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Escape by Carolyn Jessop
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Escape (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Carolyn Jessop

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,161None6,960 (3.89)38
Member:Kadeeae
Title:Escape
Authors:Carolyn Jessop
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (2008), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fundamentalist, latter day saints, escape

Work details

Escape by Carolyn Jessop (2007)

2008 (18) 2009 (11) abuse (29) adult non-fiction (6) autobiography (37) biography (61) book club (7) child abuse (8) cults (35) domestic violence (10) ebook (9) escape (10) family (6) FLDS (70) fundamentalism (12) Kindle (7) marriage (9) memoir (111) Mormon (59) Mormonism (20) non-fiction (126) polygamy (110) read (14) read in 2008 (8) read in 2010 (11) religion (70) to-read (16) Utah (9) Warren Jeffs (10) women (10)
  1. 80
    Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall (dara85)
  2. 60
    Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both books describe women trapped by religious dogma and how they struggle to break free.
  3. 10
    Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer (itbgc)
  4. 10
    Lost Boy by Brent W. Jeffs (schatzi)
    schatzi: both books deal with people who broke free from the FDLS cult
  5. 10
    Church of Lies by Flora Jessop (BlaisesLibrary)
  6. 00
    Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints by Sam Brower (rxtheresa)
    rxtheresa: Carolyn Jessop escaped from the FLDS so much of the same information is covered from a woman insider's point of view.
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» See also 38 mentions

English (73)  Dutch (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
This was the 2nd book on the subject and undoubtedly the BEST written.
I was unaware that the people in the book were on the news and the final Warren Jeffs Trial was underway.
Carolyn Jessop tells her story honestly and in sometimes even brutal, shocking detail.
No ther book written on the subject flows as this one. It is a MUST read book for any woman, Mormon or Christian or Athiest. We have all wondered HOW the women we see on the news want to take their children back to the life on Warren Jeffs compound. Carolyn Jessops shares with us the intimate moments spent curled up on her grandmothers lap listening to the stories told of their faith. As children they know nothing but this life. They are born and bred to believe just as we trusted our parents and grandparents.

Her 2nd book ties up the questions of "What happened?". ( )
  Strawberryga | Dec 28, 2013 |


This was a difficult book to read because of the subject matter. The author is an amazingly strong woman who survived intense trauma and escaped, not only with her life but also with the lives of her eight children. Her will and determination are inspiring, and I look forward to reading her follow-up. The reason I didn't give the book five stars is because I found it to jump around and it sometimes got repetitive. Overall, though, I would highly recommend it! ( )
  amyolivia | Oct 25, 2013 |
Carolyn Jessop was born into a life of servitude and abuse as a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS. The FLDS had originally broken off from the mainstream LDS church to continue the practice of polygamy. However, things became more extreme as time went on, and things like abuse or women and children soon became the norm. Carolyn dreamed of going to college and even becoming a doctor, but soon after graduating high school she found herself becoming the 3rd wife of a powerful member of the community. She's soon caught up in a vicious cycle of abuse from her husband and her sister-wives. Carolyn finally does the unthinkable and escapes with her 8 children. Her fight for freedom manages to help not only her immediate family but also many young people who were caught up in the traumas of the FLDS as well.

As a member of the mainstream LDS church, this was a book I was very interested in reading. It was amazing to see how twisted and corrupt things quickly became within the FLDS. I also found it frightening what these people had to go through, specifically the women. Men fared much better (at least until Warren Jeffs began exerting his power). Carolyn was very lucky in some respects as she was allowed to get an education, even if it wasn't in the field she wanted to study. This put her in a much better position when she finally got out. It also allowed her to see that life didn't have to be like this. Carolyn's biggest struggle for a long time was the strength of her beliefs. When she felt so strongly that the things she was taught were true, she struggled with thoughts of leaving. Eventually her unhappiness overcame this though, and she was able to see with more clarity.

This book was interesting to me from the start, and I read it very quickly. I did understand a lot of the ideas presented as they seemed to be very twisted versions of many pieces of LDS doctrine, but some of it was definitely things I had never heard of before. I wanted to be able to help her and other members who try to escape as they really can have a bleak future ahead. While this was a sad book in some respects, it also felt full of hope as it showed that things could get better. The saddest part for me was the decisions of her daughter Betty. This book is very interesting, and it will give you insight into the minds of at least some women involved in things like this. ( )
  l_manning | Oct 11, 2013 |
I’ve read about FLDS communities before, specifically in Under the Banner of Heaven. But I’m not sure any FLDS community compares to the one that has been built by the Jeffs. Because of that, Carolyn Jessop’s story is certainly an interesting one. Through her eyes, you see the transition from a fairly standard FLDS community (with all of its many inherent faults) to one that is perverted for the sake of power, and to sate the lust of an elite group of men.

Unfortunately, this book was in dire need of an editor. Jessop had a co-writer, but you wouldn’t know it based on the organization of the story. There was an incredible amount of repetition, to the point that you wondered if she wrote each chapter entirely separately and therefore thought she had to explain things every time. For example, we are told multiple times that a woman’s worth is tied to whether or not her husband is willing to have sex with her, but explaining that concept to us once was more than enough. She should have then trusted the reader to realize that the wives Merril wasn’t sleeping with weren’t in favor, either in the family or in the community.

She also contradicts herself more than a few times, especially when it came to who was or wasn’t helping her take care of her children. All of these things could have been caught by a good editor, and fixed by a competent co-writer.

The other problem I had with the memoir is that despite it being titled Escape, very little of the book actually focuses on their lives after the escape. I would have much preferred it if several of the repetitious examples from earlier in the story had been cut in favor of a more in depth look at her life on the outside. It is basically glossed over, with very few details provided after the first few crucial weeks.

And please, understand, FLDS is not the same as Mormon. They may have started in the same place, but they are the same no longer.

Overall, I found her story compelling, and I certainly kept turning the pages. But I feel like I was sold a bill of goods that I did not receive. ( )
  miyurose | Jul 15, 2013 |
This book has some thrilling, exciting moments particularly related to Carolyn's escape from the fundamental polygamous cult and her family of one husband and six sister-wives. It is not a spoiler to reveal that she does successfully escape with her eight children, one an infant and one handicapped. The question is, can she remain free from her intimidating former husband and the powerful cult leader?

The writing style was often annoying to me. I get that her husband was cruel and that her sister-wives were jealous; I don't need to be reminded over and over again. In contrast, some details differed from one telling to the next. I felt that she should have reread the manuscript and cleared up the discrepancies.
A hardback in excellent condition ( )
  FancyHorse | May 1, 2013 |
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Below, Slate flags Carolyn's most intriguing, strange, and heartbreaking allegations.
added by lquilter | editSlate, Torie Bosch (Apr 16, 2008)
 
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I dedicate this book to my eight children: Arthur, Betty, LuAnne, Andrew, Patrick, Merrilee, Harrison, and Bryson. My love for you knows no bounds. Even in my darkest days, you always gave me the meaning and reason I needed to go on.



This book is also dedicated to the women and children who may feel as desperately trapped by polygamy as I did and may wonder if they even deserve to dream of freedom and safety. You do.
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Escape. The moment had come. I had been watching and waiting for months.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767927567, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

At 18, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger, 32 years her senior, who already had three wives. Arranged plural marriages were part of her heritage in the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled 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. Her every move was dictated by her husband's whims--in the FLDS, a wife's compliance determines her status, and her children's, in the family. Carolyn was miserable and wanted out, but no woman had ever managed to get her children out of the FLDS. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom and fled with her eight children. And in 2006, her reports formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of the sect's notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.--From publisher description.… (more)

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