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Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy Paperback – December 14, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... In this provocative and deeply moving memoir, Debbie Palmer has created a richly detailed portrait of fanatical fundamentalism-- ... -- Jon Krakauer, Author of 'Under the Banner of Heaven' December 2004

"A raw and courageous book that shines a spotlight on Canada's dark secret… -- Fabian Dawson, News Editor, The Vancouver Province, December 2004

"Palmer and Perrin offer the first, brave look inside the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C. ... -- Ken MacQueen, Maclean's Magazine, December 2004

About the Author

Debbie Palmer

Debbie Palmer was taken to a polygamous community now called Bountiful near Creston, B.C., at two years of age. She is the oldest of 47 children. Her mother was the first of six wives and passed away at 23 years of age. Debbie was married at fifteen as sixth wife of 55-year-old leader of the Canadian group under the direction of the "prophet" from Colorado City, Arizona. After just three years, her first husband died of leukemia and she was assigned as fifth wife to another man 40 years her senior. After a schism in the leadership of the polygamous group divided members, she was given a "release" from the second husband and assigned to a third. She managed to escape the community pregnant with her seventh child after years of trauma and abuse.

Debbie lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, with eight children and has pursued academic studies. She is a human rights activist, a community crime prevention educator and advocate, and author of various bodies of research. She has consulted with and been the subject of several documentaries on the topic of polygamy in North America.

David Perrin

David Perrin was raised in a small community near Trail and attended Selkirk College before moving on to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He earned his degree as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

Since 2000, Dr. Perrin's publishing company, Dave's Press, has released three best-selling books about his Kootenay practice. Don't Turn Your Back in the Barn, Dr. Dave's Stallside Manner and Where Does it Hurt? Don't Turn Your Back in the Barn has also been published in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. As well, Sony has optioned it for publication in Japan. The book concepts are currently under consideration for a CBC television series.

David Perrin, co-author of Palmer's story, has also been connected to individuals represented in this book, Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy. Dave lives in the Creston Valley and continues to write.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 393 pages
  • Publisher: Dave's Press Ltd; First Edition edition (December 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0968794335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0968794333
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gordon Neufeld on July 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an eye-opening memoir of what it was like for a young girl, who later herself became a "celestial" (polygamous) bride of a much older man, to grow up in a Canadian community of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons who practice polygamy contrary to the teachings of the mainstream Mormon church). The Canadian community is affiliated to the larger one in Colorado City, Arizona. It is clear that having multiple brides is a recipe for men to behave arrogantly and selfishly, and for women to struggle with inevitable jealousy and resentment. My one complaint about this book is that it needed a little trimming; it is a long memoir that does not even take the reader up to the point where the author, Debbie Palmer, finally leaves the community. I would have liked to have learned how this came about. But written in this way, you get a day-by-day account of what it is like to be a young girl in such a community.
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This book was truly an eye opener. So many girls are being abused under this religion, it seems we are all allowing this right under our noses. I am just amazed at the amount of brainwashing going on with all this unfortunate people.
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Debbie, if you read this by chance, please know that this gentile prays for you and your continued recovery. I have just re-read your book and have requested that it be available for Kindle. You have come so far. Sometimes it's hard to see the beauty while your in the weeds. This well written book should be in the academic corriculum for every FLDS child. It's a page turner.
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I enjoyed this book immensely from about the third chapter. The beginning was a bit redundant and slow moving but once you get past that it is a page turner. The story was certainly an eye opener as far as the Polygamist way of life is concerned. I wanted to give a higher rating but was disappointed by the end; perhaps I just wanted to hear more about her life.
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This book promised to be so much more than it was. The woman that the story was based on had so many stories that could have made this book amazing. She was the first to leave with all of her children yet we are never told anything about how she managed such a feat. Instead, there are pages and pages of quotes from sermons. The book ends with a son from her first marriage threatening her and her daughter yet we never find out what happened. A good editor would have made a huge difference. The ending that this book has should have been about 1/3 of the way through the book and 99% of the sermons could have been eliminated. Then there would have been space left for the real story. Save your money as there are better books dealing with this subject.
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By Ted Boodle on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I confess to thinking of polygamy as an innocuous aberration. Keep Sweet has destroyed my wrong impression and I'm grateful. The authors reveal the devastating damage caused by groups like Bountiful and do so not by being preachy but by simply telling an impelling story that makes the point more powerfully than any lecture could ever do. The story is told with painful, simple honesty from the point of view of a child. The courage it took to escape and build a new life is truly inspirational. The cruelty of polygamy is shocking and an expose like Keep Sweet is important if one wishes to truly understand what these groups are really all about. Well done.
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I was hoping the poor girl would of gotten out failure. Anyway I thought there was way to much religion in this. The story could of been told in half the time. I almost put the book down and found something new to read out of boredom. But I am happy that she did find a way to be happy and get away from the sick people.
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Loved the detail. Loved the thoroughness. Loved that the entire book was devoted exclusively to her childhood. Hope she is writing a sequel.
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