Monday, December 24, 2012

"Escape" by Carolyn Jessop

From Goodreads:  ....Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.

My Thoughts:  I have always been really interested in polygamy and have been meaning to read this book for a long time.  Carolyn's story is so sad but it's also inspiring.  She was forced to marry someone much older who she didn't like and had to live in an extremely dysfunctional household.  Her husband was a total ass.  I really wanted to punch him in the face. One of her sister wives was a complete bully while two of the others were not quite in their right minds.  The abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband and sister wives was horrible; I can't imagine living like that. 

It was interesting to read her story and through it watch Warren Jeffs' rise to power.  Things got worse and worse for her as Warren slowly came took over the FLDS.  It just blows my mind how he managed to worm his way to the top and nobody really tried to stop him considering that he made everyone's lives so much more difficult with all his crazy rules.  I was really amazed that Carolyn managed to escape the FLDS community with all eight of her children in tow.  I can't imagine how much strength she must have had to flee and not give in to all the people who tried to intimidate her into going back (including her own daughter).

The story was very well-written and easy to read.  It kept my interest throughout and the descriptions of her life and family were great.  I did kind of feel like the story ended abruptly.  Carolyn's daughter went back to the FLDS and Carolyn was starting a new life and had met someone and I felt like I was left going 'what happens next?'  I know this was written in 2007 so I am sure a lot has happened to her in the past 5 years and now I am really curious.  I know there is a sequel but the reviews aren't very good so I am not sure if I will read it or not.  4 1/2 stars.


  1. One reason I read her follow up was because I wanted to know what happened next. And while it did fill in a few details, mostly it felt like a rehash of the details in Escape. If I was you, I'd probably still read it out of curiosity, but even so, I think you'd be better reading a similar memoir from someone else. (I have read another one, called I believe called Innocent? Although there's a ton out there you can look for.)

  2. Thanks for this review. This book has been on my Goodreads TBR list for a long time, and it sounds like an interesting read.


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