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Escape

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Escape Cover

ISBN13: 9780767927567
ISBN10: 0767927567
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Up against the Arizona-Utah border lies a town comprising about 10,000 zealots, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They differ from conventional Mormons in that they continue — with enthusiasm — the practice of polygamy. Their current prophet, Warren Jeffs, recently was convicted of being an accomplice to rape. They've been the subject of some marvelously... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"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

Review:

"Though Jessop's circumstances were unusual — and particularly harrowing — her memoir will appeal to many women who have left abusive relationships." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Choosing freedom from polygamy over fear, Carolyn Jessop flees her life within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now tells her harrowing story. 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.

About the Author

Carolyn Jessop was born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a group splintered from and renounced by the Mormon Church, and spent most of her life in Colorado City, Arizona, the main base of the FLDS. Since leaving the group in 2003, she has lived in West Jordon, Utah, with her eight children.

Laura Palmer is the author of Shrapnel in the Heart and collaborated on five other books, the most recent being To Catch a Predator with NBC's Chris Hansen. She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

deeders, October 22, 2008 (view all comments by deeders)
Best book I have read in a long time. Very well written and I felt as if I was experiencing it along with Carolyn. Thank you Carolyn for writing your courageous story.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
opal, May 18, 2008 (view all comments by opal)
"Escape" is, in my opinion, one of the most important books in the last 50 years to reveal a core dynamic of U.S. society. I read it on a recommendation from a stranger, but could barely put it down. What Ms. Jessop's book, I believe unintentionally reveals, in her unpretentious, honest way, is that the FLDS is not an anomaly in our country. It is in fact a distillation of the patriarchal system which founded this country, and which, unlike the FLDS, has learned subtlety, but which has in no way lost its dominion.

I am a woman born and raised in the united states, and with a career history in many jobs which were nontraditional for my gender, so the author's experiences within the cult of the FLDS were sadly quite familiar to me, though more raw, unsophisticated, and outwardly brutal than what I dealt with daily at work.

The reader of "Escape" comes to understand how an entire community of intelligent and caring humans can be taught to live in fear of the ways of outsiders, and so to never turn to them, no matter how terribly they may suffer at home. The author writes that The FLDS members were allowed almost no news from the outside world to broaden their understanding and she matter-of-factly weaves together the bizarre incidents of her life to illustrate the strength of the grip that a cult like the FLDS has on its members.

I reflected, on finishing "Escape," that I live in a country of intelligent humans whose ignorance and fear of the ways of other countries (our version of "outsiders") stops us from demanding what plenty of our allies have: free health care, free college, a decent welfare system for the least amongst us, and a government which provides, rather than invades. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wonders why we aren't out in the streets with our banners and our pitchforks yet.

The toxic combination of religion, gender oppression, isolation, lack of opportunities, and little information from the outside world is unflinchingly laid out for us to examine in Ms. Jessop's brave book. "Escape" is not a literary achievement. She was not a writer, and makes no attempts at clever phrases or flowery descriptions, but her book is a revelation not to be missed, of the predictably tragic outcome of any society in which people can not or will not stand up for their rights and think for themselves. I thank her for writing it.
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mdd2407, April 8, 2008 (view all comments by mdd2407)
A "splinter"of this group is under intensive investigation.

Yet "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" perfectly describes a not uncommon practice - among US and UK Muslims!

For many "girl children", education ends at puberty. They are taught subservience as a life skill and to cook at clean for all male relatives. They are draped in cloth bags, trained in dependence and shame and forced to marry older male cousins from Pakistan or India - all in the name of religion and cultural preservation.

Both are horrible violations of human dignity and Western law. So why are we pursuing the abusive Mormons and promoting "tolerance" for the abusive Muslims?
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780767927567
Author:
Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer
Publisher:
Broadway
Author:
Jessop, Carolyn
Author:
Palmer, Laura
Author:
Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
Author:
Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Colorado
Subject:
Mormon women
Subject:
Arranged marriage
Subject:
Mormon fundamentalism.
Subject:
General Biography
Publication Date:
20071016
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.55 x 6.35 x 1.3 in 1.6 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Religion » Christianity » Mormon » Controversial Literature
Religion » Christianity » Mormon » Mormonism
Religion » Western Religions » Cults

Escape Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Random House - English 9780767927567 Reviews:
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Though Jessop's circumstances were unusual — and particularly harrowing — her memoir will appeal to many women who have left abusive relationships."
"Synopsis" by , Choosing freedom from polygamy over fear, Carolyn Jessop flees her life within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now tells her harrowing story. 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.
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