Monthly Archives: January 2010

Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer

Penguin Books (Australia), 2007. 413 pages.

It was curiousity that got me picking up this book. I have to admit, I haven’t heard of Carolyn Jessop before (apparently she’s quite well known , more so after appearing in Oprah).

This is not an Oprah Book Club work, but the social awareness that it brought me is massive. Here’s the description, taken from the front cover, that explains what the book is about very well:

I was bornĀ  into a radical polygamist cult. At eighteen, I became the fourth wife of a fifty-year old man. I had eight children in fifteen years. When our leader began to preach the apocalypse, I knew I had to get them out.

The author was obviously able to successfully escape , so this novel wasn’t mainly about her escape but the life she had to endure (the only life she’d ever know prior to escaping.) I have heard of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and other polygamous sects, but have never really explored their world this up close and personal.

It was an interesting read, as everything about their world is just unbelievable to the outside “normal” world , yet once you get past the shock, theĀ  straught to the point narration can get quite arduous and lengthy–but all that is petty and redeemed by the dire gravity of the issue.

Here is author Carolyn Jessop’s interview :

It’s just a horrible , shocking, and disturbing world that I would never want to imagine belonging in. The author is one of the main people who have spoken out against Warren Jeffs, the extremist leader of this religion (as if the religion itself is not extremist). It’s sometimes hard to believe that right inside America lies a world/big community whose lifestyle and morals are not far off from stone age.

I read that Katherine Heigl will play Carolyn Jessop in a movie adaptation of this memoir.