Monday, May 8, 2017

The Polygamist Daughter by Anna LeBaron

My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . .

This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil’s criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear—and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist’s daughter?

Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.
Available through Tyndale and Amazon
Meet the Author:
One of more than fifty children of infamous, polygamist cult leader, Ervil LeBaron, Anna LeBaron endured abandonment, horrific living conditions, child labor, and sexual grooming. At age thirteen, she escaped the violent cult, gave her life to Christ, and sought healing. A gifted communicator and personal growth activist, she's passionate about helping others walk in freedom. Anna lives in the DFW Metroplex and loves being Mom to five grown children.

My Take:
This was an intriguing story of a girl who grew up in a cult I had never really heard much about. Likely, I didn't hear about this because most of the crimes this man, Ervil LeBaron, committed were during my early childhood years. Nonetheless, it was interesting to read his daughter's story. 

She writes about her childhood, growing up shuffled between Texas, Mexico and a few other places along with her sisters, brothers, step-siblings, and half- siblings. Her father had multiple wives and close to fifty children. Her father, Ervil LeBaron, started his own branch off the Mormon church. They practiced polygamy, pre-arranged marriages of under age children, and child labor. They justified lying, stealing, and killing as things they did to further the cause of the kingdom of God.  They were not allowed to question authority without severe consequences. Most of the sister-wives and families lived in a state of poverty although they were hard working people, because all the money they earned went to the cause, or to pay lawyers and court costs to get Ervil out of jail. They were "suffering" for the "kingdom of God". They practically lived on the run, never staying in one place for long, shuffled around at night from city to city to escape the authorities. The children were taught to stay quiet if law enforcement came, always answer questions with "I don't know" and were not allowed to make friends on the occasions when they did get to go to school.

It was an interesting read, told from Anna's perspective of what she remembers happening to her as a young child. Some things were extremely difficult to swallow. I found it to be very emotionally disturbing, and there were many times I would have liked to ring some necks myself. I didn't learn a whole lot about the cult itself reading through this book, it was more a personal story of Anna's life and how she came to know Christ and broke free from the cult and the lifestyle it contained. But it peaked my curiosity and I looked up further detail on the internet.

It is a story of heartache, but also of hope; a reminder that God is still on the throne and through Him we can break free and live a life that is fulfilling, peaceful, and not filled with fear and anxiety. This book is very detailed and it took me a while to get through it. There were times, I honestly just needed to take a break because it would make me so mad! It is really hard to see people so blinded to the truth, so gullible, and so willing to give up everything to follow a corrupt leader in hopes of gaining heaven. 

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers to read. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to review this book positively. 

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