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Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife | [Irene Spencer]

Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife

Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in marrying her brother-in-law, Verlan LeBaron, becoming his second wife. When the government raided the fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's brothers' Mexican ranch. They lived in squalor and desolate conditions in the Mexican desert with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children.
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Publisher's Summary

Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in marrying her brother-in-law, Verlan LeBaron, becoming his second wife. When the government raided the fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's brothers' Mexican ranch. They lived in squalor and desolate conditions in the Mexican desert with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. Listeners will be appalled and astonished but, most amazingly, greatly inspired. Irene's dramatic story reveals how far religion can be stretched and abused, and how one woman and her children found their way out, into truth and redemption.

©2007 Irene Spencer; (P)2007 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Engrossing....An intense story." (Kirkus)
"Nothing short of astonishing....Emotional and shocking." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (213 )
5 star
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3.7 (91 )
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Story
3.9 (92 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jasmine 01-04-13
    Jasmine 01-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable"

    For anyone interested in a polygamist's perspective, this is the go-to-book. It was interesting to hear the experiences, feelings, and emotions of Irene Spencer. For goodness sake, she eventually ended up having over 7 sister wives! To hear her describe her jealousy about sharing her husband was expected. I'm not sure what woman would genuinely not hold jealous feelings when being in a plural marriage. However, as she explained her first relationship - which was monogamous and how some in the Mormon community (not inluding her mother) manipulated her several times into absolving that relationship was terribly unfortunate. I could not imagine being in her shoes - however, she does a good job at explaining what it was like if I were. It is best to listen to this with an open mind - very open.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DK 01-03-13
    DK 01-03-13 Member Since 2013

    HATE spoilers! Enjoy HOT, sexy books w/a plot. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. Books outside HOT genre = books given to me to review

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One woman's story of Polygamy-I found interesting"
    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Anti-climatic, but it is a 'true' story.


    Any additional comments?

    This was an interesting read about a religious practice/culture I do not believe is Biblical. However, I have a bit more insight and understanding why young women feel they are supposed to live this lifestyle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 10-06-12
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Karen of Northern Michigan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing what woman put up with!"

    Once again, I'm fascinated by the whole polygamy world. I can't imagine living through this. Irene Spencer gives a great account of what her childhood was like, why she believed in polygamy and how she ended up giving up true love to live a life as a polygamist wife. Her story is like many others I've listened to, one of having to deal with a husband that didn't love or respect her, sister wives whom she didn't get along with and having one child after another, while living in poverty and having no rights to speak of. The narrated, Laural Merlington, did a great job. Although my stomach turned and I felt anger at what she endured, I'm glad I listened to her story.. For those who think a woman would only put up with this kind of abuse because they're drama queens or because they "deserve it", after listening to her story, you will hopefully have a better understanding of how some religious communities can brainwash people into believing they must put up with these situations in order to be accepted in heaven.. sad, and amazing, all at the same time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nicole LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 05-12-12
    nicole LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 05-12-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SO SO SO GOOD!"
    If you could sum up Shattered Dreams in three words, what would they be?

    Oh My Goodness


    Any additional comments?

    This book was amazing, and I don't use that word loosely...I was with her the entire book. I recommended this book to anyone and plan on reading it several more times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelly OLD TOWN, ME, United States 05-07-12
    kelly OLD TOWN, ME, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    10
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    "Gripping"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shattered Dreams to be better than the print version?

    I'm not sure, I've never read the print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the honest and straightforward approach to this book. I'm glad Irene Spencer decided to tell her story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did cry a few times. It was a beautiful story, sad at times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Junae 08-08-10
    Junae 08-08-10
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    "Important Work"

    Thank you Irene for giving us this insight into what polygamy is really about with regard to early Mormonism and Fundamentalism. As a long-time Mormon I could really identify with, and certify, the wreckage that results from following the "teachings of men" blindly. This was well-written and well-read by Laural Merlington.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimberly claremont, CA, United States 06-08-10
    kimberly claremont, CA, United States 06-08-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whine whine"

    I have no doubt that polygamous marraige lifestyle sets up women to be victims in the name of God, and pits the wives against each other in a competitive and sick way. However, Irene comes across as a whiner because she orchestrates the messes she whines about. Then she seems incredulous about her circumstances. It's difficult to empathize with her. I didn't find her spunky as she tried to get us to believe, but bratty. Read Escape by Carolyn Jessop instead.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryanne Dexter, OR, USA 03-25-10
    Maryanne Dexter, OR, USA 03-25-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I remember some of the families"

    Trying to figure out why she was a victim? I am not a member of any form of Mormon church, but grew up in Murray Utah and remember many of the families she speaks of in this book. Even though she had been born into polygamy her mother and family had left and actively discouraged her from following that path. It was her choice to pursue LeBaron and become his 'wife' and then she spends the rest of the book listing on why this was a bad choice. If she had married Glen I wonder if she would have written a book on that bad choice. There are polygamus wives who had little or no choice of who they married or when they married and truly suffer and do without and are treated as little more than property but it seems like LaBaron's first wives had a choice and made it. Kinda like marrying a drunk and then complaining they drink.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbaranne Murphys, CA, USA 02-03-08
    Barbaranne Murphys, CA, USA 02-03-08
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    "Whine, whine, whine"

    This child/woman writes of her decision and commitment to live a life of "principle" and then proceeds to describe her constant dissatisfaction, complaining, crying, whining, sulking, ranting, raging and resentment at everyone about having to do so. This diatribe was so painful to hear that I could barely continue to listen hoping to learn about what I assumed to be an interesting religious practice with a first-person explanation of its application. The former outweighed the latter so intensely that I was left to skim the last quarter of the book, intentionally missing the details of one male's psychotic rampaging power play under the legitimacy of righteous polygamy. Listening to this biography was a thoroughly disappointing experience.

    8 of 24 people found this review helpful
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