28 is Enough

It’s tough to look away from a story that begins, “I was one of twenty-eight children born to my dad and his three wives.” So commences Flora Jessop’s Church of Lies, in which the former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints details the horrors of indoctrination and child abuse from which she attempted to flee throughout her childhood.

Jessop writes with candor about life inside a polygamy cult, her attempts to live in harmony with her “sister-wives,” and her father’s sexual abuse, which began when Jessop was 8. Despite the gruesome hardships she details, Jessop manages some sly humor. “I've been called apostate, vigilante, and crazy bitch, and maybe I am,” she offers. “But some people call me a hero, and I'd like to think they're right, too.”

Jessop, who lives in Phoenix with her husband and children, reads from and discusses her memoir at Changing Hands Bookstore.

Mon., March 2, 7 p.m., 2009
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela