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  • Stolen Innocence

  • My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs
  • Written by: Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer
  • Narrated by: Renée Raudman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Stolen Innocence cover art

Stolen Innocence

Written by: Elissa Wall,Lisa Pulitzer
Narrated by: Renée Raudman
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Publisher's Summary

In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.

Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells the incredible story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice. Offering a child's perspective on life in the FLDS, Wall discusses her tumultuous youth, explaining how her family's turbulent past intersected with her strong will and identified her as a girl who needed to be controlled through marriage. Detailing how Warren Jeffs's influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mind-set and unrelenting pressure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young.

Once she was married, Wall's childhood shattered as she was obligated to follow Jeffs's directives and submit to her husband in "mind, body, and soul." With little money and no knowledge of the outside world, she was trapped and forced to endure the pain and abuse of her loveless relationship. Yet even in those bleak times, she retained a sliver of hope that one day she would find a way out, and one snowy night that came in the form of a rugged stranger named Lamont Barlow. Their chance encounter set in motion a friendship and eventual romance that gave her the strength she needed to break free from her past and sever the chains of the church. But though she was out of the FLDS, Wall would still have to face Jeffs---this time in court.

©2008 Elissa Wall (P)2008 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heart wrenching tough read.

Heart wrenching and a tough read but recommend. I did not enjoy the narrator as I found she was very fake and made the story seem like a novel, and the way she spoke took away from the actual story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed, felt flat

The reader didn’t reach me. The depth of this travesty was missed. No connection made

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Couldn’t Finish - Terrible Narration

Having just finished the Keep Sweet documentary on Netflix I was very interested in reading this account of the FLDS church.

The story is fascinating and held my interest but, three hours in, I honestly could not imagine listening to 12 more hours of the reader’s syrupy, dramatic narration.

Returned the book, will be buying a hard copy instead.

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  • Overall
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Excellent Book

I highly recommend this book. Heart wrenching truths. My prayer is that many young girls or women that are in abusive relationships will read or listen to this book and reach out for help. I was rapped when I was 12 and kept it a secret for 12 years. It’s an awful thing to live with. This book was very healing for me.
Sarah

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Very insightful

I enjoyed this book more than I expected. I gained real insight into this isolated community, their (twisted) beliefs and practices. She took down the leader. Bravo! This is a story of courage worth a listen.

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Outstanding, mind gripping!

I enjoyed this book very much. Difficult to put down as it kept you filled with suspense & wanting to hear more. Brought out many emotions from tears one moment to anger the next. A must read!!

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  • Vi
  • 2020-12-30

Stunning true story! I recommend it!

I knew a bit about FLDS Church but I learnt a lot through that story. Elissa Wall is a fighter. It shows how hard it is for people like her to get out of the religious groups. She takes us step by step through her journey.

I can’t believe things like that are still happening today. I don’t judge the religion believes but I can’t bear it when those believes put children, men and women in those situations.

Renée Raudman is doing a fantastic job narrating the story. She is giving life to that book and you can feel her pain and joy through her performance.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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voice actor was annoying

well written story. I wasn't that interested in the beginning but it pulled me in.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Intriguing and Informative

A very interesting listen. I enjoyed the story line as it was very easy to follow and quite detailed. I learned about the different belief systems of FLDS and understand a bit more as to why they choose to believe in polygamy. I will be looking to listen to more cult books in the future as as I’m amazed at how much 1 person can change the lives of thousands.

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not for the light of heart

incredible story and well told. i have a curious obsession with cult stories and for some reason the FLDS is like none other. it's so well covered as a religious group.
I've read numberous books about the FLDS and this is the best one.

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