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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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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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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allisonrey, November 5, 2007 (view all comments by allisonrey)
Horrifying and gripping, I devoured this book in 48 hours. It is a must read!!! I highly recommend it for others. Its crazy to think that this kind of oppression is still going on in our country. It is also important for readers to note that the FLDS are VERY different from mainstream Mormons. Warren Jeffs is a wacko and deserves to be punished severely. Anyway, I hope Carolyn Jessop makes millions on her book because its excellently written, she's been to hell and back, and because she'd help others.
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Random House -
by Jon Krakauer, author of Under the Banner of Heaven, Into Thin Air, and Into the Wild,
"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."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Though Jessop's circumstances were unusual — and particularly harrowing — her memoir will appeal to many women who have left abusive relationships."
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.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.