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Breaking Free: How I Escaped My Father-Warren Jeffs-Polygamy, and the FLDS Cult

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,386 ratings  ·  494 reviews
In this searing memoir of survival in the spirit of Stolen Innocence, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS Church, takes you deep inside the secretive polygamist Mormon fundamentalist cult run by her family and how she escaped it.

Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict pa
Paperback, Large Print, 448 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by HarperLuxe
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,386 ratings  ·  494 reviews

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Brian Durfee
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew Warren Jeffs pretty well, having been charged with his safe-keeping for over a year at the Utah State Prison. I was very interested in this book. Rachel did a fabulous job of telling the story of the Inmate that I knew. In prison, Jeffs was a weird dude. He got boxes of mail from fawning little girls like Rachel. Anyway, as for the book itself, what a harrowing and chilling life Rachel endured as a young girl. I am so glad she escaped the Mormon cult run by Jeffs. Brave of you to write yo ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Jeffs is one of the fifty-three children of FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) “prophet” Warren Jeffs and Breaking Free is her account of living within the polygamous cult of a sadistic and abusive madman. Thankfully, this lunatic is serving a prison sentence of life plus twenty years for felony charges and molestation of minors. Rachel catalogues the abuse that she suffered at her father’s hands and at this point I needed to put down the book and take a ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
An inside look at FLDS life under the rule of Warren Jeffs as experienced by his daughter Rachel. Although it is difficult to read of the abuse that Rachel suffered at the hands of her father, her story is one that must be told. Imagine not having the freedom to name your own child, or not being able to go to a doctor. So many other women and children still live under the oppressive rules of this polygamous cult. Some truly scary stuff going on in the FLDS compounds. I am glad that Rachel is tel ...more
L.A. Starks
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mariah Roze
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mariah Roze by: Matt
This book was fantastic and I learned so much. Warren Jeffs was/is a terrible man and I am so glad Rachel escaped the religion.

I am so glad my friend suggested this book to me. I suggest it to everyone else.

"Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its lea
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cults
Rachel Jeffs and Jenna Miscavege (Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape )have a lot in common. Both were born into the top family of their respective cult. While the cults were philosophically very different (one claimed to be god-centered, the other god-free) both centralized power in one man and both men (father to Rachel and uncle to Jenna) used the same techniques to control their members.

First and fundamental is the threat and reality of separating familie
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I laid eyes on this title I was immediately drawn in, and when I picked it up I was as riveted as I expected to be. Within the first chapters I was disturbed by her recounting the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her delusional and pedophilic father; a delusion that becomes more fervent as the seizing of her father entails.
This was an eye opening read; I found myself thinking at times "what is it going to take for her to leave" and "why would she let her children's lives be put a
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was crazy to me, to read how Warren Jeff's abused his children and had such a strong hold over the FLDS church was really insightful for me. It also speaks volumes that from a young age Rachel knew that one day she would probably end up leaving the church and all she knew behind. You could definitely feel all her sadness, anger and disappointments from the abuse that she experienced at the hands of her father. This book was really eye-opening and made me want to find more books to rese ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I don’t necessarily recommend the audio, the book itself is great.
Alice Lippart
A little lacking in the writing department and I really wish we'd gotten more of an epilogue, but overall interesting enough.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was heartbreaking and so honest. Rachel's narrative is so gripping because it seems so sincere and unaffected. She explains exactly what her life was like as daughter of a whackadoodle child molester prophet and the complexity of being a sister wife of a man she loved. She has 5 children in succession and then escapes the church. She doesn't stop to analyze. She just tells the story. It's a vivid play by play account that hides nothing. What injustices these people suffer at the hands ...more
Short  Reviews
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was scary to read. I had to skip pages, actually I skipped whole chapters because I couldn't wait to see Rachel escape towards the end.
I'm so glad Rachel is doing well now.
Ashley Gallegos
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first saw Rachel Jeffs on the television show “Escaping Polygamy” when she wanted to reach out to her sister. I was struck by her poise and bravery. I am even more impressed with her fortitude after reading her autobiography. This book was tough to read emotionally because your heart just goes out to her as you read about the abuse that she suffered. But I also cheered for her as her spirit remained strong despite it all and she was able to escape. This book is beyond captivating. I had a cruc ...more
Liza Fireman
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is kind of a shocking book, shocking cult, but actually, not very surprising. It is the impossible story of Rachel Jeffs. She was child molested by her father, the profit Warren Jeffs since she was six or so. He did with her whatever he wished, and she knew that it was wrong and did not want that. If it is very hard to any kid to deal with such situation, it is even worse when you are in a cult, that the dad plays a role of a complete dictator. My heart was wrenching for Rachel. Reading abo ...more
“The most important rule in the FLDS religion is this: Never question the Prophet.”

Rachel Jeffs, daughter of incarcerated prophet Warren Jeffs, explains in detail what it was like growing up in her family. I’ve read a few FLDS memoirs, but this was different due to Rachel’s direct relationship with her megalomaniacal, sociopathic father. This is a pretty tough read, but worth it. These FLDS women deserve to be heard.

TW: sexual abuse, neglect
Matthew Trevithick
Disturbing, disgusting, eye opening and necessary. Proud of the author for sharing her story and absolutely love her opening line: ‘I am not a victim and I do not want anyone’s sympathy.’
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is the mesmerizing and harrowing tale of Rachel Jeffs, the daughter of Warren Jeffs. Born into the FLDS church, Rachel is raised under her fathers rule in the secretive fundamentalist cult. In this memoir, she details shocking events and takes the reader inside this culture. She eventually broke away from the church in 2015 despite many major obstacles. It is shocking to me how one man can have so much power over other human beings. Warren Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence f ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
For those who read everything possible about FLDS, this book is important in that it is more recent and fresh than many of the other popular memoirs about this horrible cult. Most of the books you may have read will tell you a lot about life under the Jeffs' family rule in the Short Creek/Colorado City community, but stop a little after the time Warren Jeffs is arrested (Carolyn Jessop, Elissa Wall, Flora Jessop, Brent Jeffs, and Krakauer's books are all from 2004-2009). A decade has now passed ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I always find it hard to rate non-fiction novels. The writing wasn't the greatest and I really wish we would of gotten more of an epilogue. I am glad to have read this story though.
POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#38 read a book with an ugly cover

I am so incredibly glad I could read Rachel’s story. It’s like the seriously extreme version of what my life might have been like. If I had stayed in the LDS church, it wouldn’t have been nearly so extreme but there are many uncomfortable parallels. The churches started out as one before splitting. I rolled my eyes so many times with understanding how people go along with something stupid because of how the church will see them otherwis
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extraordinary biography of growing up in a destructive cult. Would have loved more about how the author gained free thought and her process of recovery after a life lived with such terror and control.
Katie Jeffreys
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a fascinating story; I couldn't put it down.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heart breaking and hard to read at first especially when she is describing, in detail, the sexual abuse she suffered at the hand of her father, the "prophet". As the book goes on Rachel Jeffs, the daughter of Warren Jeffs and his 2nd wife, details the seemingly insane rules imposed on families. After Warren Jeffs is arrested and subsequently jailed for life he continues to speak to his followers who have been so brainwashed that they follow his ridiculous and cruel rules. From separating mothers ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I was on the waiting list at the library for this one from the moment I found out it existed and inhaled it as soon as I brought it home. Being a big fan of all-books-polygamy, and having recently seen Rachel Jeffs on that terrible show Escaping Polygamy, I was excited for this one and it didn't disappoint. The daughter of Warren Jeffs pulls no punches about the abuse she endured at the hand of her father, and yes, that's a horrifying part of this story, but the part I found the most disturbing ...more
Kristine Olsen
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another outstanding look inside this group, this time from one of Warren Jeffs children. This is a blisteringly fast read as Rachael take you on her journey growing up in the FLDS to her ultimate decision to leave the people she called and still calls family. Warren deeply deserves to be exactly where he is today since his abuse wasn’t just limited to the underage girls he “married.” This is not the first FLDS story I’ve read. Each one I read simultaneously fascinates and horrifies me given the ...more
Ari Reavis
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies, own-it
This was a heartbreaking story. Not only did Rachel get abused by her disgusting father, but the mental affect this would have for years to come was horrible.
From being seperated from her husband and children and constantly being watched and told she was doing things wrong, everyday was a struggle where she didn't know what 'correction' would come from her father.
I was so happy she finally decided to take her kids and leave and even found love again.
A star deducted because at times, it was chopp
A book I was very interested in reading that turned out to be a disappointment. I applaud her for making the choice to leave with her children, but this is not particularly good writing.

Following the time line is quite difficult as it moves quite fast; it is very much reporting what happened and feels like you are skimming the entire thing due to how vague and rushed it is. I understand protecting people, but I think that this is one book that would have benefitted from a ghost writer assisting
Lynn Bass
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have always enjoyed true stories, whether the story is about true crime, true murders, serial killers, etc. I am sorry for the things that happened to Rachel and her children but I am glad that they have found happiness in this life. A true story of strength. This is a must read for an audience that loves true stories of crimes committed in those inside in within a family and the straight of a women intent on saving herself and her children.
What a great book!I ate this book up,even though the sexual abuse parts can really get you. I was so excited when she finally got to the part where she left. What a brave woman Rachel is! Also she describes growing up in plural family really well as well as the struggles of being a plural "wife".
Pick this up if you liked Escape or Lost Boy(written by Rachel's cousin Brent) or The Witness Wore Red!
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well 3.75 really. If one is unsure if they are being mentally manipulated, sexually abused, molested or the victim of a predatory preacher this book gives prime examples. Keeping the secrets only allows the abuse to continue and flourish. Flabbergasted. Disgusted. Grateful I’m finished with this book. Ugh.
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