Carolyn was born 1968 in a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community, which practices polygamy. A man having another wife was not an unusual thing in Carolyn's world.
The religion she was raised in taught that men needed more than one wife to get to the higher levels of Heaven, and women needed to be obedient to their husband so they could get into Heaven as well.
Carolyn was taught they were the Chosen; their practices were the way God wanted things and if they followed the teachings, they would get into Heaven.
She knew eventually she would be assigned to a husband, but she still planned her future. Carolyn wanted to go to college and be a pediatrician. But, when Carolyn turned 18 she was assigned to Merril Jessop, a 50 year old man that she didn't even know.
Two days later she was married and felt her future just vanish.
She was married to Merril Jessop for seventeen years and had a total of eight children to him. Seventeen years of abuse, of control and being obedient. In 2003, Carolyn made her escape with all eight of children.
I became interested in reading this after watching a documentary on the channel Lifetime. I watched it in early January this year. I believe the documentary was calledEscaping Polygamy. Carolyn Jessop wasn't in the documentary, but afterwards I read up about the group in the documentary, who some of the women called the Kingston Clan. While reading about them, I came upon Carolyn's book and thought I would read it.
I never knew much about the main Mormon Church, or the groups that splintered off from it. Now thanks to this book, I know a lot about the FLDS, and have done a lot of reading about the main Mormon Church.
To say what happened to Carolyn is terrible is definitely an understatement. But, currently, I can't think of any other words to describe what she went through. Terrible doesn't even begin to explain what life was like for her.
Some of it was hard to read; the abuse and how the FLDS has so, so much control over its members. And some of it was just infuriating. Carolyn couldn't even do something as much simple as make food to take on a vacation that was planned. She got in trouble because she didn't ask permission first.
There were consequences for anything she did that her husband didn't like.
I can't imagine living a life like that. Or even living in a community like that. But, I had to remember it was what she was born into and it was normal for her community.
It's sad how many FLDS members just accepted everything their prophet said without question. But, I also realize that the brain washing begins at an early age.
It is just sad that stuff like this even exists.
I really liked the book and I am happy that Carolyn decided to share her story. I think it needed to be shared because I think people need to know what is going on. I am glad she is finally happy and at least 7 of children are out of the FLDS. Her oldest daughter, Betty, went back when she turned 18.
It is a good book, but difficult to read at times because of all the abuse she went through and witnessed. But if you're interested in learning more about the FLDS, I'd recommend this book.