In 1994, Lizbeth Meredith said good-bye to her four- and six year-old daughters for a visit with their non-custodial father only to learn days later that they had been kidnapped and taken to their father’s home country of Greece.
Twenty-nine and just on the verge of making her dreams of financial independence for her and her daughters come true, Lizbeth now faced a $100,000 problem on a $10 an hour budget. For the next two years fueled by memories of her own childhood kidnapping Lizbeth traded in her small life for a life more public, traveling to the White House and Greece, and becoming a local media sensation in order to garner interest in her efforts. The generous community of Anchorage becomes Lizbeth’s makeshift family one that is replicated by a growing number of Greeks and expats overseas who help Lizbeth navigate the turbulent path leading back to her daughters.
This is an inspiring book about a woman who has been given little in the world — she was regularly abused and then abandoned by her mother at an early age – and so is cast out upon the sea of life unprepared. That what ensues is more of the same is not surprising, but when her implausibly (for me) mean, abusive husband abducts their young children and takes them to a foreign country, her deep, love-filled attachment for them propels her to acts that can only be described as heroic. Beautifully written, this is a heart-pounding thriller of a story that reads like a novel, but leaves you with insight and admiration for the astonishing capacity of the human spirit. – Marcia Mabee
A physically and emotionally abused wife managed to escape with her small daughters and establish a fairly good life. However her middle eastern husband constantly harrased her. He had court granted weekends with the girls who were afraid of him, and one weekend he kidnapped them to his former home in Greece. This is the haunting story of the mother’s anguish during the years learning the location of the girls, trying to get American authorities help, the aid of Greek agencies. Even with the marvelous support of her coworkers and friends, it was a time of heart break and hope. Well written and easy reading. Heartily recommended. – Rosalie
As a fan of “Not Without My Daughter,” I really enjoyed reading “Pieces of Me.” The mother and author, Lizbeth, is inspiring in her courage and success in leaving her abusive husband and building a life for herself and her two daughters. The blindly protective nature of the local Greek community towards her husband was depressing, but the assistance she received from some Greek citizens was uplifting. In the end, it takes all kinds of people to make a world, but our actions and our decision to stand up for what is right and good really does make a huge difference. I also appreciated how Lizbeth briefly continued the story after they returned home, showing how both girls struggled after coming home. – A Helpful Mama