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Escape Paperback – December 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Seventeen years after being forced into a polygamous marriage, Jessop escaped from the cultlike Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints with her eight children. She recounts the horrid events that led her to break free from the oppressive world she knew and how she has managed to survive since escaping, despite threats and legal battles with her husband and the Church. Though sometimes her retelling overflows with colorful foreshadowing and commentary on how exceptional she is, the everyday details she reveals about this polygamous society are devastating and tragic. Frasier delivers Jessop's words in a soft voice that develops intriguingly from an innocent and naïve tone into a more assertive and self-confident one that mirrors Jessop's journey. She maintains the same rhythm, but through the inspired words of the text, she really embraces Jessop's persona. The bonus telephone interview with Jessop on the final disc suffers from poor sound quality and, unfortunately, doesn't add any new information. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Escape provides an astonishing look behind the tightly drawn curtains of the FLDS Church, one of the most secretive religious groups in the United States. The story Carolyn Jessop tells is so weird and shocking that one hesitates to believe a sect like this, with 10,000 polygamous followers, could really exist in 21st-century America. But Jessop’s courageous, heart-wrenching account is absolutely factual. This riveting book reminds us that truth can indeed be much, much stranger than fiction."
—Jon Krakauer, Author of Under the Banner of Heaven, Into Thin Air, and Into the Wild
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What the reader discovers is that polygamy is not what it appears to be. It's much less about consenting adults who choose to live a particular lifestyle than it is about the complete oppression of the female gender under the guise of eternal salvation. From birth, the children who are unfortunate to be born into this cult are indoctrinated a/k/a "brainwashed" to conform to the cult's bizarre beliefs. Some of it was incredibly hard to digest... the word "fun" was outlawed! The color red was outlawed! Compliments were discouraged! Child abuse was encouraged! Affection between a mother and her child was a punishable offense. Children were taught that they did not belong to their mothers, but to the prophet Warren Jeffs, and that he had complete control over their destiny. In exchange for their absolute subservience, followers were promised eternal salvation. Women have no rights whatsoever in any aspect of their lives. On the other hand, men have absolute power, but only as long as they remain in favor by staying in compliance with Jeffs. The author was fortunate enough to crave knowledge and to grow up prior to Jeffs coming to full power. Because of this she was able to acquire a college education, but she fought for it. I think this is what gave her the edge to do what she needed to do to escape. Knowledge is power, and that is why Jeffs eventually outlawed public school and decreed that children were to stay home.
Warren Jeffs is a barbaric and sinister leader. He led by fear and intimidation. Children could be taken from their mothers at any time, and wives and children could be reassigned to another man on Jeffs' whim. Teenage girls as young as 14 were ordered to marry 80 year-old men. Mothers and daughters were married to the same man. Men and boys were excommunicated for the slightest and oftentimes false infractions. Jeffs ordered the torture of animals and forced children to watch this torture, and once ordered the execution of all dogs in the community. He sodomized young boys. Jeffs is one sick man, who at the time of his arrest had amassed close to 200 wives. I personally hope that he rots in prison, and then rots for eternity in hell.
I finished this book in less than a week. I found myself reading it every chance I got... on lunch breaks... at stoplights... after dinner. It was captivating, and I just couldn't wait to delve even more into this remarkable story of survival. Carolyn Jessop managed to find the strength to fight for her own freedom and for her children's freedom - and win. I find myself wondering, "What would I have done in the same circumstance?" Could you or I have found the same strength to escape? I'm just glad that is something I'll never have to find out.
Most recent customer reviews
This is well written and I am so happy for Carolyn and her children.Read more