Friday, 4 December 2009

Stolen Innocence

Title: Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

Author: Elissa Wall

Type: Autobiography

Pages: 448

Synopsis: In 2007 Elissa Wall was one of the people to testify against FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Later Day Saints) leader Warren Jeffs. She detailed to the court how she was forced by Jeffs to marry her first cousin at the age of 14. Now Walls has written a memoir recounting her life growing up in the polygamous cult and how she escaped.

My Thoughts: I read this book back in September of 2008 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Walls vividly describes her youth growing up in the FLDS, her tumultuous youth and strong will which made her parents and Jeffs marry her off at a young age hoping that marriage would reign in her free spirit. Despite her repeated protestations about marrying so young she was forced into an abusive marriage where she was required, according to Jeffs laws, to submit to her husband 'mind, body and soul'.

In the meantime, Jeffs began to warp the church's original, and already very rigid, teachings to suit his own purposes. It was interesting to see into the daily life and the pressures endured by those who began to question Jeff's beliefs.

With little money or knowledge about the real world Walls was forced to endure her loveless and abusive marriage until she finally found a way out. I found it fascinating reading about the daily life inside the FLDS and how isolated their community was made by Jeffs so that his people couldn't be influenced by outside forces.

My Rating: 4.5/5 (really good read)

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