5.07.2008

Book Hangover


I have what I call a book hangover, which happens when I get so engrossed in a book that I stay up all hours to finish it. I started this Sunday evening and finished it last night. I also feel just a teeny bit depressed because when I'm done with a book I really like and read it quickly, it's sad that I don't get to read it anymore. So instead, I just talk about it to everybody around me. Rick is sick of hearing about it, so sorry blogging world...now it's your turn to hear about it.


I would highly recommend this book. It's Carolyn Jessop's story about growing up in her extreme polygamist culture. She was part of Warren Jeff's cult, before she was able to escape with all eight of her children, keep custody of them, and start a life of her own.


Like a lot of people who grew up in Utah, I've seen many polygamists in my lifetime, and have often wondered what their lives are like, and why they live the way they do. I shamefully admit, that in the past I looked down on them, and thought they were very strange, but this book really made me see the culture in a different light. I realize that Carolyn was part of an extreme fundamentalist group, but still...those poor women and children. I will never look at them the same again. It also made me see what is going on in Texas very differently. The people at the YFZ ranch were part of the community that Carolyn grew up in. While seeing news blurbs about the compound raid, I've thought and said that it is just too extreme to pull all of the children away from their families. After reading this though, I am sure that extreme measures would have to be taken in this situation. The children are being brain washed, and raised in a very violent and oppressive culture. It's not only sexual abuse that is taking place, which is what we hear the most about. These kids are routinely abused, verbally, emotionally, and sexually. They have absolutely no choice in their future.

I found the story fascinating, and eventually hopeful. Carolyn Jessop has to be such an amazing person, to be raised the way she was, accomplish the things she did, and eventually create a life of her own, and allow her kids that same freedom.