Carolyn Jessop grew up in an FLDS Polygamist community. Though her mother suffered from depression and was prone to violence, Carolyn did not associate this with her religion. From her grandmother, she learned to take pride in her religion. She was raised to believe that they were God's chosen people and that husbands would be fair to their wives in plural marriages. She had dreams of becoming a pediatrician someday. Though the only working women she knew in her community were nurses or teachers, she dreamed that she could achieve this and be a role model to other girls.
When she was eighteen, she was arranged in marriage to Merril Jessop. She became the fourth wife to a man 32 years older than her. Carolyn Jessop paints a vivid picture of the emotional abuse she experienced being treated as little more than Merril Jessop's property and being subject to mistreatment based on the jealousy of Merril's favorite wife, Barbara. Through the course of her marriage, she gave birth to eight children. Ultimately, she came to the realization that even if she believed in her religion, its leadership had become corrupt, and she and her children were in danger. While her husband was away, she fled with her eight children.
This book really inspired me. What is most amazing is that regardless of her circumstances, Carolyn was always looking for an opportunity to make things better, whether it was studying how to get into her husband's favor or how to keep her children out of the reach of the other abusive wives. When her seventh child had severe health problems, she started stock piling his medicine, so that when they had an opportunity to escape, he would have enough until they could get assistance. You have to admire her courage. While her church told her it was her disobedience to her religion that caused her child's health problem, she listened to her heart, which told her that the FLDS leadership (under Rulon Jeffs) was cruel and selfish. What's more, she had the will to fight it. I give this book a B+, and I heartily recommend it for anyone who needs a dose of inspiration on how to overcome a desperate situation.