Escape by Carolyn Jessop

In this amazing true story, Carolyn Jessop shares her life growing up in Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or FLDS. Detailing how she was handed off to marry a strange man who was thirty two years older than she was at eighteen and how she and her eight children endured psychological hardships the rest of us can only imagine. A remarkable inside look into the radical religion and its horrible affects on all who are touched by it.

I’m so glad this book was written. I think it’s especially important with the current events regarding the FLDS church today, but it’s such an inspiring story in general.

Carolyn’s amazing courage saw her though a painful childhood, a marriage nothing short of a horror story, and constant competition with other wives in her household just so she could survive with her children. And then her remarkable courage saw her way out of her situation at long last.

I appreciated the detailed accounts that Carolyn shared that helped me appreciate how dire the situation is in these compounds that are virtual prison camps to women and children. How young men are cast out because they are more desirable husbands then the old men marrying young women for power. Children abused by other wives in a plural marriage to make way for their own children to be favored. Husband’s controlling every minute detail of the wives lives allowing them little of their own.

It still amazes me that this all happened and is still happening in modern day America. And yet thanks to this book, I can understand how difficult it would be to break away from a situation similar to Carolyn’s on some small level. The power that the FLDS wield is mighty, and those uninformed can’t understand the levels they will go to as they fight to keep control of their cult with seemingly endless resources.

As honest and open as this book was, I almost feel ashamed to say I wished for just a bit more. I craved to learn more about Carolyn’s life after her ESCAPE. I found myself hoping she found a faith of her own, and not one that she’d been born and then manipulated into. I hope her children have found peace and happiness and that Carolyn will continue to enjoy the love she’s found at last.


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