Review: Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer

Genre: Non-fiction
Publication: October 16, 2007 by Broadway
Pages: 413 Pages
Source: Library Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary: 
The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.

When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.

Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.

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 
Another tough book to write a review for. This book is the true story of an ex-FLDS member, therefore if you don't know about the awful things that have/do happened within that community then this book would be very shocking. I have however done a lot of reading and watching documentaries about the FLDS community and have heard parts of Carolyn's story before I read her book. But the things that she had to go through at the hands of the FLDS are absolutely atrocious.

This story follows her whole life and how the FLDS effected it, as well as how it changed as different people came into power within the community. It's hard to believe that communities like this even exist. Carolyn's story is inspiring, in that it can help to give people in desperate situation hope. She had to be incredibly courageous to escape the cult and fight for her right to her children.

I highly recommend this book if you are into cults or want to learn more about the FLDS in general. This is a courageous story and worth the read.

No comments :

Post a Comment