Over the years I have read many Ann Rule books - some I have liked more than others. I think this one has been somehow lost in the shuffle. It is not as emotionally gripping as Small Sacrifices, but is super suspenseful. How did this happen? How could this happen? And how can justice come to pass?
This book seems to have been downplayed whenever anyone mentions Ann Rule, though I am not sure why. The hold that Brad Cunningham had over beautiful, successful - though obviously emotionally dependent - women is astounding. And yet....
Richard Ferone's narration of this was fantastic! I have read several of his novel narrations and have had a hard time with them, but he was pitch-perfect here.
If you like true crime with character study, this book is for you! Well, well worth the credit!
Yes. No one can tell their story better than they themselves can. While Kim's narration lacks polish in places, and her dialogue is frustrating, this is an incredible story. Kim lived through these experiences - the pain, the anger, the frustration, and you can hear it truthfully in her voice.
This book made me cry and made me angry. The bureaucracy of the Ukraine's system of adoptions, contrasted with Kim's obvious love for this little boy, was touching and moving.
This book, in many ways, is similar to Love in the Driest Season. Kim relies on God for her strength, and her Christian faith guides her actions, while Meely Tucker (Love in the Driest Season) relied on his own determination and that of his wife... but both books detail foreign countries' policies of adoption with humanity and compassion. Both are well worth the read.
I enjoyed some of the nuances of this book. Some of Brent's experiences are universal, while others are extraordinary. He is self-aware enough to acknowledge his faults and provide a look both into his past and his future.
He had a monotone voice in spots, which was really frustrating... he did not express emotion well, which could have improved the story.
This book is unique in that it is the story of a boy leaving the FLDS, whether by his own will or that of the prophet. It does jump around in spots and is a bit frustrating (siblings suddenly have spouses come out of nowhere), but this book is a good and tragic addition to the FLDS memoirs.
The alternating perspectives of the brothers. Humphry Bower as always was incredible. Normally, with alternative first-person perspectives like this, I prefer there to be two narrators, but Humphry is so gifted that he can pull it all off.
When Hawk meets Maggie... it made me smile.
I was a little wary reading the reviews that described the graphic passages, including moaning. I expected something different... while those passages do exist, there are only 2 of them of any length, and they are fast-forwardable. To be honest, I found the Potato Factory had more graphic scenes and innuendo (though minus the moaning).
I am glad I toughed this one out... I grew to love Tommo and Hawk both, even though in real life if I ran into them in a pub I doubt I would've looked passed their roles of gentle giant and con man. Hawk's conscience and fighting for the underdog made me prefer him, but Tommo provided comic relief and compassion for his addiction.
Greatly looking forward to reading Solomon's Song; though reviewers are not praising it that highly... I guess one has to read it for oneself!
Yes. This book is more comprehensive than many other FLDS biographies, and gives a look at the transpiring events since Warren Jeffs went on trial. There is not a lot of new information in this book, but coming from the perspective of an outsider, it is a solid addition to toher books about this group.
Yes. I could picture the author speaking in this matter, but as a listening experience it is clunky at best. There are many spots where he would say the letter A... such as: there was A tree in the middle of A yard. It got frustrating, but for the most part the narration was ok.
The special privileges that Warren Jeffs received in his new prison life. Amazing!
I enjoyed this book immensely. While it does present an anti-religion bias in general (and an anti-Mormon bias in particular), it did not decrease my enjoyment of this well-researched tome. It is impossible to separate the violence of the murder of Brenda Laferty by fundamentalist Mormons from the violent history of the LDS church from its inception. It is well-documented, but by no means dry, and is well-worth the read.
I have wanted to read this book in audio for years, and it did not disappoint. The research, coupled with the human aspects of both the Brenda Laferty case and the polygamous Mormon sects throughout the western world, made it a compelling read.
Scott Brick's narration is well-done here, if a little clunky in pronunciation at times. He is neither overly-dramatic nor flat in tone, and was a great choice for narrator of this excellent book.
This book details many of the abuses that go on in the FLDS church, and what happens when women and children in particular try and run away. There are portions that describe the setting in Colorado City, Arizona, as a rugged desert land, and the incomplete houses so well that you can feel the hot sun on your face and see the decrepid landscape in your mind's eye.
This book does not flinch from the abuses in the church or Flora Jessop's life outside of it. While there are places for indicating the sexual abuse and drug use, some of these seem to be done for shock value if nothing else. This is a minor quibble in an otherwise good book... think of Flora Jessop as a battle-weary soldier, trusting no one but getting women and children out of the FLDS, and you ahve the right idea.
I loved some of the journal entries and poetry that were sprinkled throughout the second half of the book... it gave heart to some difficult passages to read.
Flora's guilt over not being able to save her mother and sister... I cried.
The story gripped you from the prologue and wouldn't let go. The characters, with the exception of Griff, were relatable and well-drawn. The narration was incredible; I wish all full-cast narrations were this well-done!
Hard to decide. They all had qualities that I admired and related to, but the children are probably my favorites due to their innocence and desire to protect those they love.
This book is well worth the listening time. It does shift point of view from 1st to 3rd person, which is a little bit clunky and cumbersome, and Griff is too unlikeable to be taken seriously as a well-drawn character, but overall, this is a well-written suspenseful debut novel.
Yes. Both. For the most part I enjoy Francine Rivers' writing, though I found this book quite unnecessarily preachy and repetetive toward the endd.
Stina Nielsen is a joy to listen to, though I seem to be unable to find any books read by her that are not young adult...
The first part of the book deftly continues the plot threads found in Her Mother's Hope... I found this part the best, because the complex relationship between Hildie and Marta, Carolyn and Hildie, and then May Flower Dawn and Carolyn continues to build and build.
The least interesting part was probably the end. Without spoiling it, I understand how some aspects of the ending were important and necessary to the book, but it seemed as though Christian references were coated on to the second half of the book so that it could be sold as a Christian book (just my observation). Her Mother's Hope was much more subtle in this regard; while I am a devout Christian, I found many of these references just too thick to swallow.
It is hard to pick one... probably Marta or Hildie. Maybe because I got to know their characters from childhood until their elderly days and see them grow in hard-won wisdom.
For the most part, yes. It continues well the plot lines in Her Mother's Hope and shows how the things we do - or don't do - can ripple down through generations and can be felt for years.
I read this book several years ago from my public library, and decided to purchase it from Audible and reread it.
Carolyn Jessop is an incredibly strong woman, considering what she went through during the first 35 years of her life. This book details her personal observations of life with the FLDS, and provides enough insight into the history and workings to this group that will quickly get the uninitiated up to speed.
Anne Marie Lee is a great choice of narrator for this book. There is some dialogue in it, but she does not really have to project different characters' voices much. Her emotions are lightly drawn out, and inflection is just perfect for the book.
The book opens with the prologue of Carolyn's escape from the FLDS, then backtracks to her early life, childhood, marriage, children, etc. When it gets to the point of the escape again, it seems to completely omit the details in the prologue, which I thought kind of jumpy for readability's sake. Another quibble I have with the book is Carolyn's assertion of her "specialness"; SHE was not going to take this, SHE would observe things that no one else would Perhaps this is true, and perhaps this is Laura Palmer writing in this way, but is just grated a bit in places.
Overall, however, this book is a welcome addition to former FLDS memoirs, and biographies in general.
Yes, I would greatly recommend this book to a friend who is interested in FLDS life or is leaving an abusive relationship.
The meeting between Carolyn and Betty
The details of the raid at the YFZ ranch and Carolyn's reaction to it was quite moving
This book is a fitting follow-up to Escape. It adds in a few details that are not present in Escape, such as the things that made Carolyn strong enough and observant enough toleave when she did. Occasionally, Carolyn gets on her soap box (her position on schooling in particular) and emphasizes her specialness a little too much, but these are minor quibbles in a good book.
Ann Marie Lee is an incredible choice of narrator for this book, as she was for Escape. She depicts particular emotions with a light touch.
I would recommend reading this work only after reading Escape. It does stand on its own, but to understand the full impact of what Carolyn went through in the FLDS, Escape is the more comprehensive book.
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