Sunday, August 8, 2010


A few people have probably thought I have escaped...or maybe captured. It has been ages since I have written about book club and that's because life got in the way and I had not made it to book club. This past Wednesday, I made it!

We were charged with reading Carolyn Jessop's (with Laura Palmer) book Escape. The story of her life within the FDLS church is riveting. The often shocking and bizarre accounts of her life are enough to keep the pages turning. A few may find the repeated accounts of how the sister wives interacted and the way to power within the household a bit repetitive, however this is a case where telling me a few times drove home the importance and impact this world had on Carolyn.

I really cannot say much about this book other than you must read it. No matter what your thoughts, you will think about your life after finishing this account. I do want to take a moment to go over a couple things. The first relates to a part that stuck out to me while reading the book and the other was from our book club discussion.

Members of the FDLS are under enormous pressure not to interfere with another man's family (page 214). This really struck a chord with me for a couple of reasons. I do believe there are busy-bodies out there in the world and at the same time, there are plenty of times when things are occurring and others sit back and do nothing when something needs to be done. It seems it depends on what side of the fence you are on if you see the person "interfering" or "helping". Admittedly, I have been a helper and and interferer (though in the moments I thought I was helping). Most recently, I have "messed with a man's family" and received so much hate that I really questioned if I did the right thing. When it came down to it and I asked myself would I do it again, the answer is YES. I am not happy about the outcome. It means, at least for now, we have less loved ones in our life, but I know I can look back and be OK with my actions - that I have nothing to be ashamed of. It has made me wondered how much I am not seeing in the world because, sometimes, doing the right thing isn't an easy thing to do (live with). Have I seen injustices and been blinded because seeing it means I would need to take action? Have I written a child's actions off as unmannered when really it was a cry for help?

The second chord struck was during book club. More than one female was surprised how, in this day and age, a woman's value was determined by how many children she had. The less she had, the lower her worth. I am not sure if mainstream culture is much different - judging a woman by her children. How often have you looked at a female and thought she was selfish for not having children? How often have you seen a woman with several children and wondered if she knows about birth control? How often have you talked about how breast milk is the ONLY good source of nutrients around a woman who chose not to breast feed? I'm guilty of the first two and judging woman who breast feed longer than I think is normal (some cultures breast feed for two years and I find it a little creepy when a toddler can ask for it). I've had women tell me they would never use formula because it isn't healthy for a baby (one woman even told me she will not have more children, though she previously wanted more, because she is now unable to breast feed). I know I'm guilty of judging women by their kids. I'm betting I'm not the only imperfect person - so it felt a bit odd to say it is unbelievable to judge a woman based on motherhood. It does not seem like such a stretch to me and I feel bad that I am not a better person. Judging is so harsh on all of us.

Now then. Go read Escape!

1 comment:

  1. When I first saw the title of this post I thought maybe you were reading my mind about this upcoming weekend...... ahh escape :) Anyway, sounds like an intriguing book ~ one I just might have to check out.

    And I would agree with you ~ in my younger days ~ before I was a mom, I'm sure I judged moms. But now, I would have to say women are all SO different! I mean, I already have 3 kids, know what birth control is, but could easily have 3 more if I had a willing participant ;), have had many friends deal with infertility, friends (and myself) that have delt with miscarriages and stillbirths and have some friends and family who can't imagine life with kids. You will not find me judging mothers/women by the number of their children and it is too bad (but so true) that judging takes place.


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