Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs, by Elissa Wall [adult nonfiction, B Wall]

Reviewed by Olga

With the bathroom just a few feet away from the bedroom, it seemed like a sanctuary for Elissa. The one place she could be alone. She and her family were members of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Elissa was raised to believe that marriages were arranged through a revelation from God, and delivered through the prophet. At 14, she was told that a revelation was made about her (something she never imagined). Ever since that revelation, she’d spend every last ounce of energy BEGGING the prophets’ councils to grant her more time or select another man to marry. Her new husband was not only first cousin, but they have never gotten along. Every day she prayed, but her prayers have gone unanswered. With no other choice, she’d submitted to the will of the prophet and gotten married to her 19 year-old first cousin. For the past several days she’d cried herself out of tears. Now with a lock on the bathroom door securely fastened, she felt the full weight of the day for the first time. Breathing deeply, she fought back the tears building up behind her blue eyes.  “Now is not the time to cry…I must keep sweet.” Stolen Innocence is a story about Elissa Wall and talks about her life, family, and growing up in a polygamous sect.

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