This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Escape is one of the best non fiction books I have read in a long time. Carolyn’s heart wrenching story is both heroic and empowering. Escape tells the story of Carolyn Jessop a young woman raised in the radical Fundamentalist Church of the Latter day Saints (FLDS) a group that splintered off from the Mormon church in the early 1900’s.

A group dedicated to the practice of Polygamy. Raised with almost no contact with the “outside” world Carolyn knows no life beyond the boundaries of her church’s community in isolated Hilldale a tiny town on the very outskirts of Utah. AT first life is fairly idyllic for Carolyn growing up she goes to school and believes she will have an education but all her hopes are dashed when Warren Jeffs takes over as Prophet to the FLDS.

Her entire view of the world is shaped by the teachings of her Prophet a man who himself boasts over 15 wives and over 60 children. Her only choice in life is to marry and become an obedient wife. Warren teaches his followers to “keep sweet” and be obedient. He encourages children to be married as young as eight years old. He has his sights set on Carolyn and he wont stop until he sees her firmly in the grasp of a good Mormon man.

But Carolyn wants more, an education, to be in a monogamous relationship and not to have to share her children with multiple other wives. At the age of eighteen she is married to a man nearly three times her age. After her marriage she gives birth to eight children in 12 years and with each year that passes her situation only gets worse.

She decides that to fulfil her life dreams and protect the lives of her children she must escape the compound where she has lived her whole life and make a life for herself in the outside world. Carolyn’s story is truly inspirational.

Carolyns story is shocking and at times terribly tragic yet she tells the tale with very little self pity. It is all presented in way that will make you gasp, shake you head and wonder how this is still allowed to keep happening to these women.

At times chilling this book will leave all readers feeling a great sense of empowerment just by having read the story. I was floored by her honesty, her sense of self at such a young age and her unwavering determination to save her children from the same fate she suffered. Carolyn is a woman who many will look up too. While many of us will never understand this lifestyle Carolyn has given us a rare glimpse that may help people to understand the struggle these women face every day.

The sad truth of it is that so many women face this terrible life everyday. More and more women have been subjected to this awful practice in the years since Carolyn fled the FLDS. But there is groups to help these women fight for their rights and to gain control of their lives. I have included information here if people wish to read more about this startling lifestyle.

This book is a definite must read!