Stolen Innocence

  • by Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer
  • Narrated by Renée Raudman
  • 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 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 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. 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Chris from Cedar City, UT USA

I thought the book was fascinating and gave great insight into the mindset of the FLDS. So little is known about this religion and culture, and the thing that was quite shocking was the lack of personal freedom. If you didn't know better, you would have thought it was written by a person born in a third world country, certainly not the USA. It is gratifying to know that light has been shed on some practices of the FLDS and that maybe the underage marriages and abuse might not go unnoticed and unpunished.
My one criticism of this audio book was the narration. The narrator was hard to listen to because of the constant whine in her voice that after a few chapters became extremely annoying. I know she probably was trying to portray the fear and emotions Elissa was feeling but to be perfectly blunt, it was dreadful. The narrator of Escape by Carolynn Jessup was much better.
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- Christine

Can't get past the narration

The narrator of this book is so bad she actually corrupts the story. Add the bad acting to the nerve pinching tone and of her voice and you have an audio book that's very hard to get through. Forget about listening for extended periods of time. The book itself is filled with enormous gaps of information and huge leaps of circumstance. The young woman relating her story just, understandably, doesn't have the ability to give us the big picture - and many details are lacking. For instance, how did her sisters feel about marrying men 3 times their age? She's let go after being accused of stealing... completely glossed over. I think the book would have been more informative, factual and interesting had it been written by a investigative reporter rather than as a first hand biography. And, had it not been ruined by the narrator.
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- Lorri Broda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-28-2008
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio