Tuesday, June 26, 2012


- Win a copy of HANGING OFF JEFFERSON'S NOSE ( Ends 7/2)
- Win a copy of NIKOLAS & CO. by Kevin McGill (End 7/6)

Elissa Wall
Harper Collins
464 pp.

In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths that Jeffs went to in order to control the women in it. Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells her incredible and inspirational story of her time in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), detailing how she emerged from its confines to help bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice.  


I  read ESCAPE by Carolyn Jessop a couple of years ago and loved it. Both ESCAPE and STOLEN INNOCENCE tell of young women who escaped the FLDS community and the abusive control of its self-proclaimed leader Warren Jeffs, who is now serving a life sentence for his crimes. Elissa Wall's story is painful to read, especially knowing how many women and girls are still trapped in that society and who don't even realize they are being used. So sad.

Elissa Wall's courage in the face of incredible opposition is astounding. The book is written in a very straight forward style. Wall holds nothing back. I found myself rooting for her and hating Warren Jeffs so deeply that I had to google him after I finished the last page. It was unnerving knowing that people like him are real. They don't exist solely in fiction. He may be in jail, but there are others like him out there still. I've driven through Colorado City, AZ, (one of the FLDS communities mentioned in the book) several times which made this book all the more real for me.

Elissa Wall is a real-life heroine. Her story needed to be told, and it needs to be read. She mentions the famous quote "Evil abounds when good men do nothing." The story of the FLDS is a prime example of what happens to innocent people when good people stand by in silence and let it happen. But it is also about how one person's courage to do what is right even at great personal cost can send a ripple of change through society.

My rating: 5/5 stars!  This is a must read.

Violence:  Mild
Profanity: None
Sex: Moderate (rape and incest occur, but descriptions are not graphic)


  1. These sound like compelling stories.

  2. Laurisa, this sounds like an amazing read. This is where I have a hard time...I want to read compelling stories like this, and yet I'm also VERY uncomfortable. But sometimes we need to be uncomfortable in order to see things the way they really are. Another example? Schindler's List. I still haven't watched that movie for the same reason. It's a weakness of mine...

    1. I know what you mean, Julie. Schindler's List tore me up - and I only watched the edited version!