Nicola's Reviews > Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
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's review
Apr 27, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: religion, non-fiction, memoir-and-autobiography

This book made it onto my to-read list because I'm interested in the Fundamentalist LDS Church, but I didn't realize until I actually picked up a copy that it was being marketed as a misery memoir. I've read maybe two mis-mems previously, so I couldn't tell you if this is a "good" one. It's certainly a harrowing story (Elissa was forced into marriage at 14 to an older man that she hated), tied up with a shiny bow of justice in the end (Elissa brings charges against the FLDS's "prophet", who arranged her marriage and encouraged her husband to rape her).

Unfortunately, Stolen Innocence presents Elissa's story in a manner that makes it feel overlong and unengaging. The narrative is dense and repetitive, even rambling -- not an easy or interesting read. There are some insights given into the FLDS Church, but honestly, if that's what you're interested in, you'd be better off reading Jon Krakauer's journalistic work, Under the Banner of Heaven.

Elissa's story is clearly one worth telling, but unfortunately, a lack of dynamism in the writing meant that this book just felt dull.
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drowningmermaid The audiobook is much better. A good reading can make turgid prose sing.

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