• by Carolyn Jessop, Laura Palmer
  • Narrated by Ann Marie Lee
  • 15 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When she was 18 years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger - a man 32 years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn's heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church. Over the next 15 years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband's psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives, who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. But in 2003 Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children.
Escape exposes a world that is tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop's flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. She became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006 her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of its notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.


What the Critics Say

"The story Carolyn Jessop tells is so weird and shocking that one hesitates to believe a sect like this, with 10,000 polygamous followers, could really exist in 21st-century America. But Jessop's courageous, heart-wrenching account is absolutely factual. This riveting book reminds us that truth can indeed be much, much stranger than fiction." (Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air and Into the Wild)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Like a train wreck you can't turn away

This book tells the tale of a FLDS woman who lives her life in the polygamist sect located in Colorado City and thankfully escapes to a better life with her children. You may know this group from the recent news concerning the arrest and conviction of their leader, Warren Jeffs. Carolyn's story leads you from one harrowing, distasteful, unbeliveable tale (which are true!) that you can not stop listening to. I listened to this non stop - so much so that it drove my family crazy b/c I had my headphones on constantly. Not since the book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls has a book based on reality made me cringe, angry and proud of the author/victim of the story. Worthwhile read and a lot of background to so many of those news reports we've all seen in the last year or so.
Read full review

- Cheryl D

A Must Read

I am giving this book five stars. I was so outraged to learn of this "hidden" world, and so ashamed that I was completely ignorant of its existance, that I think everyone in this country should be aware of it. The story starts out fast and engaging, revealing to the reader the most suspensful part of the story right away, but then begins the flashback of Carolyn Jessop's life. Yes, it can move slowly at times, and yes, there is an incredibly long (and sometimes repetitive) account of her 17 years of marriage to an abusive, controlling, manipulative, cruel, and, worst of all, brainwashing husband. However, I found that each layer she added would have crumbled without the foundation of the previous information. I can see how Ms. Jessop needed to be detailed, lest the reader not completely understand the true depth of fear felt by these women in the FLDS cult. Upon first discovery of this lifestyle and its shocking cruelty, one's immediate reaction might be to simply pass these women off as weak, and ignorant. Otherwise, why would they not simply leave? Ms. Jessop builds her story until the listener can completely understand the horrific plight, and hopeless existence in which they live. Her escape is truly a landmark event in this country, as she was the first woman to successfully escape from this cult, both with her freedom, and full custody of all eight of her children. It is a remarkable story of an intelligent, courageous woman's fight to overcome seemingly overwhelming odds against owning her own life. Personally, I had no idea that, in a time when we are sending troops overseas to fight opression, a small sect of a different kind of terrorism is thriving in our own country. If you have ever wondered how Adolf Hitler, Jim Johnson, or David Koresh managed to convince otherwise honorable people to subjugate themselves to torture, child abuse, death, this book will make you understand.
Read full review

- Joanna "Used to read classic lit for pleasure of well-written prose. Now, with MS, it's thrillers, courtroom/police dramas, and adventure to escape!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-28-2007
  • Publisher: Books on Tape