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Shattered Dreams: My Life As a Polygamist's Wife

Shattered Dreams: My Life As a Polygamist's Wife

Escrito por Irene Spencer

Narrado por Laural Merlington


Shattered Dreams: My Life As a Polygamist's Wife

Escrito por Irene Spencer

Narrado por Laural Merlington

avaliações:
4.5/5 (43 avaliações)
Comprimento:
14 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Dec 17, 2007
ISBN:
9781400175949
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in marrying her brother-in-law Verlan LeBaron, becoming his second wife. When the government raided the fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's brothers' Mexican ranch. They lived in squalor and desolate conditions in the Mexican desert with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. Listeners will be appalled and astonished but, most amazingly, greatly inspired. Irene's dramatic story reveals how far religion can be stretched and abused and how one woman and her children found their way out, into truth and redemption.
Editora:
Lançado em:
Dec 17, 2007
ISBN:
9781400175949
Formato:
Audiolivro


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43 avaliações / 24 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (4/5)
    interesting a peek inside what it is really like to be one of many wives and the pressures as well as the joys
  • (4/5)
    I picked up this book while wandering around Powell's last week. (For those who don't know, Powell's is the biggest new/used bookstore this side of the Mississippi and is AWESOME!). I've long been fascinated with the topic of Fundamentalist Mormonism and was constantly intrigued with polygamy. This book was written by Irene Spencer who was the second of ten wives of Verlan LeBaron. His first wife was her half sister. Overall, Verlan fathered 58 children.This book chronicled Spencer's life from a childhood whose mother escaped her polygamist husband to Irene's decision to enter polygamy against the wishes of the majority of her family. She marries Verlan at the age sixteen and shortly after the marriage, goes to Mexico to live with his family in their compound. Throughout the years, she lives in Mexico, Nicaragua, Baja, and San Diego. She gives birth to thirteen children, twelve who survive and adopts one more.It's obvious that Irene tries to be a good polygamist wife but just cannot handle it. She is constantly jealous of her husband's other wives and it feels that he is always putting her towards the end of of his list of priorities.At times the book felt a little long but at the same time, I felt that there was so much more that Spencer could have shared, specifically about the LeBaron clan, who seem to be a large FLDS powerhouse. She does have another book coming out that will explore that topic more.
  • (4/5)
    Slow start to a riveting memoir! The author outlines her life from girlhood to adulthood. It is interesting that, even though she is in a plural marriage, that she tolerates the competition and jealousy that this could bring. Nice, too, that she shares her thoughts and feelings at the end of the book on becoming a Christian. She has certainly had a full life! This was an easy read after the first 75 pages or so.
  • (4/5)
    Reading this haunting memoir provided helpful insights into Mormon beliefs. Irene accurately described the reluctance and inablitilty to question fundmentalist beliefs. To an outsider this world seems illogical yet when this is all you have known it makes perfect sense. The ending seemed overly rushed. Irene's struggle carried the story.
  • (5/5)
    Very enlightening. Shows how brainwashed the fundamentalists really are. Very sad as well.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this book. It was horrifying to read about what Irene went through while living in polygamy. Even with the polygamy complex in Texas all over the news these days you don't realize just how bad some people in polygamy's living conditions are. The poverty that they face is just crazy and the way the men just force the women to keep having kids even when doctors tell them it could kill there wives is just devestating. I hope that many people get ahold of this book and read it, because it just amazed me what happened to this women before she managed to escape polygamy.
  • (3/5)
    Shattered Dreams is a fascinating look at a way of life totally foreign to most people. Irene Spencer grew up in the branch of the Mormon faith that still believed in polygamy. As the second of what was ultimately her husband's ten wives, she became the mother of thirteen of his 58 children. The statistics are important as they show the unimaginable situation in which Irene Spencer spent much of her life.This book is a brutally honest memoir of a woman' life. It follows her from place to place, never enough money, rarely in a finished house, living in abject poverty. She loves her husband but is able to spend very little time with him. He is spread too thin trying to meet the needs of both his large family and his church. She yearns for romance and affection, neither of which have a place in the religion she embraces. Her husband rarely sees his children- hard to spend quality time with 58 children. She helps her "sister wives" with their children in an extended system of family and obligations.Shattered Dreams is a glimpse into the incredible life of one woman. She is able to take the reader through the many journeys, locations and situations in which she found herself. Her ability to look back on the emotions she suffered and share them is a gift she shares thoughtfully and clearly. It is an emotional tale but told without self pity, without holding back on any part of it.It has basic background on the church, its history and turbulence as it affects her life. A follow up to this memoir would be most welcomed to expand on the Mormon Church and the events that are mentioned in this book. Irene Spencer's ability to handle concrete details along with a descriptive voice would make her an ideal author to examine and share more information on this subject.
  • (5/5)
    Irene Spencer married Verlyn LeBaron when she was 16. She was his second wife in a polygamous relationship. Verlyn would go on to marry a total of ten wives and had 58 children. Irene was the mother of fourteen children. She was forced to move around for the good of the colony. Verlyn never seemed to be around when she had her children or was hospitalized. The family lived most of their marriage in Mexico and Verlyn was often in the United States trying to earn enough money to support his large family. They lived in poverty, without electricity or an indoor toilet. Finally, after 25 years of marriage Irene left him and then was told by two physics she needed to return and it would be made clear to her after one year why she needed to return. She was ready to tell Verlyn she was leaving him, when a year to the day of her return to Mexico, Verlyn was killed in an auto accident. She has since become a born again Christian and has been Hector's only wife for nineteen years.
  • (5/5)
    I cannot think of another more surprising book. I have read many books about different religious cultures and thought I was fairly educated about the experiences of plural wives. However, the existence descirbed by Irene Spencer were often shocking and sad. At the age of sixteen, Irene was married to a young man of the LeBarron "clan". She ultimately shared her husband with eight other women with a total of 58 children. For most of her married life, Irene lived in abject poverty. While she railed against her life in Mexico, Central America, and the western United States, she was a good mother and friend. Through her detailed story, the reader learns a great deal about the Mormon fundamentalist faith as it still exists today.
  • (5/5)
    Fabulous book! I’m looking forward to reading the next book by this author.
  • (5/5)
    A tremendous story of courage and faith! Irene thank you for your constant wit and brilliant retelling of your journey, may God continue to richly bless you.
  • (4/5)
    This book was interesting, but incredibly frustrating! I guess I can't completely understand the total power of cult brainwashing. She was on the right track so many times, but she kept falling back in because of the cult mindset. It drove me crazy!
  • (5/5)
    As an Athiest, it blows my mind how people can get sucked into things like polygamy, but as a former Christian, I can understand a little. Despite her religious spiel towards the end, Irene's story needs to be heard. There are people still trapped in that lifestyle who need to hear it. Stories like Irene's are important. Whether you believe in god or not, this book is worth the read.
  • (1/5)
    This book is missing pieces! It’s a bad upload and doesn’t work. It jumped from her being 8, then 13, now she’s getting married. All in a 15 minute span because it’s missing giant swaths of the text.
  • (3/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    This is now the third book I've read detailing the lives of women who were either born into or married into the notorious LeBaron polygamous Mormon cult, and I have to say it doesn't get easier the more I know about the various branches of this diseased tree. Irene's story is the first to have a woman actually choose to enter the fold, and thereby provides and interesting and somewhat divergent perspective. It continues to break my heart what people will do in the name of their faith. Interesting read, although the main character's perspective is, at times, tough to sympathize with.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)
    I've read several books on the practice of polygamy by Fundamentalist Mormons, but none were as good as this book. It is a very detailed account of the philosophy and lifestyle of these people, the original Mormons. The subjugation of women, not as low as Muslim women, but still below any other group of women in the West, is evident. Not just from their almost non-position in the religion - they are just vessels to produce bodies for waiting souls - but also because they are essentially slave labour. The husbands in these polygamous families detailed in the book are away working arriving home with meagre amounts of money (the bulk of it was donated to missionary and other church work), and expecting the up to 9 wives and 58 children to support themselves and produce spare agricultural produce to sell.

    Wives have to give their consent to a husband taking more wives, but if they aren't informed, well.... Husbands play favourites, living with the wife they are in love with, deny sex except for procreation (unless, it is hinted, you are a favourite), and have a fine old time of life with the promised reward of becoming gods on their own planets after death.

    Only men can be so elevated and this godhead status is almost guaranteed if he marries a 'quorum' of seven wives and has fifty children (who could support 58 people? This is where the slave labour comes in, endless work for no personal reward). A woman's reward is that is she is very, very good, sweet and obedient then her husband will pull her through 'the veil' of death and ennoble her to be a goddess on his very own planet. If she is a bad woman, not sweet, obedient or uses birth control or tries to frustrate her husband in his duty of marrying many women, then she will burn in hell for all eternity. Nice.

    I understand that the rule of polygamy was abandoned when a condition for statehood of Utah was that polygamy be banned although the US courts had long ruled it to be illegal.


    I do have difficulty with a religion whose founder was a convicted conman and whose revelations (and those of his high-status co-religionists) benefit men, make use of women and whose beliefs are very hard to sustain 'gods on other planets' in today's world. When those religions then change their own absolutely sacred laws,perhaps the most essential one, because it is expedient to do so, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could actually believe in it and adhere to its principles. I also have a hard time in wondering how present LDS Mormons can accept the watering-down of the religion knowing it was done to appease the government, and side-lining of those who still follow it. This book does nothing to make me more positive and understanding. But then faith never required evidence, and facts that don't fit can always be explained away in any religion or set of beliefs.

    That said, I respect people because of their actions and sometimes because of what they say, not because of what they believe - I'm not the thought-police. And I'm aware that my own existentialist philosophy isn't held in any high esteem by those who have other beliefs.

    The book is a relevation of what it actually meant to be a polygamist wife. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Finished reading last night.
    I thought it was a good book but compared to for instance Escape by Caroline Jessop this woman had a great life! At least her husband tried and my Gosh she was a complainer especially compared to the other wives.
    Complaining complaining but every time caving in.

    Because it interests me the Mormons religion and especially those of the fundamentalists I've read a lot of books. These people the only thing they do is make kids and a lot of them live from the governments and the taxpayers while they despise these taxpayers cause they are lesser people.
    They raise there children and brain wash them into thinking they will go to hell if they do not live according to there religion.

    The problem with Mormons is that every man can say what he wants and pretends God told him that, and as with islam this is a great religion for men but not for women.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    7/8ths of the book was great. Irene is a good story teller and the stories are interesting. A couple of quibbles:1. After all the great stories, her "leaving" story was so quick I thought I'd missed a couple of chapters. She just spent all this time on the wife stories and yet the stories of how she made it after leaving are minimal.2. Since reading the book I've seen pics from her life and the clothes don't look nearly as bare-bones and hand-made as she describes, nor does the place look at squalid as described. Perhaps the pics are from a "richer" time in their lives so this isn't such a big deal, but I find it interesting that the other people who moved to Colonia Lebaron don't describe the living conditions as bad. What gives?3. Marrying Hector Spencer - in the book she makes it sound like this guy is an outsider, a fresh face... but I've since learned that this guy was part of the mexican group. What other "truths" are stretched.and finally...4. Sorry, but the dream revelations are enhanced more than reality. Eg: she talks about the dream that "someone she knew was going to die in a car crash"... but she neglected to mention that there was a "hit" out for her husband nor did she mention that the car cash was deemed suspicious. She made it sound like out of the blue she'd had this incredible premonition... that's a big big big stretch.However, overall this was a great book and well-written... highly recommend.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (4/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Irene Spencer grew up in an impoverished polygamous family. Her father was abusive; her mother was distant and inaccessible. Eventually, her parents divorced. Her mother remarried Horace who also abused the children. Although Irene loves Glen, she feels compelled to marry Vernon, a true polygamist. Her first home consists of no inside water. She makes her own toilet paper and feminine hygiene pads. Irene's time with her husband is limited and shared with nine other wives and over fifty children. She begins to question this religion. Irene Spencer writes a memoir of courage---and escape.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (4/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    This was a really interesting read. Irene was a strong believer in polygamy, and endured it for years despite it causing her no end of psychological problems. She tells her story in this book, and explains many of the beliefs of this particular FLDS group. Her witty remarks to her husband add much needed humor to her story.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Synopsis: Irene lived most of her life as a fundamentalist Mormon in a sect that promotes polygamy, married to a man who had six other wives and not enough money. Having to look after her 9 children, plus all the wives other 40 children on some occasions in whatever cheap accommodation they could build - often without electricity - made her worn down and depressed, and she started to think if this life was really worth the "celestial glory" it was supposed to bring after all.My Opinion: Such an amazing and inspiring book. It was really interesting to read about such a cult and what keeps them going. I hope others who read this are encouraged to avoid living this lifestyle.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    I was captured by this book and the trials this woman went thru. The sad thing in all of this is, when your raised a certain way its all you know. It's what you follow, what you do. Although most books of this subject are filled with physical abuse, this one was not, however, it was filled with all kinds of other neglect and horrible living conditions. I give this author a standing ovation for finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and having the strength to find her own life. The only thing that kept this from a 5 star was it was rather slow and dull in the beginning. 

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (3/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    An illuminating look at the position of "plural wives" -- women in religiously-based polygamous relationships. Irene Spencer's story focuses on the LeBaron polygamous group, a splinter fundamentalist Mormon sect based out of Mexico. Note, this is the sect that was involved in a series of murders in the 1970s and 1980s under the direction of Ervil LeBaron (the narrator's brother-in-law); while it splintered from and has ties with the "FLDS" based primarily out of Colorado City, Arizona, and run by Warren Jeffs, it is a separate sect. This memoir does not detail the LeBaron murders, however; for that, see The 4 O'Clock Murders, or His Favorite Wife by Susan Ray Phillips. This book is also not an abuse survivor memoir. Unlike the polygamy memoirs coming out of members of the FLDS church ("Stolen Innocence" by Elissa Wall; "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop; "Lost Boy" by Brent Jeffs; "Church of Lies" by Flora Jessop), Spencer does not detail (nor apparently experienced) egregious child abuse and domestic violence. Instead, Spencer offers a perfect case study of a woman led by her own religious faith into an unhappy plural marriage. There was family pressure both for and against her plural marriage, but ultimately she describes that she wanted to be "exalted", to rule another world with her husband (and his other wives) rather than suffer any of the other fates described by her theology. Without a backstory fraught by abuse, Spencer's memoir offers the opportunity to examine a more "normal" look at a polygamous household. Thus, Spencer's memoir focuses on the nitty-gritty details of what it is like to live in a a plural marriage. Economic sustainability is impossible--as the number of wives and children multiplies faster than any salary can rise, the standard of living must inevitably fall. Co-parenting is done with the sister-wives, and only to the extent that family comity permit; the patriarch cannot possibly be an effective parent to his children, and at best can be only a financial provider, leavening beneficient neglect with occasional positive presence. Relationships among the sister-wives can be strong, but are also routinely strained by rivalries and competitions created by scarcity of economic, domestic, and affectional resources. The basic needs of an adult for emotional and sexual intimacy simply cannot be met in a rotating schedule, no matter how fairly devised. Favoritism is inevitable, no matter how everyone tries to play fair. I was also struck by Spencer's former and current religious faith, and I think her memoir may offer some insight for the non-believer. Spencer did not discard her earlier religious beliefs because they ceased to make sense -- a classic atheist narrative. Instead, she discarded them because they made her unhappy. She places utter credence in a variety of spiritual revelations and beliefs -- from fortune-telling, which she believed even though it isn't "godly" communications; to precognitive visions of various sorts, which pop up throughout the memoir both from Spencer and occasionally others; and ultimately, of course, Spencer became a born-again Christian, abandoning Mormonism altogether. At core, this exhibits a sort of pragmatic wish-fulfillment that mystifies me, but is not, I think, uncommon among the faithful. So, I would mark this book as of interest to freethinkers who are interested in how the other half thinks.Note: Regarding the literary values of Shattered Dreams: Spencer's memoir is competently written, her story is clearly told, and her voice -- naive, yearning, disillusioned, frank -- emerges clearly, which is what I look for from memoirists. I prefer not to comment further on the literary values of memoirs unless they stand out in some way; the point of a memoir, to me, is a window on that person's life or experience, not the elegance of the prose.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (4/5)
    Irene grew up in a polygamous home and was raised in the FLDS church (Fundamentalist Mormons). Her mother got out of her plural marriage and Irene came close to not entering into one, but her fears of going to hell if she didn't convinced her... along with other family and her future husband, Verlan. She became his second wife; her half-sister, Charlotte was his first. Irene hated it! And she felt worse and worse about it with every new wife brought into the family. This is the story of her life with Verlan and all the other wives and her 13 children that came. Wow, Irene had a temper! She was feisty, but the entire situation just battered her mental state down. Verlan had no time for her with all the other wives and working in the U.S. (they mostly lived in Mexico and they were also in Nicaragua for a while). They were extremely poor, which apparently happens with a lot of plural wives – with all the extra wives and children to feed. Good read, though.