I wanted to be so mad at Irene Spencer when I read this book but I just couldn't, she had no other choice. Being raised in polygamy she knew that continuing to live within the Principal was the only way to raise to goddess status and being one of 7 wives was the only way to be pulled through the veil into heaven.
So begins this autobiography that goes deep into the thoughts and life of a woman who desperately wanted to please God and to do the best she could by marrying her brother in law at age 16 and becoming his second of many wives. Her deplorable living conditions in the US, Mexico and Nicaragua. Her lack of food, money, housing and decent medical care. The mental anguish of sharing a husband and the guilt of not being a good Mormon wife.
This dramatic story delves into her life and how far religion can be stretched and abused to control a persons mind and body.
Amazon Review: Quite an Eye Opener http://tinyurl.com/2a6y6wn
A good book with a voyeuristic quality to it, but that is what I was reading it for. Fascinating stories of the hardships, sacrifices, and emotional pain of polygamy...and also makes me thankful for the life I have. Would recommend to read to anyone.
This was surprisingly good; I didn't think I would enjoy this as much as I did. I was really surprised by the honesty that the author seemed to give. I have read a few books having to do with polygamy, but I always felt like the author held back a lot. I didn't get that feeling here, she seemed to tell her story the way she remembered it. She does mention leaving some stuff out, but it looks like she made that into a whole other book to be released later this year. Definitely worth your time if you are a memoir reader or just interested in learning more about the subject matter.
As for me, even after reading this, I don't understand how a woman can allow herself to be pulled into this life. I keep reminding myself that they were only 15/16, but I still don't really get it. Then again, I guess there are things that I do and say that others would understand. But still... I dunno. It's tough.
I thought this book was absolutely wonderful. It was well written and an astonishing look into the life of a Polygamist wife. I have read several books about this subject, some of them rather boring...but this one captivated me from the beginning.
This poor woman's story is so facinating you can't put this book down. She is a strong woman who has lived through amazing things. It's so interesting to see how someone lived in that lifestyle, especially during that time period, when it was so tabu.
I wish I could say that I like this book but I really, really did not. I feel like there was an interesting story in there someone but the author was unable to bring it out. While her life experiences could make for a good story she's simply not a very good writer. The story seemed to randomly jump forward in huge leaps in parts while in other parts it got bogged down with repetitive detail. She makes random mentions of things like a family member going on a murderous rampage but then never mentions it again or even explaining what she meant. Then she will spend a chapter telling stories about thing she said that she thought were funny. (Spoiler alert: They aren't.) She will mention someone once 3/4 through the book say how this person was with her through so many important times in her life but then never mention them again. The way the book is written you often can't even tell if she's talking about a relative, another wife or even one of her own children. In the end I wasn't sure what the author was trying to accomplish with her book. It felt like she spent the whole thing patting herself on the back. I think she wanted "credit" for being the "best" wife while still wanting to appear to be above the whole mess. In case you can't tell this book left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a dislike of the author and I can't remember the last time that happened to me with a book. I do not recommend this book to anyone *especially* skeptics, freethinkers and non-believers who may find her subtle preaching throughout the book to be off-putting.
Jill S. reviewed Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
This true story was a page turner! I was shocked by the content of the religious cult re: women and relationships initially. But, I had to remind myself to not be judgmental and truly wanted to know the history and reality so many have faced. Irene was a strong personality throughout her trials growing up and onward into adulthood. It took strength and courage to finally exit and then, found a husband all her own. She writes with passion, very empowering in the end. Jill
This is one of the best books that I've read so far, on the subject of polygamy. At times I found myself wanting to scream out loud What are you doing? Are you crazy? but at the same time, I appreciated the total honesty with which Irene wrote her story. I think that I can better understand the pull of an abusive religion and how ones self-esteem plays a vital role in that pull into a downward spiral. I highly recommend this book if youre interested in this subject. This one gets 5 stars from me!
I wanted to read a biography (as I am tired of the fiction on television) about someone who had experienced polygamy. This book was well written and another one I could not put down once started. The experiences shared give us a look inside of a life many will never lead; it shares how she got out of it and how her life was transformed by the testimony of her son. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the polygamist life as well as anyone who needs hope to get out of it.
This book has been on my shelf forever and I wish I would've read it sooner! Irene gives us a different glimpse into the lives of polygamists from what I've read previously and she has a great story to tell. I really enjoyed this book. It started slow for me, but picked up fast and I couldn't put it down!
Great memoir written by a woman who lived a polygamist lifestyle even though it was not her choice and did not make her happy. She survived some deplorable conditions and I'm so glad I didn't grow up in a religion like that.
Maybe it was the topic, maybe I just don't like to read about poverty. I didn't like the beginning of the book because it depressed me. She was controlled. She started life poor. And it didn't get much better when I stopped 1/3 into the book.
Tina S. reviewed Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife on
I have read several books on fundamentalist mormon polygamy and this is by far the most radical life I've ever read about. I feel like I know Irene, the author, and she pulled me into the emotions of living that lifestyle with the heartache and lonliness, all in the name of her faith. I've shared this book with several others and we all loved it.
This was the second book I read on polygamy the first was Escape by Caroline Jessop. I read it during all the LDS issues. This was also a very good read. I was shocked by their lifestyle and glad they got out.
Three stars. Unbelievable story of polygamy, and the author's escape from this life. Sometimes you just shake your head and say, WHY? but it goes to show how spirituality can be used to brainwash people. Hard to blieve that one person went through so much and came out intact.