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Escape (2007)

by Carolyn Jessop

Other authors: Laura Palmer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6311028,662 (3.86)52
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 own 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.… (more)
  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. 20
    Church of Lies by Flora Jessop (BlaisesLibrary)
  4. 20
    Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer (itbgc)
  5. 10
    Lost Boy by Brent W. Jeffs (schatzi)
    schatzi: both books deal with people who broke free from the FDLS cult
  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 52 mentions

English (99)  Dutch (2)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
I am sorry but did read it right away. I finished it this weekend and was sure overtaken with shock as to the way the woman are treated in this cult. I watched her interviewed on Oprah as well as her daughter Betty. Betty, of course, denies all the horror her mom and the other women endure due to her brainwashing. I cannot believe that we haven't been able to shut this group down yet. It is horrendous that this goes on in our country.
( )
  KyleneJones | Apr 25, 2022 |
VERY interesting and motivating story about Jessop's life and polygamy. ( )
  ShanLand | Feb 28, 2022 |
While I was reading Carolyn Jessop's "Escape," I felt as I read it before. I searched my reading history and found Elissa Wall's "Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs." Parts of the stories do overlap. I felt better knowing I was not losing my mind.

I'm glad they got free and live happily today. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
It's almost hard to believe that this is fact, and not fiction. Or that this took place in the US. A gripping read! ( )
  Monj | Jan 7, 2022 |
I liked the way the book was written, how it jumped around in time, but that also backfired, because it led to some confusion. And it wasn't super well-written. The story was interesting, but I wondered why Carolyn Jessop kept her married name and didn't go back to her maiden name, which would have seemed to be a logical choice. ( )
  astronomist | Oct 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Below, Slate flags Carolyn's most intriguing, strange, and heartbreaking allegations.
added by lquilter | editSlate, Torie Bosch (Apr 16, 2008)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jessop, Carolynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palmer, Laurasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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.
First words
Escape. The moment had come. I had been watching and waiting for months.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 own 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.

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