(Review) The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron with Leslie Wilson
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Tyndale House Publishers
First Chapter Excerpt
Anna LeBaron website
Anna LeBaron Twitter and on Facebook
About 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.
“At age nine, I had forty-nine siblings.”
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.
Anna Keturah LeBaron. Anna is pronounced Ah-nah.
The Polygamist's Daughter is an amazing but troubling story. From the first page I was drawn in. One reason it is amazing is I've not read a book with this subject before. Secondly, places Anna lived is near where I grew up, the northwest side of Houston. It is troubling, because I felt concern for Anna's outcome. Her life is chaotic, messy, unpredictable, and frustrating.
The book is not a complete study of her life, some parts are left out. For example, the book does not go into detail about her marriage and break-up. She surmises this part. A brief explanation is given in the back of the book in an interview.
The phases of Anna's life that is given the greatest focus is childhood through to the 4 O'Clock Murders. These murders happened in 1988.
The 4 O'clock Murders, the events, and its affects on Anna and her family are recreated.
Anna's father was Ervil LeBaron. He led "The Church of the Lamb of God, a radical offshoot of the Mormon Church." Anna's relationship with her father was minimal. The impact in her life was not from his physical presence, but from his rules, regulations, and heavy hand in the cult. She was a victim of his actions. Anna and the other members were treated as pawns to be moved and dealt with at random, without humanity and feeling. This was fascinating to me. Human nature is fascinating to me, and LeBaron (the father) was an enigma.
The Polygamist's Daughter does not share a list of the beliefs and regulations of the cult. Its affects on Anna's life is the emphasis.
Anna explains, while writing this book, she interviewed other members when her memory was sketchy. I appreciated her candor.
After the book was written, Anna shared the content with her mother. Her mother's response is priceless.
The Polygamist's Daughter is a strong chronicle of a child's life in a cult.