No Longer Captive – Book Review

I’m not a fan of non-fiction, so it’s always a tense time reading a non-fiction book after I’ve already agreed to review it. However, when I read the overview (below) of Captive, I was intrigued. I do not recall hearing about the incident when it occurred, so the entire story was new to me.
I really was grabbed by the concept she used The Purpose Driven Life to read aloud to her captor. I expected to read how the book influenced him.
Imagine my surprise when I started reading and discovered Ashley was far from a matronly church-attending grandmother and more like her captor. This is not a sweet story about a Christian woman who fearlessly faces a cold-blooded murderer and witnesses to him until he confesses.
This is heartbreaking tale of loss, despair, and literally reaching rock bottom. Both for the captive and the captor.
I was very taken aback by that. I truly expected this to be an entire book about the hostage situation.
Instead this is the telling of the most laid-back, to the point of unbelievable, captor a person could imagine as told by a narrator who is dealing with the effects of withdrawal. Ashley Smith tells her story exactly like she would if talking to a close friend.
The kind of friend that doesn’t mind when you skip from the hear-and-now to the yesterday to the five years ago and back again. At times I wanted to skip some of the flashbacks, but there was so much truth written in them that skipping them would be like dismissing the person.
This is a choppy, gut-wrenching, unpolished book about two souls being held captive. It is a book of redemption through fire. It is a reminder that God can use anyone, any time, to do His work.
You don’t have to be an ordained staff member in your local church. You don’t have to be a missionary. There’s no prerequisite of a Bible college degree. God will use you.
You. The drug addict.
You. The one still struggling through AA.
You. The one who has served their time and are trying to rebuild.
You. The convict serving life in prison.
You. The stay-at-home mom trying to balance everything.
You. The teenager struggling to find your purpose.
You. The single father raising three girls.
You. And you. And even me.
We’re all being held captive. Some of us by visible enemies. Some of us by addictions. Some of us by fear. But all of us by our selves.
What will it take for you to ask Jesus to open the locks that hold you bound? Will it take a hostage situation or will you seek Him before the captor comes?
Now it’s your turn! Share your own purpose story at and also on social media with the hashtag #FollowYourPurpose.
CAPTIVE, based on a miraculous true story that drew the attention of the entire nation, is a thrilling drama about the spiritual collision of two broken lives.  When Brian Nichols – on the run as the subject of a city wide manhunt and desperate to make contact with his newborn son – takes recovering meth addict Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment, she turns for guidance to Rick Warren’s best-selling inspirational book, The Purpose Driven Life.  While reading aloud, Ashley and her would-be killer each face crossroads where despair and death intersect hope.
The movie stars David Oyelowo, who played Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the recent film, Selma.
Click HERE for a special greeting from David Oyelowo.
AUDIO BOOK BYTE  (Audio excerpt from the audiobook format of CAPTIVE (chapter 1), read by the author, Ashley Smith.) 
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”