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Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs | [Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer]

Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

In September 2007, Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age 14. This harrowing account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women. Now, in this courageous memoir, Wall tells the incredible story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice.
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Publisher's Summary

In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.

Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells the incredible story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice. Offering a child's perspective on life in the FLDS, Wall discusses her tumultuous youth, explaining how her family's turbulent past intersected with her strong will and identified her as a girl who needed to be controlled through marriage. Detailing how Warren Jeffs's influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mind-set and unrelenting pressure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young.

Once she was married, Wall's childhood shattered as she was obligated to follow Jeffs's directives and submit to her husband in "mind, body, and soul." With little money and no knowledge of the outside world, she was trapped and forced to endure the pain and abuse of her loveless relationship. Yet even in those bleak times, she retained a sliver of hope that one day she would find a way out, and one snowy night that came in the form of a rugged stranger named Lamont Barlow. Their chance encounter set in motion a friendship and eventual romance that gave her the strength she needed to break free from her past and sever the chains of the church. But though she was out of the FLDS, Wall would still have to face Jeffs---this time in court.

©2008 Elissa Wall; (P)2008 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (344 )
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4.1 (201 )
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3.6 (196 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Reader Atkinson, NE, United States 02-09-14
    Reader Atkinson, NE, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    "Very interesting story.... kept my interest"
    Would you listen to Stolen Innocence again? Why?

    Yes.. I thought it was a very fascinating story and would listen to it again. Kept me alert while driving and made a long drive pass by more quickly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Stolen Innocence?

    Finding the strength to overcome her valid concerns about testifying against Warren Jeffs.


    Have you listened to any of Renée Raudman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    I found it very interesting. While reading the reviews before purchasing the book I hesitated due to the poor reviews of the narrator. While it took some time to get used to the narrator using a little girl voice, I was able to focus on the story and forget the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    This book and the book "The Witness Wore Red" were written by sisters in the same family. Both stories gave different views inside the FLDS and I will listen to both books again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Huntington Beach, CA, United States 09-16-13
    Greg Huntington Beach, CA, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2011

    The Perfect Storm! Audible, a great Audiobooks Reader and an adventure/romance in my little green iPod...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    21
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    "Very Informative!"
    What made the experience of listening to Stolen Innocence the most enjoyable?

    I mostly listen to books for the entertainment value, but this was a heart wrenching true story and had my attention from the beginning.


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

    Neither... but I couldn't wait to find out how she finally got free. I found myself looking up pictures on the internet to learn more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lebora Atlanta, Georgia 05-16-13
    Lebora Atlanta, Georgia 05-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    14
    7
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    "Very Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't even know where to begin with this one. Getting through this audiobook was like pulling teeth.

    I was looking forward to this book since I have recently read Escape and Shattered Dreams. I was hoping to continue the streak, but I knew right away this book wasn't going to be for me.

    First of all, the narration was really bad. The reader put emphasis on almost all of the wrong words and just grated on my nerves. It was distracting and annoying making it impossible to get into the book.

    Second, while I admire the author for overcoming a hard life and sharing her story the book is extremely frustrating. So many things are, as other reviewers mentioned, completely glossed over. She doesn't really go in depth when discussing certain situations that are interesting (or have the potential to be interesting), but she over-elaborates on some of things that aren't really pivotal to the story. Also, some of the conversations seem contrived but to be fair I felt the same way about some of the conversations in Escape.

    Overall I am not happy with this book and am going to contact Audible today and try to get my money back. This was extremely far from being a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Harris GA USA 03-04-13
    Joanne Harris GA USA 03-04-13 Member Since 2013

    Serendipity

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
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    "Stolen"
    Would you try another book from Elissa Wall and Lisa Pulitzer and/or Renée Raudman?

    I would in e-book format or with a different narrator.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator's voice was to high pitches and she attempted to do men voices and little girl voices which was very distracting.


    Was Stolen Innocence worth the listening time?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Over all an okay audio book which would have been better with a different approach to the reading, and the story was a little drawn out but riveting none the less.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Low New York 02-02-13
    Beverly Low New York 02-02-13 Member Since 2012

    HI!!!!!! I love to read!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    5
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    Overall
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    "jaw dropping"
    Would you listen to Stolen Innocence again? Why?

    Absolutely, as soon as it ended I knew I would listen again!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Elise, her story went from happy to the depths of hell and back to a wonderful, new world. Her purpose for writing this book was if she could help just one person...I am sure she has and will continue to help thousands!!! She is so brave and I wish her the very best life has to offer...If you see this Elissa, I love you...


    What does Renée Raudman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Now that I have been listening to books, I jotted down her name because I will be looking for her as a narrator...I don't think any one could have captured the highs and lows the way Renee did, she is now one of my favorite narrators. I just want to say that if I don't like the narrator I just can't like the book, so Kudo's to Renee, awesome job!!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Keeping Sweet


    Any additional comments?

    Just that I came away from this book more knowledgeable, disturbed by many of the events...but at the end, I was lifted to a higher plane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Sydney 05-01-12
    Chris Sydney 05-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
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    158
    51
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    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "FLDS flaunting the law of the land"
    Where does Stolen Innocence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was really interesting and a follow up book for me after reading Prophets Prey.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Elissa Wall's harrowing account of her life in this cult.
    Where children and women have no rights, and get traded like chattels.


    Have you listened to any of Renée Raudman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my first encounter with Renee Raudman, I found her performance good, but annoying when she slips into her little girl voice.


    If you could give Stolen Innocence a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Life in a cult.


    Any additional comments?

    I find it hard to understand after Warren Jeff's sentencing why this group continues to exits.
    It flaunts the law of the land, it treats women and children like toys you swap at will.
    What right do we have to liberate foreign countries and give them 'freedom', when our citizens are trapped in a pseudo religious tyranny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Bethesda, MD, United States 03-23-10
    Nancy Bethesda, MD, United States 03-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very compelling and unnerving. A brave girl."

    I especially enjoyed this book because it gives such insight into a life that we cannot even imagine. The Bible shows us that polygamy never ends well. Case in point.

    Very well written. I wish Ms. Wall and the little family she's built all the luck in the world. God bless.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl columbus, OH, USA 02-03-09
    Sheryl columbus, OH, USA 02-03-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Educational"

    I thought the book was well written and provided a thorough insight into the FLDS. I didn't mind the narration by the females, but it was very disconcerting to have every male --brother, father, boyfriend, husband, elder and attorney--narrated by the same male voice! It took me out of the moment and back into reality which is not what one wants to achieve when immersing themselves in a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherray NewYork, NY, United States 01-06-09
    Sherray NewYork, NY, United States 01-06-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    161
    48
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    2
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    Overall
    "Not bad at all...."

    I liked the plot of this book and it's pace.It did hold my interest,even though I didn't like the ending.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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