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“Another take on the polygamist situation with the FLDS. I found this book even more enlightening than Escape - mainly because Elissa's story is the one that ultimately put Warren Jeffs in jail. I've been very interested in understanding more about their community and though both these books are...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Hard to rate a powerful personal horror with anything less than 5 stars. I found the narrative style a bit off putting at times with its hyped up sense of melodrama at times. It did not need it but when you have someone else writing the words for you, that can happen. I rate Lisa's writing as a 3.5 but this book is all about Elissa so 5 stars and a thorough recommendation from me.
This is a very detailed story told mostly from her personal experience. Some of the very beginning is marked as being before her birth but is part of the family narrative that she grew up in.
It's long because she also covers a great deal of the FLDS and its origins and practices and how it differs from the main LDS plus other things that gives a detailed framework and context for what happened to her and I'm sure is still happening today.
It's hard to read her descriptions of the teachings and the events and not see the FLDS as a brainwashed cult. I don't think it started out as one for sure. To me it's clear that Warren Jeffs was a megalomaniac who managed to get his hands on an entire religious group and subvert it into his own personal cult. Much like certain men got control of entire countries and committed atrocities on an even grander scale.
Regarding a non Warren controlled FLDS, it makes me uncomfortable about the control they maintain to keep young people from escaping... namely the women. But I was encouraged by what Elissa ultimately found out about Rulon's thoughts on the matter of her enforced marriage at 14.
I admire Elissa for her courage and bravery and know that she just wanted to honor and obey God and live rightly and I'm happy to see that she found her path to God as the founder of the Mormon religion intended... through happiness. ”
“Although a great story, it started to feel a little long. Perhaps[s because I listened to the audiobook.”Katie R wrote this review Friday, June 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A great telling of how it is to grow up in the FLDS. This gal was married off at 14 and was instrumental in bringing Warren Jeffs to justice.”Diane Benson wrote this review Monday, April 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A good companion read to Carolyn Jessop's Escape, Stolen Innocence covers the story of a child bride caught up in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). The story covers Elissa Wall's turbulent life, starting in Salt Lake City and ending up in the twin cities of Hill Dale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. Occasionally this book drags a little bit, especially towards the end. I felt that Escape gave a better feel for the FLDS but Wall's story is also poignant because of her age.”LeftNWrite wrote this review Friday, April 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very interesting book about an alternative culture that exists in American. Much of the story is very disturbing and hard to believe goes on in America. ”Tim Daniel wrote this review Thursday, April 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I was obsessed with the subject at the time.”Patty G wrote this review Tuesday, March 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.
Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells the incredible and inspirational story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice. Offering a child's perspective on life in the FLDS, Wall discusses her tumultuous youth, explaining how her family's turbulent past intersected with her strong will and identified her as a girl who needed to be controlled through marriage. Detailing how Warren Jeffs's influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mind-set and unrelenting pressure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young.
Once she was married, Wall's childhood shattered as she was obligated to follow Jeffs's directives and submit to her husband in "mind, body, and soul." With little money and no knowledge of the outside world, she was trapped and forced to endure the pain and abuse of her loveless relationship, which eventually pushed her to spend nights sleeping in her truck rather than face the tormentor in her bed.
Yet even in those bleak times, she retained a sliver of hope that one day she would find a way out, and one snowy night that came in the form of a rugged stranger named Lamont Barlow. Their chance encounter set in motion a friendship and eventual romance that gave her the strength she needed to break free from her past and sever the chains of the church.
But though she was out of the FLDS, Wall would still have to face Jeffs - this time in court. In Stolen Innocence, she delves into the difficult months on the outside that led her to come forward against him, working with prosecutors on one of the biggest criminal cases in Utah's history, so that other girls still inside the church might be spared her cruel fate.
More than a tale of survival and freedom, Stolen Innocence is the story of one heroic woman who stood up for what was right and reclaimed her life.
“Polygamist bride”allybabes wrote this review 7 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I found this to be a good book, just not an awesome book. Much of the book was slow for me and a bit redundant. I've read many books on this topic, and I can say for me, this book would not be my favorite. Still, if this is a topic you were interested in it is very informative on how the church is run, rules...beliefs, etc. It was just to dry of reading for me.”justablondemoment wrote this review Wednesday, April 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this by mistake for a book club, but found it to be absorbing. I don't know how the author will ever fit in the real world, having left the one of her childhood. And I don't know how any arrangement is ever happy when there are multiple families involved--the family politics are just so brutal. (Cohort 9 Book Club)”Ms. C-S wrote this review Friday, March 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No