I just finished reading "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop this weekend, and wow, it was an amazing read. I happened to pick it up at the library, only to find the my dearest friend happened to have also read it and loved it, so with that vote of confidence, I started the book and could barely put it down.
The book is a first-hand account of life in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, by a woman who lived the majority of her life as a follower of the FLDS, until she escaped the cult with her eight children in tow. She's since worked with the authorities to help shape a case against the church's most recent leader, Warren Jeffs, who's currently in prison. She's also the first woman to have escaped the FLDS with all of her children.
While the book was written in somewhat of a tabloid-style, it definitely kept me interested. Between the complete lack of rights women had/have in this particular religion and the brainwashing performed on the followers, I was positively fascinated. At times, I found it hard to continue, as the descriptions of the things that both Carolyn and her children went through were just horrific, I pressed on. It's appalling that there is an entire sect of people in the U.S. that are continually performing these abuses. It's truly amazing that she was able to not only escape, but also to escape with her children and to build a new life for her family. Her husband has since become one of the most important people in the YFZ ranch in Texas, which was was raided in April 2008 and over 400 children were taken into protective custody. Mr. Jessop goes on trial in October for sexual abuse of a child.
I read at the end of the paperback edition that it is being made into a movie, which should be very interesting, but if you like memoirs, especially those that shine light on worlds that are entirely different from our own, you definitely ought to read this one. This definitely ranks as one of the best books I've read this year (although not better than The Help).