Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Carolyn Jessop was born into the secretive world of the Fundamentalist Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When she was just eighteen she was married off to a much older man and became his fourth wife. As a woman in the FLDS community she was subjected to extreme hardships. She had eight children in her 15 year marriage, one of whom is severely disabled following a battle with cancer. She was subjected to mental and physical abuse and had to witness the severe mistreatment of children in the community. Finally, she decided that she had had enough. She waited for an opportunity, then managed to flee the oppressive community with her children.

This book is one of the very few to earn my elusive 5 star rating. It was riveting, I couldn’t put it down. I was always dying to know what was going to happen next. This book was also haunting and disturbing, a week after finishing it I am still thinking about it. It made me wish that I could drive out to Colorado City, AZ and load up my vehicle with other women trapped in that place. Unfortunately, as Carolyn Jessop made clear, most of the women living in the FLDS community don’t want out. They have never known a different lifestyle, and due to the seclusion they endure, they don’t even realize that another way of life exists.

I recommend this book to any (adult) who had an interest in other cultures. The FLDS  culture, as portrayed by Carolyn Jessop, is strange, confusing, and disturbing in so many ways. Yet, it is also fascinating in a perverse way. I want to know more, but am constantly disgusted by what I find. I heartily recommend this book, but be forewarned that it may disturb you greatly.

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