The Polygamist's Daughter
"My father had more than fifty children." So begins the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. With her father wanted by the FBI for killing anyone who tried to leave his cult--a radical branch of Mormonism--Anna and her siblings were constantly on the run with the other sister-wives. Often starving and always desperate, the children lived in terror. Even though there were dozens of them together, Anna always felt alone.She escaped when she was thirteen . . . but the nightmare was far from over.A shocking true story of murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist's Daughter is also the heart-cry of a fatherless girl and her search for love, faith, and a safe place to call home.

The Polygamist's Daughter Details

TitleThe Polygamist's Daughter
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 21st, 2017
PublisherTyndale House Publishers
ISBN1496417550
ISBN-139781496417558
Number of pages272 pages
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Religion, Biography

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The Polygamist's Daughter Review

  • Ticcoa Leister
    July 10, 2016
    Heart-rending. Haunting. Hopeful. The Polygamist’s Daughter embodies all three of those words. Anna LeBaron is telling her story of escape from her father, Ervil LeBaron’s, violent polygamist cult. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here. This is a story that can only be told (justifiably so) by those who lived it. I’ll just say this: If LeBaron's objective was to tell her story from the perspective of herself as a child, she and her contributing writer, Leslie Wilson, have accomplished that Heart-rending. Haunting. Hopeful. The Polygamist’s Daughter embodies all three of those words. Anna LeBaron is telling her story of escape from her father, Ervil LeBaron’s, violent polygamist cult. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here. This is a story that can only be told (justifiably so) by those who lived it. I’ll just say this: If LeBaron's objective was to tell her story from the perspective of herself as a child, she and her contributing writer, Leslie Wilson, have accomplished that beautifully. Anna LeBaron has skillfully told her story in a way that invites readers into her experience from an innocent child’s point of view and guides them alongside herself as she becomes more aware of the haunting reality of her family history as a young adult. For a book whose subject matter is so weighty and extraordinary, The Polygamist’s Daughter reads like a novel. With the simple yet powerful language of a child’s perspective, the story gives its reader a glimpse of the heart of a child who desperately sought acceptance and stability in the face of chaos and negligence. Yet, by the end of the book, LeBaron’s journey takes a turn toward the hopeful, as she seeks the heart of her true Father—the One who brings healing. She has overcome.The Polygamist’s Daughter is one of the most striking memoirs I have read to date. Highly recommended! Disclosure: This review is based on the manuscript version I was given access to as a beta reader. Upon issuance of an Advanced Reader Copy, I will edit the review if necessary.
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  • Jana Craft
    December 1, 2016
    Anna LeBaron, daughter of polygamist cult leader Ervil LeBaron, shares her remarkable upbringing in a poignant new memoir releasing March 21, 2017. LeBaron writes from an adult perspective looking back, which gives the story a unique flavor compared to her cousin, Ruth Wariner, and her child-told perspective of escaping a different branch of the same polygamist family in 2016's The Sound of Gravel. Both women tell heart-wrenching tales of hunger, abandonment, transient lifestyles, child labor an Anna LeBaron, daughter of polygamist cult leader Ervil LeBaron, shares her remarkable upbringing in a poignant new memoir releasing March 21, 2017. LeBaron writes from an adult perspective looking back, which gives the story a unique flavor compared to her cousin, Ruth Wariner, and her child-told perspective of escaping a different branch of the same polygamist family in 2016's The Sound of Gravel. Both women tell heart-wrenching tales of hunger, abandonment, transient lifestyles, child labor and emotional abuse. However, LeBaron's memoir takes a darker turn when murders, ordered by her father from prison and conducted as a "blood atonement for sinners", are carried out by family members loyal to the patriarch cult leader. [I found myself at my desk at work, reading the book, and my colleagues suddenly concerned about my sharp intake of breath and loud string of inappropriate exclamations at certain critical parts of the book. It was an interesting day, to say the least.]First time author, LeBaron, focuses hard on sticking to her story even though there's more to be told. Whole books and even a movie were released in prior decades about her father and his crimes. However, LeBaron merely states the facts behind the cases and spares the reader the gory details. I found myself wanting to know more of the crime story, but to Anna's credit, that's not her job. She sticks to what she knows from her vantage point, allowing others in her massive family tree to tell their story if they so choose. The focus of LeBaron's story shifts from chronological childhood stories and turns inward when she starts working with a counselor to unravel her past in order to create a better future for herself and her family. The tone of the book deepens to include Anna's realization that Ervil was not her "father", but merely her "dad". A true father nurtures, protects, encourages and loves unconditionally. She discovers Jesus as her true father. This realization brings the book full-circle and will leave the reader wanting to know more about Jesus as a true father.Note: I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.
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  • Rachel Bruce
    July 12, 2016
    Few stories have captured my interest so thoroughly that I read them all the way through into the wee hours of the morning, but from the very first words, I was heavily invested in Anna LeBaron's story and its outcome so because it is a true story.The vignettes of LeBaron's young life in a polygamist cult were both difficult to read and awe inspiring. I myself have a school age son. Over and over, I kept picturing him in the same circumstances that LeBaron describes as her life, and my mo Few stories have captured my interest so thoroughly that I read them all the way through into the wee hours of the morning, but from the very first words, I was heavily invested in Anna LeBaron's story and its outcome so because it is a true story.The vignettes of LeBaron's young life in a polygamist cult were both difficult to read and awe inspiring. I myself have a school age son. Over and over, I kept picturing him in the same circumstances that LeBaron describes as her life, and my mom heart simply could not fathom the idea of any child alone, in the squalor and scarcity and, yes, suffering that was life in a polygamist cult. The Polygamist’s Daughter is not your typical memoir. It is rich with description of the conditions under which LeBaron lived. Several times, I found myself putting the book down because I felt as though I were there, as if it was happening to me. The realism was overwhelming. I kept reminding myself of LeBaron's age during the events she describes, and wept several times at the stark depiction of life in the cult. While heartbreaking and heavy, LeBaron's story is even more compelling because of its redemptive nature. The news media is no stranger to the stories of those who either met their end in or escaped from fundamentalist and polygamist cults, but the difference between many of those stories and The Polygamist’s Daughter is the hope and healing that LeBaron finds after life in the cult.The repeated rejection by the adults in LeBaron's life in this memoir is necessarily and skillfully recounted, as is LeBaron's response to the relentless pursuit of her Heavenly Father. LeBaron's acceptance and acknowledgement of God's redemptive and profound love is perhaps the single most powerful moment in the book. I gladly recommend LeBaron's book to everyone, but especially to anyone who has felt lost, abandoned, alone, or rejected. The Polygamist’s Daughter provides hope that true healing and freedom is freely available, and is a shining and intimate testimonial to the life-changing power of God's unconditional love for His children.
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  • Ruth Wariner
    December 21, 2016
    I felt a profound sense of hope as I read THE POLYAMIST'S DAUGHTER, a raw, captivating and powerful book that I couldn't put down until I reached the very last page. Anna LeBaron is a survivor. Her story is heartbreaking, but her determination, perseverance and love for her family will touch your heart and inspire you again and again. I was especially moved by Anna's relationships with her siblings, in the way they looked out for and took care of each other in the midst of extreme poverty and ne I felt a profound sense of hope as I read THE POLYAMIST'S DAUGHTER, a raw, captivating and powerful book that I couldn't put down until I reached the very last page. Anna LeBaron is a survivor. Her story is heartbreaking, but her determination, perseverance and love for her family will touch your heart and inspire you again and again. I was especially moved by Anna's relationships with her siblings, in the way they looked out for and took care of each other in the midst of extreme poverty and neglect. Ultimately, Anna's story is a testament to the human spirit: a tale of hope and courage. I met Anna a year ago when she was still writing her book, and I couldn't wait to read her story. Back then; in a curious twist of fate, she happened to find me on Twitter when I was getting ready to release my memoir, THE SOUND OF GRAVEL. I was recording my audio book at a studio in New Your City when she tweeted me. At the time, I knew we were connected in some way because her last name is LeBaron, but neither of us had any idea we were cousins, that our fathers were brothers or that she shared a childhood that was very much like my own. But we both knew that it was her father, Ervil LeBaron, that had my father murdered in the early seventies when Anna and I were both too young to remember that part of our family's violent history. As I read Anna's gripping and deeply personal story, my childhood memories and fears came flooding back to me. When I was a girl having nightmares about my uncle Ervil and the terror he had inflicted on our small polygamous community, I never considered what a heartbreaking life he might be inflicting on his wives and children. That part of my family had broken away from our community and church before I was even born. When they left, they took the same cultural and cult mentality with them, one that impacted both Anna and I in very similar and very different ways. Since I met Anna, she has been a source of inspiration. As my book was being launched, she introduced me to an extraordinary group of readers and online friends who I will be forever grateful to, #the4500launches. They all become part of my social media launch team and helped make it an instant New York Times bestseller. After reading her powerful memoir, I now fully understand why Anna's childhood struggles could've been anyone's, and were certainly similar to my own, but her brave, generous and passionate spirit shines as a bright reminder that no matter what happens in our lives, what lies within us is stronger and more powerful than our circumstances.
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  • Aprilcmcgrew
    December 16, 2016
    I started this book this morning, thinking I could read a few chapters before my daily routine began-- and had to tear myself away before I started chapter 25! You will NOT want to put this down... and you may want to re-read it immediately after! Anna LeBaron (with help of Leslie Wilson) beautifully crafts her true story of growing up in a violent, polygamous cult. This is non-fiction, but it reads rich and vibrant, better than many fiction novels I've read! It's hard to write about it without I started this book this morning, thinking I could read a few chapters before my daily routine began-- and had to tear myself away before I started chapter 25! You will NOT want to put this down... and you may want to re-read it immediately after! Anna LeBaron (with help of Leslie Wilson) beautifully crafts her true story of growing up in a violent, polygamous cult. This is non-fiction, but it reads rich and vibrant, better than many fiction novels I've read! It's hard to write about it without revealing spoilers, but I can say that the book is riveting. It draws you in and makes you gasp, but you also revel in the child's view perspective and you truly see it from her eyes. It makes you want to research and piece together the bigger picture. I was so impressed by the author's natural optimism in the book. She takes situations that seem impossible and writes them in a way that gives hope. By the end, you really see passion shine through. This is her story, but she is much more than just the story. You'll root for her! I received this as an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum. All opinions are my own.
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  • Xamayta
    December 19, 2016
    Made for TV!From the first sentence in the Prologue, I was hooked! "At age nine, I had forty-nine siblings."This story held my attention from the very start. The web of lies, FBI raids, abuse, neglect, murders and redemption...it was hard to process the fact that I WAS NOT READING FICTION! It reads like a novel, so for those of you that prefer fiction, I would dare to assert that you will not be disappointed. Anna LeBaron, masterfully takes us on a journey through her life and draws you in, to t Made for TV!From the first sentence in the Prologue, I was hooked! "At age nine, I had forty-nine siblings."This story held my attention from the very start. The web of lies, FBI raids, abuse, neglect, murders and redemption...it was hard to process the fact that I WAS NOT READING FICTION! It reads like a novel, so for those of you that prefer fiction, I would dare to assert that you will not be disappointed. Anna LeBaron, masterfully takes us on a journey through her life and draws you in, to the point where you can feel her pain, her fear and her joy. Each chapter takes you through events that no child should ever go through. How does one function as an adult in society when the love you are given as a child is actually abuse and you don't know any better? The author shares about that too!I gasped for air at times. I shed tears, both of pain and joy. I fell in love with some of the members of her family and felt such disdain for others. I was in awe from beginning to end. *NOTE: I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum. This review is my honest opinion.*
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  • Gail Alexander
    December 17, 2016
    I finished this book in two sittings. It would have been one sitting, but I had to go to work. This book has it all: part autobiography, part scandal, part murder mystery, part history. Above all, it is a story of redemption and triumph of the human spirit through the grace of God. A must-read.NOTE: I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Robin Andrews
    December 17, 2016
    An amazing story beautifully written. I was familiar with the LeBaron saga from reading Irene Spencer's books, as well as Ruth Wariner's Sound of Gravel. I wondered how and what Ervil LeBaron's family members went through as he was on the run. Anna tells her story and it is disturbing at times to read. She takes the reader with her as the struggles to simply survive. Abandoned and forgotten for the most part, she resiliently finds herself and is able to forgive those that threw her away. Her lif An amazing story beautifully written. I was familiar with the LeBaron saga from reading Irene Spencer's books, as well as Ruth Wariner's Sound of Gravel. I wondered how and what Ervil LeBaron's family members went through as he was on the run. Anna tells her story and it is disturbing at times to read. She takes the reader with her as the struggles to simply survive. Abandoned and forgotten for the most part, she resiliently finds herself and is able to forgive those that threw her away. Her life is an impressive story of pain and healing. The fact that she survived intact and keep her sanity is miraculous to me. Note: I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kim
    December 18, 2016
    I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction. I prefer getting lost in other worlds and living vicariously through those characters. Yesterday, with chocolates and coffee by my side and kitty curled up sleeping on my lap I sat down to read the Anna LeBaron's memoir, "The Polygamist's Daughter." I could NOT PUT IT DOWN. It's THAT good. I mean it when I say that you won't regret reading her book. Her story of being the daughter of the infamous Evril LeBaron, and the polygamist cult she grew up in, will take I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction. I prefer getting lost in other worlds and living vicariously through those characters. Yesterday, with chocolates and coffee by my side and kitty curled up sleeping on my lap I sat down to read the Anna LeBaron's memoir, "The Polygamist's Daughter." I could NOT PUT IT DOWN. It's THAT good. I mean it when I say that you won't regret reading her book. Her story of being the daughter of the infamous Evril LeBaron, and the polygamist cult she grew up in, will take you on a powerful and wild emotional ride. LeBaron tells her story of walking through what many would deem as hell to rise and overcome circumstances and situations that would cause many to break. But not LeBaron. Her story is inspiring and motivating and will make you realize that you have the power within yourself, should you choose to do the work, to find your path to a healthy, blessed and fulfilled life. You just have to be brave enough to take that first step.*I was provided with a complimentary advanced copy from Tyndale House Publisher's, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Amanda
    December 17, 2016
    I read this book in about 4 1/2 hours. I could not put it down. It definitely captures your attention and your heart! You will definitely have a roller coaster of emotions as you read these real life events. Go preorder it now! AnnaLeBaron.com I received an Advanced Reader copy from Tyndale publishing in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Julie Presley
    December 18, 2016
    An powerful telling of such an incredible life's journey. This book will WRECK you in the best way, and then will put you right back together again. If you've ever wondered what could become of the struggle you've lived through, LeBaron's story will give you incredible hope for a beautiful and redeemed future. I received an ARC from the publisher, this review is my honest opinion.
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  • Meg
    December 9, 2016
    A heartbreaking but life affirming page turner! You'll be cheering for young Anna as she grows up in the clutches of polygamy, but totally untethered from the adults in her life--until she makes a dramatic decision to escape and redefine what life, love, and faith mean on her own terms. If you loved THE SOUND OF GRAVEL, this one should be next up on your list!
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  • Carolyn
    December 16, 2016
    I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. There are no good words to describe the childhood that Anna LeBaron endured. I mean, while I was worried about getting strawberry instead of chocolate ice cream, Anna worried about her next meal, and middle of the night moves, and who her father may or may not have promised her to as a child bride. She survived escape from her father' polygamist cult, not unscarred, but also not completely broken. A true testament to her streng I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. There are no good words to describe the childhood that Anna LeBaron endured. I mean, while I was worried about getting strawberry instead of chocolate ice cream, Anna worried about her next meal, and middle of the night moves, and who her father may or may not have promised her to as a child bride. She survived escape from her father' polygamist cult, not unscarred, but also not completely broken. A true testament to her strength and perseverance. But through all of the pain and suffering, you see her find her voice and self worth not in a father who neglected her but in her Father who called her His beloved daughter. You will not be able to put this book down. Every step along the way brings a new twist and turn leaving you wondering if reality really is crazier than fiction. (By the way- the answer is yes.)
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  • Beck
    December 15, 2016
    I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review.Wow! I tend to google things as I read non-fiction and this book is especially google-able! What a difficult story to tell. Anna does a marvelous job adding her voice to the many others who have personal experience with the LeBaron cult. I'm so encouraged by the hope she finds despite a childhood full of dysfunction and neglect.
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  • Yibbie
    December 14, 2016
    Anna did an excellent job putting incredibly painful memories down for everyone to see. The terror, confusion, and abandonment that characterized her childhood are heartbreaking. It’s a very personal narrative written solely from Anna’s perspective. She walks you through her life only revealing the events going on in the group as she learned about them even if it was years after they happened. Imagine finding out that you someone you love and respect is on the run for murder. This is a fascina Anna did an excellent job putting incredibly painful memories down for everyone to see. The terror, confusion, and abandonment that characterized her childhood are heartbreaking. It’s a very personal narrative written solely from Anna’s perspective. She walks you through her life only revealing the events going on in the group as she learned about them even if it was years after they happened. Imagine finding out that you someone you love and respect is on the run for murder. This is a fascinating read. Despite some of the wickedness that must be described, it’s a fairly clean read. She handles those situations very delicately, but it is still for a mature audience. This book doesn’t explore doctrine. There is no comparison made between what her family believed and the Truth. While it was wonderful to read the conversion accounts of Anna and others in the family, and I rejoice to know they are saved, the Gospel isn’t explained. Anyone reading this would learn only that Jesus loves them and accepts them as they are. Sin is mentioned only in passing and the Bible reading only once. She mentions many other books that she found helpful in her spiritual growth, but that’s all. There is more psychology than doctrine. Thanks to NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers for the free ARC. It was a pleasure to read and provide an honest review.
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  • Suzanne Leopold
    December 30, 2016
    Anna LeBaron is the daughter of Ervil LeBaron, the deceased leader of a Mormon fundamentalist group supporting polygamy. Ervil had thirteen wives and fifty children. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the death he ordered against a rival cult leader. Those who challenged him or left the church found their lives in danger.Anna’s parents were constantly on the run to avoid arrest from the FBI. To keep her and her siblings safe they were sent to live with different relatives and c Anna LeBaron is the daughter of Ervil LeBaron, the deceased leader of a Mormon fundamentalist group supporting polygamy. Ervil had thirteen wives and fifty children. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the death he ordered against a rival cult leader. Those who challenged him or left the church found their lives in danger.Anna’s parents were constantly on the run to avoid arrest from the FBI. To keep her and her siblings safe they were sent to live with different relatives and church members. She attended school but friendships were not fostered or encouraged. Numerous times she was relocated to another state to live with a distant cousin to start her life over again. This is a heartfelt story of a survivor and a missed childhood living in the shadow of her father's crimes. It is also about finding faith after bravely dismissing family’s beliefs and making a life for herself. This memoir is fascinating and gives a glimpse of a different way of life.Book giveaway on my blog until 3/2 https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...
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  • Ruth
    December 19, 2016
    Wow, just wow. You hear about cults all the time, but it is rare to get an actual peek inside of one. In this book, Anna LeBaron gives us a detailed look at what life was like growing up in a cult. Her story of resilience and determination to rise above her upbringing is amazing and inspiring. Her writing style is engaging and hard to put down. I read the entire book in two sittings! Highly recommend, but you might need a tissue or two. I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange Wow, just wow. You hear about cults all the time, but it is rare to get an actual peek inside of one. In this book, Anna LeBaron gives us a detailed look at what life was like growing up in a cult. Her story of resilience and determination to rise above her upbringing is amazing and inspiring. Her writing style is engaging and hard to put down. I read the entire book in two sittings! Highly recommend, but you might need a tissue or two. I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Melissa
    December 16, 2016
    I knew this book would be interesting, simply because of the basic story. But I had no idea how wrapped up I would get into Anna's story.Most of what I know about polygamists comes from reality television and a few errant news broadcasts about FBI raids on polygamist compounds. This books rips open the secretive world of polygamy and shares Anna's childhood experiences growing up as the daughter of a tyrannical cult leader who had 13 wives and 50 children. Most of her childhood was spent being s I knew this book would be interesting, simply because of the basic story. But I had no idea how wrapped up I would get into Anna's story.Most of what I know about polygamists comes from reality television and a few errant news broadcasts about FBI raids on polygamist compounds. This books rips open the secretive world of polygamy and shares Anna's childhood experiences growing up as the daughter of a tyrannical cult leader who had 13 wives and 50 children. Most of her childhood was spent being shuffled from one location to another as her parents fled the authorities. She was abused, neglected and at one point in her pre-teen years even promised as a wife to a grown man. As a young teen she managed to escape but her amazing story was far from over. As soon as this book arrived in my mailbox I sat down with the intention of scanning the first chapter 4 or 5 hours later I was finishing the last page. This book is written like a gripping Hollywood film, but has the realness and rawness of listening to a friend recount their dysfunctional childhood. There were 3 particular parts of the book that impacted me the most. Stop reading if you don't want to know any spoilers.The first was when Anna escaped. I could not stop the tears from rolling down my face all through chapter 21 and 22. I felt such incredible relief for her. The second was when Mark was murdered. My heart dropped out of my chest. The third was when Estella called Anna's father out for his sins at his grave. I held my breathe for the entire passage. Have you ever read a book that was so powerful it physically impacted you? This is one of those books.Whether you are intrigued by the subject matter or are just looking for an incredibly dynamic read, this will be one of the best books you read this year.*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
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  • Amy Langmaack
    December 15, 2016
    5 hours. It took me 5 hours to read a lifetime of living. In this memoir, Anna LeBaron tells the unbelievable story of her life. LeBaron grew up in a cult, and despite so many things against her, she heard the voice of God speaking to her. She found freedom from God and throughout this narrative, she shares stories of protection, redemption, and love. She has overcome more than many are asked to do. And despite where she's been, she shares the hope of overcoming and leaning on God to help you pe 5 hours. It took me 5 hours to read a lifetime of living. In this memoir, Anna LeBaron tells the unbelievable story of her life. LeBaron grew up in a cult, and despite so many things against her, she heard the voice of God speaking to her. She found freedom from God and throughout this narrative, she shares stories of protection, redemption, and love. She has overcome more than many are asked to do. And despite where she's been, she shares the hope of overcoming and leaning on God to help you persevere. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my honest opinion.
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  • Catherine Passmore
    December 18, 2016
    After finishing this memoir at 4 a.m. because I couldn't put it down, I needed a day to recoup and gather my thoughts on what I just read.Anna's story of growing up in a polygamous cult run by her father - who masterminded multiple murders - is both fascinating and horrifying. She tells of middle of the night moves, being left with strangers while her parents' hide, living in a state of hunger and mistreatment, being used as basically slave labor to pad the pockets of church leaders, and being p After finishing this memoir at 4 a.m. because I couldn't put it down, I needed a day to recoup and gather my thoughts on what I just read.Anna's story of growing up in a polygamous cult run by her father - who masterminded multiple murders - is both fascinating and horrifying. She tells of middle of the night moves, being left with strangers while her parents' hide, living in a state of hunger and mistreatment, being used as basically slave labor to pad the pockets of church leaders, and being promised in marriage as a child (9 years old) to a follower of her father's. If her story was just that, it would be a worthwhile read to see how these cults function and dehumanize women and children while convincing them they are doing God's work/will. But, Anna's story is more.She gathers the courage at age 13 to escape. Then she does the very hard work to sort through all of the things that happened to her and those she loves so she can break the generational ways of her birth family and create a new way for herself and a new/real vision of who she is in the world. Anna's story is not a "I'm a victim" story at all. She is honest about the hard and scary parts of her life. She also extends grace. She states that she is giving her point of view of the people and events in the timeframe of the story. She doesn't sensationalize anyone. Even her father, of whom much has been written, is just her dad - mostly absent, but still someone she wants to know and to be seen by and please when she is around him.There are pivot points throughout the story that will leave the reader breathless. I cried both during stories of her childhood and teen years, and her redemption as a woman. This is a book I will read again and definitely one that I will gift to friends and recommend to all. I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Heidi
    December 22, 2016
    I have long been fascinated by the inner workings of cults, specifically polygamist cults. Why do people stay? How is power exerted? What happens when the leader dies? How do people escape? What makes a woman "ok" with being a "sister-wife"? How are children raised? How is one man capable of financially supporting multiple families? What is life like inside? How does one who is able to leave go about adjusting to the "real world"?As the child of one of modern polygamy's most infamous characters, I have long been fascinated by the inner workings of cults, specifically polygamist cults. Why do people stay? How is power exerted? What happens when the leader dies? How do people escape? What makes a woman "ok" with being a "sister-wife"? How are children raised? How is one man capable of financially supporting multiple families? What is life like inside? How does one who is able to leave go about adjusting to the "real world"?As the child of one of modern polygamy's most infamous characters, Ervil LeBaron, his daughter Anna begins her memoir, "At age 9, I had 49 siblings." From the first page of the prologue through the end of the book Ms. LeBaron takes the reader on a heart wrenching journey through 2 different countries, multiple states, and countless sudden moves as her family evaded authorities. This book must be read near a box of tissues as your heart shatters for the young girl Ms. LeBaron was. As fascinated I was by the book, and as much as I *wanted* to read it in one sitting I had to take "mental health breaks" and remember that the young child whose story I was reading is the adult writing the book so she survived. At times I wish I had written down names and relationships as it was sometimes hard to keep track of who was a sibling, who was married to whom, and which person a child belonged to, but this is a natural part of the unnatural world of polygamy.**I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Tyndale. All opinions are my own.
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  • Elizabeth
    December 18, 2016
    I feel like my heart was broken and stitched back together during the reading of this book.Polygamy has been much in the news in the past few years, with the popularity of the TV show Sisterwives, and the widely-anticipated raid and subsequent imprisonment of cult leader Warren Jeffs. Memoirs of life inside these religious groups have been popular over the past years, and I've read a bunch of them. But I don't think I've read one that felt so deeply personal, and yet so universally hopeful.LeBar I feel like my heart was broken and stitched back together during the reading of this book.Polygamy has been much in the news in the past few years, with the popularity of the TV show Sisterwives, and the widely-anticipated raid and subsequent imprisonment of cult leader Warren Jeffs. Memoirs of life inside these religious groups have been popular over the past years, and I've read a bunch of them. But I don't think I've read one that felt so deeply personal, and yet so universally hopeful.LeBaron's story includes serious deprivations, abuse, actual murders - this is like a CSI case on steroids, and yet it's completely true. And yet the author's ultimate message is freedom - it's not a story of how bad her life was, or how sorry we should all feel for her. It's a story of redemption - of overcoming - of walking a hard road, and coming out the other side truly free.This is a hard, brutal, beautiful story. Don't miss it. Highest of recommendations.(I received an advance copy from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest opinion - but then I pre-ordered my own copy. It's that good.)
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  • Tracy McGee
    December 22, 2016
    I wanted to read this book mostly out of sheer curiosity. The story intrigued me and I just wanted to know what happened. As I heard Anna LeBaron's story, I became overwhelmed with the emotion of all that had happened to her and inspired by her strength through it all. I am in awe of God's unfailing love and this story has helped me to realize some healing I have left to do in my own life. This book is more than just a story. It is a tool that I believe is going to be used to change lives. I rec I wanted to read this book mostly out of sheer curiosity. The story intrigued me and I just wanted to know what happened. As I heard Anna LeBaron's story, I became overwhelmed with the emotion of all that had happened to her and inspired by her strength through it all. I am in awe of God's unfailing love and this story has helped me to realize some healing I have left to do in my own life. This book is more than just a story. It is a tool that I believe is going to be used to change lives. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my honest opinion.
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  • Della Falbo
    December 21, 2016
    What a great story! A heartbreaking look inside the world of a cult, from the perspective of a child of the leader. I found the first couple of chapters a little hard to follow, as they felt disconnected, but once I got through those, I was riveted, and did not stop until I finished. Anna LeBaron's story is heart wrenching as well as heart warming. A "rags to riches" if you will. I recommend it highly.Disclosure: I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Stacie
    December 18, 2016
    Plot Summary: Anna LeBaron grew up in a Polygamist's family, one of the daughters of the cult Leader Ervil LeBaron. In this memoir, she relays the her story of what it was like to live as a child of a sister-in-lawBanter Points: Anna's telling of her story is beautiful and poignant. The struggle of never enough, stuffed down feelings, and being shuttled from family to family is heart-wrenching. Reading about the separation she faced with her mother made me want hug my kids extra that night.The a Plot Summary: Anna LeBaron grew up in a Polygamist's family, one of the daughters of the cult Leader Ervil LeBaron. In this memoir, she relays the her story of what it was like to live as a child of a sister-in-lawBanter Points: Anna's telling of her story is beautiful and poignant. The struggle of never enough, stuffed down feelings, and being shuttled from family to family is heart-wrenching. Reading about the separation she faced with her mother made me want hug my kids extra that night.The amazing to me part is how the families slide under the radar. At one point the FBI has raided the house, and the kids have been trained to say nothing more than "I don't know" to any question asked. Even innocent ones like "Are you hungry?" It's a huge red flag and it amazes me how the adults of this world kept the kids in this situation by running from place to place.I think what impressed me the most was the brilliant cover for this book. A picture of LeBaron as a child is on the cover with censor bars over her eyes and mouth. LeBaron breaks the "don't talk, don't tell" rule common for abusive families by speaking out as an adult.Bummer Points: I was not familiar with this story prior to reading LeBaron's book. The various family names and individuals got blurry to me at times. A family tree would have been nice.Recommendation: Buy a copy and read it. You'll appreciate the type of change one person can make by speaking out.Copy received from the Publisher as an ARC for a impartial review.
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  • Kelli Moore
    December 18, 2016
    Anna LeBaron tells a horrifying story of a life that most of us can't fathom. Incredibly she does so with grace and compassion. It is impossible to put down once you become invested in the life of this child of whom she tells. The author manages to describe with fascinating detail what life was like for the daughter of a cult leader. She also draws the reader in with her kind words and positive attitude. This is a must read. Absolutely a must read. I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Anna LeBaron tells a horrifying story of a life that most of us can't fathom. Incredibly she does so with grace and compassion. It is impossible to put down once you become invested in the life of this child of whom she tells. The author manages to describe with fascinating detail what life was like for the daughter of a cult leader. She also draws the reader in with her kind words and positive attitude. This is a must read. Absolutely a must read. I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kelly Shank
    December 26, 2016
    This book reads like the best suspense novel with twists in every chapter. LeBaron masterfully balances authentically telling her harrowing story of growing up in the polygamous cult led by the murderous Ervil LeBaron with respectfully representing her family. The details of her daily life allow the reader to easily imagine themselves living in her place. As I read the book there were times I forgot I was reading a true story because the details are so unimaginable. Her stories give a rare glimp This book reads like the best suspense novel with twists in every chapter. LeBaron masterfully balances authentically telling her harrowing story of growing up in the polygamous cult led by the murderous Ervil LeBaron with respectfully representing her family. The details of her daily life allow the reader to easily imagine themselves living in her place. As I read the book there were times I forgot I was reading a true story because the details are so unimaginable. Her stories give a rare glimpse into the beliefs and practices of this secluded religious cult and the dangers that surround their lives. I was on edge at all times, not knowing what might happen next to her and her siblings. There were many times when I just wanted to shake (or scream at) the adults around her and save her. Her story is truly one of overcoming personal tragedy and the most unbelievable family redemption. Woven throughout the book are glimpses of hope in the form of people who offered her love in both big and little ways, from the teacher who took an interest in her or the sister who helped her escape. Even with all the trauma she endured because of her family, the final chapters are the picture of grace through the healing of her relationships with various family members. Her story is both unbelievable and incredibly encouraging. This book is powerful but definitely takes time to fully process because its details illuminate the evil that still exists in this country in the name of religion. I received an Advanced Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Angel Parrish
    December 17, 2016
    This is easily one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Ever. It is extraordinary. The story itself is fascinating. But the way it is written, the reader is immersed in Anna's life--feeling her emotions, seeing through her eyes. And that's what takes this from being a good book to a GREAT book!I often find memoirs to stall on occasion or to be redundant. That doesn't happen here. The story moves along, pulling you with it. I honestly could not put this book down!!! I gasped, I cried, I trembled i This is easily one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Ever. It is extraordinary. The story itself is fascinating. But the way it is written, the reader is immersed in Anna's life--feeling her emotions, seeing through her eyes. And that's what takes this from being a good book to a GREAT book!I often find memoirs to stall on occasion or to be redundant. That doesn't happen here. The story moves along, pulling you with it. I honestly could not put this book down!!! I gasped, I cried, I trembled in suspense...and I stayed up waaaay too late finishing it. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I will just say this: I am amazed that someone who has endured these events can actually survive it and turn out "normal." Truly an extraordinary book. Read it. You won't be sorry.I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Brianna
    December 15, 2016
    Powerful. Haunting. Hooking from the first sentence. Anna tells the truth about her life as a daughter of an evil cult leader. From her first sentences you are hooked by the rawness and haunting tale she artfully weaves. A story with several tragic twists, it is unbelievable at times that this is a nonfiction book. What begins as haunting and tragic ends hopeful and inspiring! I am so excited to see what freedom Anna's story brings to other women who have been censored for their lives. Well done Powerful. Haunting. Hooking from the first sentence. Anna tells the truth about her life as a daughter of an evil cult leader. From her first sentences you are hooked by the rawness and haunting tale she artfully weaves. A story with several tragic twists, it is unbelievable at times that this is a nonfiction book. What begins as haunting and tragic ends hopeful and inspiring! I am so excited to see what freedom Anna's story brings to other women who have been censored for their lives. Well done, Anna. Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Karie
    December 16, 2016
    I loved this book! It took me about 5 hours to read as It was such a fascinating story that kept me captive. Anna does an excellent job of telling her story! She did an incredible job of writing in detail about the heartache, abandonment, survival, brain washing and all the trauma that happens in a cult. I was pulled in experiencing and cheering for her survival and hope with each new page of her life's journey. Then to top it off she finishes it up with healing and inspiration. I received an Ad I loved this book! It took me about 5 hours to read as It was such a fascinating story that kept me captive. Anna does an excellent job of telling her story! She did an incredible job of writing in detail about the heartache, abandonment, survival, brain washing and all the trauma that happens in a cult. I was pulled in experiencing and cheering for her survival and hope with each new page of her life's journey. Then to top it off she finishes it up with healing and inspiration. I received an Advance Reader Copy from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for my honest review
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