Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book Review: Escape

Title Escape
Author Carolyn Jessop (with Laura Palmer)
Genre Nonfiction, Memoir
Rating F

Summary The story of Carolyn Jessop's life (and susequent escape) from the polygamist FLDS cult (an extremist sect of the Latter Day Saints).

Review As you can tell by the F rating, I didn't finish this book. I read approximately 190 pages of the book, and had to quit.

This was my book club's April book selection, we don't typically read non-fiction, but the story line seemed quite interesting, and it was--the story line, I mean. However, the writing was so awful, it read like a 2nd-grader was telling the story in a stream of consciousness, that I quit.

Having read well over half the book I got the idea: Life in the FLDS community sucks. Carolyn escaped (she told briefly about that in the very opening of the book). The escape and her efforts in acclimating herself and her numerous children to life outside the community was what I wanted to read about, but she spent 180 pages (plus more I didn't read) telling all about her life in the FLDS. I got it, move it along.


Elizabeth said...

I'm glad you read this so I don't have to - I've heard really mixed things about it, so thanks for the very frank review!

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

My thoughts exactly. Jessop's story is interesting enough, but the writing is clunky, and she jumps back and forth in time telling stories that would have made more sense in a linear narrative. It bugged me, too.

Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven is the ultimate look into the FLDS, and I enjoyed Irene Spencer's memoir Shattered Dreams much more than Jessop's. You might check it out.

Heather said...

@Rebecca - I'm a huge Krakauer fan, once you get into it, he's really quick-moving and well researched, so I'm planning to get to that in the future.

Thanks for the other tips, hadn't heard of them.

avisannschild said...

I didn't think it was as bad as you did (I just finished reading it), although I completely agree that the writing is clunky and could have benefitted from a serious edit job. I still thought it was a worthwhile read though. I've read Under the Banner of Heaven, but I'm going to look for Shattered Dreams too!