Book Notification

Carolyn Jessop Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Escape (With: Laura Palmer) (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Triumph (With: Laura Palmer) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carolyn Jessop is an American author and famously an ex-member of the FLDS church. The author was born to a polygamous family that was part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.

Growing up, she witnessed her father take the polygamy path when he got married to her cousin on her mother’s side. She was brought up with emotionally distant parents and remembers that her father was a domineering man.

Her mother used to take out her frustrations on the children all the time. Tired of the beating, they came up with a clever strategy to ensure she spanked them in the morning so that they would have the rest of the day to enjoy.
When she was in middle school, there was an incident in which there was a huge rift among members of the local FLDS community that saw leaders pull children from the local high school.

Aged seventeen, she graduated from high school and was intent on heading to college to study pediatric medicine but that was not to be. Instead, she found herself forced to marry a man named Merill Jessop just a year later.

At the time, Carolyn Jessop was getting married to Merrill Jessop a fifty-year-old man. She would experience physical and emotional abuse in her marriage which lasted 15 years.

Jessop has said that she was in utter shock of the aggression for the first three years of being married to Jessop. She soon adapted to the situation and learned to stay at least four feet away from her husband when he came home from work, so that she would not be struck.
After fifteen years and eight children, she finally had enough of it and escaped to Salt Lake City where she had heard of a safe house that would take her in. But her troubles were not over as she struggled to get back her children from the leader of the FLDS.
It was soon after escaping from the tragic marriage that she sat down to pen the memoir “Escape,” chronicling her marriage to the leader of an FLDS colony.

It was the same man who would then make headlines following an FBI raid on his compound, in which several children were taken into custody amid allegations of abuse.

Ever since she left the FLDS, Carolyn Jessop has been involved in a range of legal cases given her wide-ranging knowledge of the organization and her controversial departure.

Working with Mark Shurtleff then AG in Utah, she finally won custody of her children in 2003. In 2009, she had another win when the court awarded her child support against her former husband who was to pay nearly $150,000 in child support.
Merril had never provided for any of his children after Carolyn quit the organization. But Merrill refused to pay the child support and by 2010, he had not paid a single cent despite the threat of jail time.

Carolyn would later be a state witness in several criminal trials against the leader of the FLDS in Utah. Her former husband would ultimately be found guilty of sexual assault and handed a sentence of ten years in prison.

Carolyn Jessop’s “Escape” is a deep dive into life in a fundamentalist American cult. It tells the personal account of one woman’s escape and journey toward freedom while taking along her eight children.

She had been forced to marry Merril Jessop, a much older polygamous man that was 32 years old when she was just eighteen. Over one and a half decades, she took the psychological abuse from her husband and fought constant battles of supremacy with her fellow wives.
Her husband’s whims dictated her every action as she decided her children’s treatment and where she would live. She then worked as a school teacher but he controlled all her money and even chose when they had sex.

Any deviance or opposition would be met with emotional and sometimes physical abuse as it could just determine the status of her children and herself in the family.

She took the punishment for years since she knew she would lose her children if she tried to leave. No woman had ever managed to leave FLDS with her children and she never believed she could do it.

But in 2003 and with only $20 in her pocket she fled with her eight children and headed to Salt Lake City. Against a background of religious fanatics who force women to be subservient to men and who brainwash kids with impunity, Carolyn manages to execute a daring escape
She ultimately make history when she won a custody battle against the FLDS organization.

In her first novel, “Escape” Carolyn Jessop told of her life living in FLDS and how she eventually escaped its clutches. In “Triumph,” she continues to chronicle her journey after FLDS.

In the first half, she tells the tale of the Texas law enforcement raid on the Eldorado Zion Ranch compound. She describes the raid in minute detail which makes for some intriguing reading.

She ramps it up in the second half of the work as she goes on to tell stories of how she started breaking the FLDS mindset and begin making her escape plan.

The breaking point was when one man had stood up to Merrill when he abused Carolyn at a restaurant. It was then that she realized that men who were not part of FLDS sometimes respected women.

This incident among other things opened her eyes and made her see what could be as she realized women were greater than just baby factories or simple possessions. She lists out several pointers on how to escape or survive a traumatic life.
She talks about her grandmothers, and many other women that were role models in her life that motivated her to maintain a sense of self despite being a long-time member of FLDS.

She meticulously lays out their escape including the places they lived and how she managed the emotional and physical news of her kids at a time when she felt as if she was a visitor on an alien planet.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carolyn Jessop

Leave a Reply