Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy

Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy

by Susan Schmidt


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She had no choice in the matter—none of the girls did. Her mission was to give birth to and raise many children in devoted service to a shared husband. Susan was fifteen years old when she became the sixth wife of Verlan LeBaron—one of the leaders of a rogue Mormon cult engaged in a blood feud with his brother that, from 1972 to 1988, claimed up to two dozen lives and led one prosecutor to call their descendents a “Lord of the Flies generation.” In this gripping and eloquent book, Susan Ray Schmidt tells the story of growing up on the inside and of her ultimate escape. Delving more deeply into this mysterious underworld than any previous work, Favorite Wife is a powerful account of the affairs of the heart, coming of age under exceptional circumstances, and the tough choices that are sometimes painfully necessary to preserve human dignity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599214948
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/03/2009
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 552,592
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Susan Ray Schmidt was once a member of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times and the child-bride of polygamist Verlan LeBaron in Colonia LeBaron in Mexico. After eight years of marriage, she left her husband and fled with her five children back to America. She remarried three years later.

Read an Excerpt

Where was the excitement I had anticipated as the wife of a leader in God’s church? We were supposed to be an army for the Lord, and yet babies, back-breaking work, and never enough money to go around were the lot of a polygamist’s wife. All around me were poverty-stricken homes filled with lonely women and children, living for the scattered moments when our husbands could find time for a hurried visit home. And yet the time Verlan spent at home was the most frustrating time of all. Knowing he was close, yet sleeping in another wife’s bed only blocks away, was the purest form of torture. The irony of it all was the fact that when he was with me, I felt sorry for the others.

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Favorite Wife 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
TLJo More than 1 year ago
It's so hard to understand the hold some religious leaders have on their followers. This book does an excellent job of explaining why she stayed. It's amazing to me that she found the strength and courage to leave that way of life, especially having five children to take into consideration. I'm so glad she finally found the happiness she searched for and deserved.
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