Monday, February 27

The Polygamist's Daughter: Book Review

The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LaBaron and Leslie Wilson

This biography was entirely fascinating to someone who knew nothing about cult-like polygamist families outside of the fact that a husband could have multiple wives. Granted, Anna's family was on the run as her father, Ervil LaBaron, was wanted by the authorities for his hand in planning the murders of people who tried to leave his cult. In this book, Anna describes her father having thirteen wives and over fifty children. She talks about interactions and how favorite wives or children were treated. Most of the book describes her childhood, constantly being shuffled from house to house in the middle of the night to avoid being detected or people asking too many questions about the abnormally large number of women and children living in one house, and sometimes in the back of a box truck lined with members of her family. 

The memoir doesn't get to the part where Anna leaves the cult until about 3/4 of the way into the book. At this point, she's a teenager and is able to leave with the help of one of her older half-sisters from another of her father's wives. In reading it, I appreciated learning about what her life was like as a child and the moments that made her realize that her family cult lifestyle wasn't normal...or healthy. Often they were starving and living in a perpetual state of fear of being found, separated and questioned by the authorities. In fact, she talks about how they were trained to respond if they were actually questioned by police or the FBI that was tracking their family.

The middle part of the book was a bit slow, but overall, this memoir was fabulous in its detail of how this cult family operated. I would give it two thumbs up for being an intriguing memoir and very different than other books in that genre!

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Also, affiliate links used. This means that if you purchase a book via the Amazon links, I'll receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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