Stolen Innocence

Stolen Innocence

4.2 704
by Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer

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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 and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this

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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 and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths that Jeffs went to in order to control the women in it. Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells her incredible and inspirational story of her time in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), detailing how she emerged from its confines to help bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Stolen Innocence 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 704 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the moment I opened the front cover I was pulled into a story of strength and very real trauma that Elissa was subjected to in her childhood. Elissa's account of her life makes your heart ache for her, and makes you feel as if you were right there with her but like many other people in the story unable to help her and you are left feeling as desperate as she did. The strength and survival instinct Elissa displayed is amazing. I encourage anyone to read this book, there are lessons for every man and woman. Elissa is a role model of what can be achieved when you are trusting of the process and are not willing to be defeated! A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book go to MJ Fund , a fund designed to help other people in the situation. That alone is a great reason to purchase this book. God bless you Elissa, and thank you for filling my heart and showing women not to back down and be defeated.
frannyprice More than 1 year ago
This is a brave book. It is well written and I had to read it all right away - late night! I also wanted to talk about the ideas with others. This would be a good choice for a book group. I'm so glad Elisa was brave to go to trial and brave to write a book. She had a painful childhood. Her story shows how a tradition with some nourishing elements went very very bad under the autocratic rule of a bad man. Truth is stranger than fiction. Some very weird stuff happens in Southern Utah.
hotfingers More than 1 year ago
Elissa Wall writes an eye opening, often shocking account of what it was like to be raised in a polygamous household where young girls are groomed to be teen aged brides in marriages arranged by the church leaders who exercise absolute control over the lives of their members. She relates how she escaped from the sect and today lives with her husband and children. We also learn of her heartbreak at the separation from other members of her family who are still in the sect. She includes details of the arrest and trial of Warren Jeffs, and her ongoing fight for the rights of young girls still in the sect, including two younger sisters.
laxcrazymom More than 1 year ago
The story was incredibly riveting. I could not put the book down. Great story of survival.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like a prisoner sentenced to a life of hard-labor, Elissa tells how no one came to her rescue as she was trapped in this loveless marriage. No one. Not her mother, not her father, not her step-father. Nobody. Everyone was afraid of going against this Hitler-like tyrant, Warren Jeffs. Ms. Wall even states how he was like a god to them because this was all they were taught to believe. And that is probably what is fundamentally wrong with this cult. Because no one was ever allowed to think for themselves. Free-thought was not just frowned upon, it was reason enough to be expelled from this group. Thrown out like garbage. But why would anyone want to stay?  Ms. Wall also explains with great triumph how she found real love and how, over time, she got away. Some of this portion of the book was very bittersweet and heartbreaking, though. Because Elissa was vilified by her soon-to-be-former cult. Elissa's rapist husband went running to Warren Jeffs when he couldn't control her any longer. Can you believe that Warren Jeffs actually blamed her again and even said that she should sacrifice her body (a human sacrifice?) Because of so much real degradation and oppression, the truth inside this book really is stranger than fiction.  When Elissa was pregnant with her baby she left the FLDS and shortly afterwards was encouraged by her sisters who had also left the FLDS to file a suit against Allan, Warren Jeffs, and the FLDS which is detailed in the book.  It's just so hard to believe these things happened to someone so young and that not one adult took action while this abuse was happening. I guess that's what happens when you are that brainwashed.  She took her pain and did something so positive with it. God Bless you Elissa and all the other victims that are brain washed to accept true evil as a way of life. I believe in freedom of religion. What I just read was not religion. It was organized pedophiles. Every single person that is a member allowing this to happen is just as guilty as "Uncle Warren" Putting yourself before your innocent children is something I personally don't understand. I would die for my children's protection. Regardless of anything. Elissa's courage saved her life. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a very interesting look at the polygamist way of life. I wonder how many other women and young girls have this same story to tell. I feel sorry for these women.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gives real insight into the polygamist lifestyle.
Brandi Supple More than 1 year ago
Very touching and insperational
Mary Ann Metzger More than 1 year ago
This book kept my interest it was hard to put it down
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and it was great. I felt every ounce of pain that Elissa was dealing with. I was hoping that her brothers and sisters would be able to help their mother and two youngest siblings. It was very unfortunate that her husband Allen had no official charges brought against him. Elissa displayed such strength and courage. I am glad that she is happily married and was able to have two successful pregnancies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
poorly writen. Sad story but hard to read
Christy Foley More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, had a hard time putting it down as I wanted to know what happened to her. Interesting look into another way of life.
dfehling More than 1 year ago
I can only imagine how difficult it was for Elissa Wall to put into writing her shocking true life experiences in the FLDS church, her forced marriage at age 14, and her ultimate escape from the only life she knew. The courage she had not only to account in detail the horrors she suffered at the hands of this sect, but also to ultimately bring criminal charges against self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs, is remarkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was totally absorbed by this book. It just makes one wonder how so many people can be taken in by a "Prophet". How the innocent can be duped and led down a path that just isn't right. I was happy to see that Elissa and her sisters were strong enough to pull away from this religious control. I'm sorry that their mother and younger sisters are lost in the control of the church and not allowed to be a part of Elissa and her sister lives. Taking the stand against Warren and putting him where he truly belongs was a truly brave thing. Kudos to Elissa Wall
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed hearing what's really happening in these cults...well not "enjoy" but it's shocking and heartbreaking what's happening. This woman had a lot of courage and strength to break away from this life.
TammyR More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I didnt learn anything new about the FLDS from reading this book. Also They could of condensed the book more...They kept repeating events but in different ways. I did find Elissa's story very inspirational. I would recommed this book to an older teen. I feel like Elissa is a strong woman and has overcame alot of obstacles in her life. She is someone to look up 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very intense read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a while back a while back however i just finished reading the book by Elissas sister Rebecca Musser The Witness Wore Red and although that book gave more information about the trials, this book gives more detail ang insight into what it was like to actually live in that world. I feel like Elissa Walls story is a better read because it is an emotional story of being born then imprisoned into a life noone should have to live and she is so very honest about the cruelty she suffered. I feel like her sister didnt suffer the same abuse although she did suffer, i also feel like her sister toots her horn a little too loudly whereas Elissa seems very humble and instead of bragging about her testimonies and appearances, she is just simply greatful to be out of that life. So if you want info on the trial read her sisters book and if you want heartfelt honesty about an escape from an imprisoned life and marriage and journey into a new one then read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited to start this book after reading and enjoying other books about the polygamist lifestyle. However, I found this book slow, dull, and poorly written. The author is very redundant, and it seems that her writing lacks any style or excitement. I thought the book Escape was much more interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started off excrutiatingly slow but picked up & became interesting. Its crazy how these people are brainwashed and how the women are mistreated! Glad the author was able to overcome and escape the situation she was in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. An incredible story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an easy read. Full of insider information on the craziness prople for fall. I cant believe they allowed such outlandish activities!! I am happy Elissa was able to depart from such an awful state of existence!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Must read for anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story especially considering the recency ...
Sabreana More than 1 year ago
It was ok if you just have to know. Lots of repeating in it. Lost interest haven't finished it yet.