Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stolen Innocence, by Elissa Wall

Elissa Wall was raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, an ultra-conservative offshoot from the Mormon Church.  In this sect, polygamy is still alive and well, and is considered the only way to get to heaven.  Children were raised in large families with multiple mothers, girls in their teens were married off to old men, and the bulk of the followers lived together on one of several compounds.  As a child bride, Elissa was routinely raped by her husband, under the command of The Prophet, Warren Jeffs.  Eventually, Elissa escapes, and begins to seek justice for the crimes perpetrated against her and so many others.

Oh my goodness, did this book make my heart hurt for the author, and for so many others who have suffered at the hands of the FLDS.  I am positively fascinated by this particular religious sect, and the lifestyle they live.  I think when any group shuns the modern, widely approved ways of life, it draws attention and curiosity.  With their huge poofy hairdos, long dresses, and sisterwives, the FLDS is their own form of counter-culture, and can be somewhat of a spectacle.  So I guess it makes sense that we are curious and fascinated.

I cannot imagine the hell that the young girls go through when living in these communities.  I remember when the Warren Jeffs case broke, but I knew very little about it.  This book chronicles the very instances that broke the case.  I was sickened to read much of this book, but I do believe that stories like this are so important.  Stories like this give voice to other survivors.  While the writing may not be overly polished or grammatically perfect, the courage and strength of Elissa Wall and her story more than make up for those small matters.  

God Bless Elissa Wall for telling the truth of the crimes perpetrated by Warren Jeffs.

This book is from my personal library, and I reviewed it of my own volition.

 
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