Stolen Innocence – Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer – print book

My darling cousin Karen, from California, gave me this book to read when I visited in May 2011, and boy am I glad.

You may have gathered by now that I enjoy a read that looks into other people’s psyches, why they do what they do, and this book was certainly revealing in that department.

As someone who regularly hides from the religious door knockers, I often wonder how people get caught up in stifling religions in this ‘enlightened’ day and age, in those religions where the disciples have to live in a manner so different to the rest of the world around them. What is it that these organisations do to a person’s mind that means a teenage girl will be willing to wear clothes more suited to a girl living 200 years ago? How do these organisations get people to live in a manner so alien to the rest of us? Stolen Innocence goes a long way to answering those questions.

This is the story of a young girl brought up in the Fundamental Church of Latter Day Saints, her marriage at the age of 14 which was dictated by the church’s leader, Warren Jeffs, and of her subsequent fight to free herself of the constraints of the church as she opened her mind to other ways of living her life and questioned what was happening to her.

If you’re a parent, you will find this story horrifying in part, but you will also cheer for this brave girl who, with limited life experience, knowledge and education, stood up for herself and for others.

Available at the usual outlets, this isn’t just recommended reading, it’s a must read.

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