Item description for Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife by Irene Spencer...
Overview A best-selling memoir of the author's experiences as one of ten wives to a Mormon who was formerly her brother-in-law recounts her nearly three-decade ordeal throughout which she believed she was obeying the will of God. Reprint.
Publishers Description Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in becoming the second wife to her brother-in-law Verlan LeBaron. When the government raided their community-the Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona-seeking to enforce the penalties for practicing polygamy, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's family ranch in Mexico. Here they lived in squalor and desolate conditions with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. This appalling and astonishing tale has captured the attention of readers around the world. Irene's inspirational 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.
Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at promiseangels.com!
Studio: Center Street
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.9" Width: 5.2" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.79 lbs.
Release Date Sep 2, 2008
Publisher Center Street
ISBN 1599951584 ISBN13 9781599951584
Availability 0 units.
More About Irene Spencer
Irene Spencer currently lives in Anchorage Alaska, with her husband Hector Spencer. During the 28 years of her first marriage to a polygamous husband, Irene gave birth to 13 children (all single births). She also adopted a newborn daughter, who became her ninth child. Irene has 121 grandchildren. She has 49 great-grandchildren. Among her many talents, she is an accomplished seamstress who sews for family and friends, she's a great cook and bakes pastries and homemade bread, she speaks Spanish and English fluently and has traveled to 23 foreign countries and 23 states.
Reviews - What do customers think about Shattered Dreams?
Unusual, honest Jun 6, 2008
This is the 3rd book on polygamy I have purchased and read since the recent news about pologamy. This book in my opinion is equal to "My Favorite Wife" and much better reading than "Escape".
The author of this book, Irene Spencer is an unusual woman and tells her story with honesty, not attempting to blame everyone else for her lot in life. Very interesting reading, especially in the light of the recent news.
The Story She Needs to Tell Jun 3, 2008
The sad, sad life of a woman trapped in a polygamous marriage. Trapped because she is afraid to experience change even if it can only be for the better and trapped because if it were a monogamous marriage she would be able to love the weak man she married.
Reading the book, you know her life could only improve if Irene were to leave her life of poverty, of constant hunger and lack of clothing all in a small shack of a home shared with all the other wives.
Yet it is amazing how this religion has hold of Irene to such an extent that it takes years and years of hunger, filth, and jealousy to finally break free.
It is a good lesson about women and how women can put up with so much misery out of fear of the unknown. It is why the seclusion and brainwashing are so effective. It is a sad story of a woman who could have been so much and instead was crushed by the cult.
While reading the book I was struck by how much Irene seemed to want the reader to believe she was feisty and strong yet in the telling of the story lies the truth; Irene was scared, she wanted desperately to be loved, and the thought of leaving all that nothing for something was ominous to her.
The writing is not exceptional, in fact it is sometimes poor, but that is not the most important thing about this book and so it is easy to forgive for the story she needs to tell.
What is wrong with these people? Jun 3, 2008
I don't mean to be that harsh. I've made many mistakes in life and will continue to do so. OK. The book is certainly worth reading as one more testament to what life is like as a polygamist--for wives, kids, and some husbands. A person should read some of these, there have been several published in the last couple of years or so. Events in Texas with the FLDS make them even more timely.
Irene is writing about her life. I did find that the stories became basically minor variations on a theme of astounding fecundity and potency, extreme poverty, unhappiness/unfulfillment, and the goofiness of her husband with his detachment from any reality or awareness of what he was doing and what the effects were on the enormous number of people he had under his control. I, too, grew weary of one story after another; I thought the point had already been made. Again, it is HER story, though, and she can tell it as she sees fit. It's OK.
I think there is a great lesson here for many people. As I read this book (and the others by ex-polygamists) it made me consider in some detail why I believe the things I believe. Although I cannot accept "new" divine revelations, in this case from Smith about 170 years ago, I had to think about why I accept the Bible or anything about the Godhead. Maybe there is no difference between how polygamists approach the truth and how I do, I wondered. Well, for me the important difference in approach is that I allow myself to ask questions. I allow myself to question another person's authority over me. I feel I must be free to accept or reject doctrine and dogma, not have it crammed down my throat with threats of "going to Hell" and being banished from the community.
Irene's story made me consider these things and the whole issue of "mind control" and "behavior control." (Anything similar to recent events in Texas?) For me, this is why it would be important to read Irene's book and several of the others. (For an interesting account of one of Irene's sister-wives in this LeBaron clan, read Susan Ray Schmidt's book, available on this site.)
One does wonder why it took Irene so long to finally accept the reality of what was actually happening, both to herself and her children. Ultimately, she finally got out; maybe that's all that is important.
I must admit to a visceral reaction to one other element of the book. If I had ever met her husband while alive, I would have felt obligated to apply my size 13's swiftly and solidly to his rear. But, it would have only convinced him further about his status as one of the Elect and mine as a Satan inspired Gentile.
Still, read this book. Find the lessons meaningful for you in her story. We can be thankful she finally acted appropriately and got out.
Interesting but incomplete May 31, 2008
My extended family is Mormon and the religion itself is quite fascinating as well as controversial. I saw this book by chance at my local library and thought it would be interesting to read. Indeed it was. This book gave a pretty good eye into life as a polygamist wife but many details were lacking. The author talks of the poverty in which they lived but she talks of flying on an airplane then mentions it was not the first time she had flown. Then she takes a trip to Europe? I don't know how the wives were able to afford a car when they each only had a couple hundred dollars to get by each month. I felt there was a lot of details left out which made the story as a whole make you wonder how povery striken they REALLY were. But, all in all it still was a good read.
A good read May 31, 2008
This book was our monthly book group selection. While it was startling and often difficult to imagine the life, it also shed a great deal of light on my understanding of why this is practiced. Many of my stereotyped images of this life style were changed after reading this book. It helped me to understand their philosophy and the sincerity of their religious beliefs and raised questions about how much interferance in their lifestyle should we justify. I think if one reads this book with too much preconceived judgements, they will not understand the point of the book.
Nov 30, 1999
Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in becoming the second wife to her brother-in-law Verlan LeBaron. When the government raided their community-the Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona-seeking to enforce the penalties for practicing polygamy, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's family ranch in Mexico. Here they lived in squalor and desolate conditions with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. This appalling and astonishing tale has captured the attention of readers around the world. Irene's inspirational 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. (2006)