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Triumph: Life After the Cult--A Survivor's Lessons

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,059 Ratings  ·  293 Reviews
The author of The New York Times bestseller Escape returns with a moving and inspirational tale of her life after she heroically fled the cult she’d been raised in, her hard-won new identity and happiness, and her determination to win justice for the crimes committed against her family.

In 2003, Carolyn Jessop, 35, a lifelong member of the extremist Mormon sect the Fundamen
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3 1/2 stars

The first half of the book is a really interesting account of the Yearning For Zion raid fiasco in Texas. Jessop has a unique perspective as a former FLDS woman who was married to one of the most powerful men in the cult. She was asked for assistance with the YFZ situation, especially with regard to working with the children who had been removed from the compound.

The second half of the book rehashes quite a bit of what was in Escape, Jessop's first book. She does add new perspectives
Jun 27, 2010 Shawna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I am fascinated by Warren Jeffs' polygamist cult FLDS, and I am in awe of Carolyn Jessop and her strength. I was thrilled to see she'd written a follow-up to "Escape" because when the YFZ Ranch was raided, I kept wondering what an insider like Carolyn thought. This book answered my questions. The first half of the book discusses the mess of the raid and the second half of the book goes into more depth about how Carolyn found the resources to slowly draw herself out of the cult that she was raise ...more
Prateek Jain
Dec 15, 2010 Prateek Jain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, religion
I picked up the book reading Escape. While Escape is a memoir of Carolyn, Triumph is her story after escaping from FLDS sect. The book overlaps with Escape with respect to giving evidences of abuses which happen in FLDS. Triumph is divided into two parts, life after escaping+raid on YFZ ranch and her background and source of strength. With respect to the first part, a lot of it was fresh in my memory since I had just finished reading Escape. However, the interesting aspect is the description of ...more
Jun 22, 2010 Kati rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
Low stars for not being very well written, and of course my tirade which will follow . . .

The first half of this book aggravated me so badly I wanted to throw it across the room. I was hoping this book would enlighten me on the YFZ ranch situation - instead it made me more entrenched in what I believed in the first place. Polygamy? Bad. Abuse? Bad. Taking children away from mothers? What? She even states herself that those mothers loved their children as much or more than any mother. Yet, she ta
Jaime Lynn
I really like this woman and admire her for her courage but this book was not very good. After reading Escape (which I LOVED), I was dying to find out what happened to her and the kids after 2007 so I raced to the library to get Triumph. Most of the book focuses on general information about the raid on the YFZ Ranch (ran by Warren Jeffs) and things that took place in court. The other half of the book is filled with regurgitated stories from the first book with some political propaganda thrown in ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I was looking forward to this book after devouring Escape, but it was a little bit of a letdown. It seems to me that she wanted to make a statement about what she thought about the raid in Texas, but that wasn't enough to fill a book. So she talks about it for the first half of the book, and the second half is a LOT of rehashing from the first book. There were several chapters I thought "Wow, deja vu…" it seemed word-for-word to be stories from Escape. There were some new details sprinkled throu ...more
Aug 02, 2010 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this follow up to “Escape”, Jessop effectively answers the question, “If life is so bad for women in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) why don’t they leave?”

In 2008, based on a call from a young woman claiming abuse, Texas authorities raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch and ended up placing over 400 children in foster homes while investigating the alleged abuse. Overwhelmed by the number of children and utterly confused by the reaction of the mothers and chi
Jun 15, 2010 Jaclyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing testament to the human spirit and the resilinacy of children. I love when she says, during her day in court "I was no longer a bird confined to a cage to be tortured. I had found my wings and was determined to soar" pg. 74. She also had a great-and genuine attitude toward forgiveness, "forgiveness had nothing to do with trusting a person who'd injured you. It involved letting go of the anger you felt and making space for emotional growth." And the way she phrases her abi ...more
Unfortunately Carolyn writes too many of her opinions in this book. I really enjoyed reading her first book Escape. I felt like her ideas on home schooling, parenting, and religion were too biased and became a tirade for her anger. I would never home school my children and may not agree with homeschooling however, I would not lash out at anyone for doing it. It became very obvious she used this as therapy and maybe should have kept most of this to herself. Many of the things she writes were from ...more
Oct 18, 2010 Heatherfife rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another must-read. This woman is no less amazing in this second book. Again her writing style is light and funny despite the subject which is neither light nor funny. I am sad that she points out and somehow blames "mainstream Mormons' deafening silence about polygamous cults." We think they are on the path to destruction, but that they chose that path themselves. We don't identify with them like they obviously do with us, and I would wager to bet that few, if any Mormons had any idea what was g ...more
May 10, 2010 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carolyn's follow-up book to her first book "ESCAPE". She was born into the FLDS (Fundamentalists of Latter Day Saints) Mormon polygamous cult. For 35 years she lived this way, until 2003 when she finally escaped with her 8 children. People don't leave the cult, they are forced out but hardly ever leave because of their brainwashing and the way they live almost makes it impossible for them to get away unnoticed. Young girls are married off (usually purchased)to much older men in the cult beginnin ...more
Jun 01, 2010 Kelli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Escape" Jessop described her life in the FLDS cult. Now in "Triumph" she describes her involvement with the authorities during the FLDS YFZ Compound raid in Texas. Jessop also goes into a little more detail regarding her own struggles after leaving the FLDS and how her children have adjusted to life outside the cult.

I got the feeling that Jessop had the opportunity to write another book but just didn't really have enough material to repeat the success of Escape. This book wandered and drifte
Katy Jane
Oct 14, 2013 Katy Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. Her first book read like fiction. This one not so much. A lot of it was sort of advice for those trying to survive. It would be helpful for those in that situation, but I didn't need it.
2. When are her and Brian going to get married!? He really does have to be a special guy to deal with all of that. But she's a special woman, too.
3. Will she ever find a non cult religion that she is comfortable with? I hope that she sees that God is a loving God and not the god of the FLDS.
4. I liked gaining
Amanda Mae
Mar 05, 2013 Amanda Mae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I've been on a kick of reading books about people leaving polygamy. I find it fascinating. They all come from splinter groups from the mainstream LDS church, and I find it enthralling to learn about the differences in doctrine, or how doctrine gets interpreted. It terrifies me a little to see the extremism, but I appreciate coming to a better understanding of the differences. When Jessop's Escape came out a few years ago, I read it fast and furious. Her follow-up had the same effect. However, si ...more
I picked this up mistakenly thinking I'd read Carolyn Jessop's first autobiography, about how she escaped from the FLDS with her eight children. Well, I was wrong (I must've read someone ELSE'S harrowing autobiography about leaving the FLDS). Carolyn sums up her history in a nice-enough package, thereby making Triumph easy to follow even if you haven't devoured her first book, but the first book sounded WAY more interesting than this one.

Ostensibly, Triumph is about how Carolyn helped federal a
Rebecca McNutt
May 31, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocking, haunting and deeply sad account of one of the most corrupt cults, as viewed through the eyes of a survivor. This book is definitely worth reading and I'll certainly be looking for Jessop's other books.
Nov 25, 2015 Cassie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of the book is good as it describes the raid on the YFZ ranch in Texas and that was interesting. But then when she just started to spend chapters on loving yourself and being independent and the importance of education it got kind of boring for me.
Feb 20, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first book, and this one was no different. A truly inspiring story!
Jul 19, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Carolyn Jessop's first book, Escape, many years ago. I really enjoyed it, and when I heard she had written another book I wanted to read it too.

Carolyn Jessop was a member of the FLDS church growing up, and when she turned 18 she was married to Merril Jessop. She became his 6th wife. Carolyn saw her father and his wives get along and treat each other with respect, and treat each others children with respect, even while disciplining. When she married Merril, her life changed. She was abus
Maggie Wiggins
Jun 24, 2010 Maggie Wiggins rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Jessop's previous title but felt like it ended too quickly. Jessop's follow-up title delves into the polygamist raids that happened a few years ago. It's a much more scholarly, researched book than the first one, and it's neat to see the change in her writing and in her perceptions as she spends more time in 'our' world.

Readalikes: Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall; Escape by Carolyn Jessop; Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamists Wife by Irene Spencer
Jan 17, 2015 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic, memoir
Carolyn Blackmore Jessop has massive balls. After a lifetime as a fundamentalist polygamist Mormon and 17 years of an emotionally and sexually abusive marriage (plus multiple emotionally and physically abusive sister-wives and stepchildren), she took her EIGHT children, ages 1 to 14, and fled. I cannot imagine being the lone adult to corral 8 children, at least one of whom was extremely resistant, and flee into the night. In this book, she shares a bit of the psychological journey that got her t ...more
Feb 21, 2011 C M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following up on the success of "Escape" Carolyn Jessop writes about life after the FLDS and her involvement helping authorities during the somewhat recent raid on the YFZ (Yearning For Zion) Ranch in Texas. Although she candidly writes about the abysmal life for women in the FLDS church, her desperation to flee, and the strength it took to break free from the cult, it doesn't really seem that she had enough material for a second book.
I didn't find this one had as much substance as the first. Escape chronicled her experiences a lot more, where this one was more reflective with some looking back at various experiences. However, it did bring up a lot of new experiences not written in the first book, and there were some interesting insights into the raid on the YFZ ranch. Overall I did find it cohesive - I think her writing has improved - and I did enjoy it.
After reading Escape, I was happy to have the chance to read Carolyn Jessop's follow up memoir. Triumph gave more background into what Jessop's' family situation was like in Colorado City, and outlined strategies she used to make it through her abusive situation. There are some positive life messages in this book that could benefit many.

It was also interesting to find out more about the raid at the Zion compound in Texas. It was a tough situation that proved difficult to maneuver. Although many
Jun 10, 2010 Clare rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: belief, bio, non-fiction, lds
I'm completely obsessed with polygamist offshoots of Mormonism (my favourite television show is 'Big Love'!) and was gripped by Escape, if slightly frustrated by the author's melodramatic approach to life. This follow up is very disorganised and poorly structured, but an interesting read nonetheless for its psychological insights into the workings of cults, and the steps required to recover.
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, us, religion, mormon
This book is divided into two more or less equal parts; the first part deals with the raid on the YFZ Ranch and its aftermath, going somewhat further than the Rebecca Musser book; the second half is less interesting in that most of it is just a rehash of what she has already told of her life in Escape, although she does bring it up to date. There are some minor discrepancies between the two books but not more than could be expected from memory, especially if she changed some names or situations ...more
Sep 27, 2014 Dionne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
But if I could find the strength not to bow to an evil system, I could at least hold on to my self-respect.

If you understand what you're doing and why, an abuser can never wholly control you.--pg. 148 of Triumph

--I have done 2 posts about Carolyn Jessop and her first book, Escape. She is an inspirational woman of courage. I read her first book, Escape, and couldn't put it down. I knew I needed to read her second one, Triumph.

--It has been therapeutic to read how she escaped a life and marria
Aug 26, 2013 Francesca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. The strength this woman had, can teach a lot to other women in an abusive situation. I would definitely recommend it. In some parts it requires particular attention to be able to learn from her experience. Definitely worth reading it.
Lindsay Merrill
3.5 stars

I also listened to this on audiobook.

Part 1: 4 stars. Part 1 is her reaction and experience after the raid of the YFZ Ranch in Texas. It was highly insightful to listen to an informed reaction to what happened surrounding that incident, the subsequent legal proceedings, etc. I liked this as much as the first book.

Part 2: 3 stars. This felt like a combination of a reminiscing diary and a self-help book about how to have triumph in your life. It was good, but didn't draw me in nearly as
Jun 21, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Escape and really loved it, so it was an obvious choice to read Triumph as well. Carolyn's story is extremely interesting and she seems like a courageous and caring person, but this just fell flat. There was a lot of repetition within the book and it seemed very disjointed. Also, it is great to have self confidence, especially because she lived so much of her life without the ability to have and show it, but a little more humility in this book would have been nice. Also, I get it, she lov ...more
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Carolyn Jessop is a former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member who wrote Escape, an autobiographical account of her upbringing in the polygamist sect and later flight from that community.

She is the cousin, by marriage, of Flora Jessop, another former FLDS member and advocate for abused children.

Carolyn Jessop now lives in the Salt Lake City area with her children.
More about Carolyn Jessop...

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“Sometimes one forgives in order to remain in a relationship with someone she cares about, even if the person has caused her pain and anguish. It's not a blanket pardon; it's the trade-off one is willing to make when preserving the relationship is more important than correcting the injustice.” 6 likes
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