting with Gemma in the airport in Bangkok, and you too begin to question his motives and consider whether there could be a future for these two.

The conclusion is wonderfully open ended, leaving unanswered questions, and giving the you the option to decide on what you think the truth is.

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