Tag Archives: Autobiography

Vow: A Memoir of Marriage and Infidelity by Wendy Plump

Synopsis: A journalist details the multiple affairs that ended her marriage. Review: The story told in Vow is a train wreck. Wendy Plump and her husband pretty much destroyed their marriage with infidelity on both sides, ending finally when her husband had a baby with another woman. For all her candor, I never felt like Plump got to the heart of why she did what she did, or responded the way she did, or how she feels about the endeavor of marriage in general. I…

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Fleeing Fundamentalism by Carlene Cross

Synopsis: The wife of a fundamentalist pastor details her years of abuse at the hands of her hypocritical husband. Review: A friend of mine recommended Fleeing Fundamentalism after hearing that I’d been digging into books on polygamy. Honestly, these kinds of stories are the only kinds of memoirs I want to read–stories about women dealing with extreme personal situations. I definitely appreciated Carlene Cross’s insight into her particular situation, but as is generally the case I was disappointed in the theology-lite. Sadly, Cross came to…

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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman

Synopsis: The memoir of ultramarathon champion Scott Jurek, who recently set a record for running almost 168 miles in only 24 hours. Review: Ultramarathoners are crazy–running races that are 50, 100, 150 miles long, pushing themselves well past the point of insanity. And Scott Jurek is even crazier than most. In Eat and Run, Jurek describes how being a vegan (and mostly raw) has been his secret of success. With running tips and recipes interwoven with his racing history as a champion, the books readable…

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The Third Floor by Judi Loren Grace

Synopsis: It’s 1962 and a 15-year-old girl is spending the next 4 months in a home for unwed mothers, waiting to give up her baby. Review: The Third Floor was an emotional read for me. As a mom my heart went out for Judi and her struggle. I can’t imagine having to give up my child. And then as a mom of daughters I would just hope that if I were ever faced with this situation I would handle it better than Judi’s family did.…

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Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free by Elissa Wall

Synopsis: Elissa Wall escaped polygamy and the FLDS after being forced by the prophet Rulon Jeffs to marry her first cousin at the age of 14. Review: I seriously can’t stop reading about Mormon fundamentalism. Stolen Innocence told yet another story of a girl’s life ruined by the out-of-control men who get to do whatever they want with impunity. Share on Facebook

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Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Synopsis: A true story of a woman who escaped polygamy with her eight children, despite being the plural wife of one of the most powerful men in the FLDS. Review: Carolyn Jessop’s story is fascinating and inspiring. As a mom myself, I was moved by her love for her children and her tenacity at making the system work for her. In Escape, she takes readers through her harrowing journey from true believing sister wife to crusader for justice. Share on Facebook

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Church of Lies by Flora Jessop

Synopsis: After escaping from in the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, Flora Jessop has devoted her life to rescuing other girls from polygamy and abuse in the cult. Review: Church of Lies is an incredibly powerful story. The beginning chapters describing Flora Jessop’s abuse at the hands of her father were harrowing and there was a lot I had to skip over because it was a bit too explicit. But when the story turned to Flora’s attempts to work within and outside of the system to rescue…

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I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult by Wendy J. Duncan

Synopsis: A woman reflects on her time with Ole Anthony’s Trinity Foundation, which left after realizing that she was in a cult. Review: I Can’t Hear God Anymore was interesting for its insight into how someone becomes involved in a cult, though it was a little on the rambly side. I wanted a bit more theology, though I did appreciate the depth of her psychological self-awareness. Share on Facebook

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Triumph: Life After the Cult–A Survivor’s Lessons by Carolyn Jessop

Synopsis: After fleeing the FLDS with her 8 children, Carolyn Jessop becomes involved in the events following the raid on the FLDS compound where 400 children were taken by CPS because underage girls were being forced into plural marriages with old men. Review: I am fascinated by closed communities, and Triumph taught me so much about the inner workings of the FLDS, a radical sect of Mormonism that puts plural marriage at the forefront of their theology. Even better, I learned so much about what…

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Daughters of Zion: My Family’s Conversions to Polygamy by Kim Taylor

Synopsis: A memoir by a girl who grew up in a Mormon sect practicing polygamy that spawned a feud between brothers that became a massacre. Review: In Daughters of Zion, Kim Taylor really made me understand the inner life of a girl who would accept polygamy. I really appreciated her honesty and candor in portraying the spiritual abuse she suffered and how she never questioned what was going on around her. She also showed the positive side of growing up in a tight knit community,…

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