Carolyn Jessup does an incredible job of telling this stunning and shocking story. She is so personal and present as she describes her life in the FLDS cult. I had been reading Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner Of Heaven and could not finish it because it was so upsetting though I will pick it up again after this. (He does the best research and is so through). Carolyn personalizes her story in a way that holds your attention and you hope for her future and the future of her children. I admire her so much. What can we do? A must read.
Now I know more than I ever wanted to know. I just can't wrap my arms around the idea that this is taking place right now and in our country. And, it's always the women and children that are the victims. This one is really haunting me. It's not a pity party, although I don't know how she could not feel sorry for herself. I'd be wallowing in self pity if it were me. It's told in a very neutral tone. She answers, "Why, why, why?" satisfactorily. There's an interview with her editor at the end where she speaks of freedom with such appreciation it makes you realize that's something we take for granted. Go for it!
Say something about yourself!
I am giving this book five stars. I was so outraged to learn of this "hidden" world, and so ashamed that I was completely ignorant of its existance, that I think everyone in this country should be aware of it. The story starts out fast and engaging, revealing to the reader the most suspensful part of the story right away, but then begins the flashback of Carolyn Jessop's life. Yes, it can move slowly at times, and yes, there is an incredibly long (and sometimes repetitive) account of her 17 years of marriage to an abusive, controlling, manipulative, cruel, and, worst of all, brainwashing husband. However, I found that each layer she added would have crumbled without the foundation of the previous information. I can see how Ms. Jessop needed to be detailed, lest the reader not completely understand the true depth of fear felt by these women in the FLDS cult. Upon first discovery of this lifestyle and its shocking cruelty, one's immediate reaction might be to simply pass these women off as weak, and ignorant. Otherwise, why would they not simply leave? Ms. Jessop builds her story until the listener can completely understand the horrific plight, and hopeless existence in which they live. Her escape is truly a landmark event in this country, as she was the first woman to successfully escape from this cult, both with her freedom, and full custody of all eight of her children. It is a remarkable story of an intelligent, courageous woman's fight to overcome seemingly overwhelming odds against owning her own life. Personally, I had no idea that, in a time when we are sending troops overseas to fight opression, a small sect of a different kind of terrorism is thriving in our own country. If you have ever wondered how Adolf Hitler, Jim Johnson, or David Koresh managed to convince otherwise honorable people to subjugate themselves to torture, child abuse, death, this book will make you understand.
I cannot believe that this has been happening in my country! Jessup's tale is horrifying yet hopeful. I thought the pace was a bit uneven throughout, and started slow, but the injustices mount until you reach saturation levels and know the escape must be imminent. It was not the best read book I've downloaded, but not the worst either. Would recommend.
This book is of course about an escape from a polygamist religious group. However, what I found the most striking is the underlying explanation on how some fanatics can manipulate people just on the basis of religious grounds; how this can be continued for tens of years just by cutting believers out of communication and education. The comparison with the way other religious group operate could come into the readers' mind. This book is about control and power, and what you need to do to survive in such environment. Escape was the outcome for the author, but is even not an option for many.
This was one of the few times I wished I had an abridged version of an audiobook. Ms. Jessop's story is fascinating, but gets bogged down by mediocre writing and endless repetition. Making it worse is the narrator, who speaks verrrry slooowly; I ended up listening to it on double speed, which made it more bearable during a long drive. In sum, it's definitely a story worth hearing, but I'd recommend waiting for an abridged audiobook or buying the print version so you can skim the redundant bits.
Carolyn Jessop's life story is extraordinary. I hope that she writes a follow up. The narrator's reading is outstanding. I highly recommend this book.
A really engaging memoir of the author's years in the FLDS church and her participation in a plural marriage with a prominent older member of the church. It's amazing to think of all the insular sub-cultures in the US, and how different the world seems to them than it does to outsiders. At times the story seemed a bit sensationalized, and at other times as though the author was letting her therapist tell the story rather than telling it herself, as the self she was when she experienced her time in the FLDS and her departure from it. Rightly or wrongly, I assigned all this to her co-author. Still, I was left with the unsettled feeling that Carolyn Jessop's experience hovers ambiguously between two extremely different accounts of it: the one the FLDS would tell, and the one that Jessop's "rescuers" in the larger American culture would tell. For me, that was the whole point of it, how dramatically your own experiences can shift underneath you depending on what framework you use to interpret them. I was left wondering where Jessop would be now, and how she would think about her life, if the FLDS's leadership hadn't gotten so freaky.
This book was amazing. It really opened my eyes to the plight of the women and children living in polygamy. I was interested in this story and looked it up on the internet but the book offers so much more info. It is hard to read, but inspiring. I am a changed person for reading this
After hearing an interview with Carolyn Jessop on BBC I had to get this book. Her story is unbelievably powerful. When she was 18 she was forced to marry a power hungry sadist that was over twice her age. It is hard to believe that I can relate to her story (considering that I am a single IT guy that was a rebel growing up and left my parents house at 18 because I could not have girls in my room), but I can. Jessops story is both inspiring and informative and sheds an important light on the FLDS that has been in the news recently. You will not believe that this kind of oppression is happening right here in the USA. I applaud Carolyn for her brave Escape.