readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rgz Street Team: Traci reviews Escape by Carolyn Jessop

The rgz Street Team is a group of teens who bring YA reviews to our blog, led by Postergirl Miss Erin. Find out more.

Today, Traci reviews Escape by Carolyn Jessop:

Carolyn was born into a family that had been practicing polygamy for many generations. She grew up with abuse and insecurity all around her. She watched as her sister ran away from home, scared about being forced into a marriage with a man who was 20 years her senior. Carolyn also watched as that same sister was pulled back by the leaders of their community with emotional and religious prompts. If she didn't do their will she would go and rot in hell. It was Carolyn's turn now and she was forced to marry a man at least twice her age who already had 3 wives and around 20 children. That night as he lay on top of her she felt violated and wondered if this really was just a rape. At that moment, a little bit of doubt crossed her mind and that started her thinking about what else was out there in the real world. Was she supposed to live like this? Her next 15 years were spent slowly planning her escape.

If someone asked me to define polygamy, I would have to said it was when a man has multiple wives. That is true, and it was bad in my eyes, but after reading Carolyn's story of abuse, starvation, death, animal cruelty, dying children, and burned books, I now realize it wasn't bad--it was horrendous. Carolyn worked hard to ensure her children's happiness in a free world, but it almost killed her. She is a hero to her kids and a role model to all abused woman and children in polygamist situations or abuse of any kind. Warning: This book contains large amounts of sexual references and physical and emotion abuse. --Traci


Melissa Walker said...

Great review, Traci! This especially interests me because I'm a huge fan of BIG LOVE.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you, Traci. Great job! I'll keep this one in mind. *shivers*

Marie said...

Good review... this sounds like a heavy book to read. I'll add it to my list.

susan said...

Good review. Especially glad to hear how it affected your own perspective.

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