I just finished “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop (with Laura Palmer). I found myself unable to pry away as Jessop laid out the horrors she and other polygamist wives endured at the hands of the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints, or FLDS (not to be confused with mainstream LDS, or Mormons. Totally different.) Jessop underwent emotional, physical, mental, and sexual abuse of the worst kind, and she was far from alone. Despite heavy odds, she became the first FLDS wife to escape with all of her children. That’s eight children, one of whom had suffered a life-threatening medical condition for years. The book also reveals some of the evil mind of Warren Jeffs, the now-convicted FLDS prophet who drew national attention a while back. I do not use the word evil casually here.
Jessop weaves a story so gripping, so horrible, it pierces through the cloud of (sad to say) poor writing. Choppy, lifeless sentences flow on unending, impeding complete surrender to the text. Other annoyances include the occasional statement contradicting an earlier statement, or a prior explanation of FLDS doctrine. A few episodes tend to confuse on the detail level. She also repeats at times points made clear chapters beforehand. These just serve to knock the reader out of the flow. All that said, those are minor quibbles when thrown against the story’s sheer power to shock the reader.
An absorbing read.