by Andrea Moore-Emmett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
God's Brothel / 978-1-930074-13-2
For anyone seeking a swift introduction into the heartbreaking world of polygamous cults, "God's Brothel" is the perfect choice. Well-written, with a necessary light touch given the intensity of the subject matter, this collection of mini-biographies follows the trials and sorrows of 18 women who have lived and escaped polygamy.
Unlike the usual polygamy biographies, these individual stories are deliberately kept short and condensed in order to provide the broadest introduction to the reader in the shortest amount of time. This makes for a very efficient means to introduce new readers to this terrifying world of oppression, and means more time is spent on relevant experiences and beliefs, and less time is spent on the daily life details - so depending on what you want from a polygamy biography book, judge accordingly.
What is really fascinating about this introduction, is that several of the stories told here come from women who weren't necessarily born or raised to polygamy - several were raised as mainstream Mormon believers, who came to feel that if they were destined to live polygamy anyway, they might as well start early in this life. Also fascinating is that several of the polygamous cults discussed here are not the 'usual' FLDS variety - some of them aren't even Mormon flavored, which was new to me.
Although this doesn't have the detail and polish of biographies like "Escape", this is definitely a good introduction to the subject matter and will break your heart eighteen times over.
~ Ana Mardoll
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