Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Preview: Books to be Nominated in August 2011 for October Discussion
[in alphabetical order] all available in paperback and as NOOK book
Escape by Carolyn Jessop, 2007; nonfiction/memoir;paperback 448 pgs. Also NOOK book.
Setting: FLDS community along Arizona-Utah border, 1986 thru early 2000’s. B&N Customer Rating 4.5 stars (222 reviews). Best seller 2007.
Barnes & Noble Overview [excerpts] : The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children. When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border.
Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy. Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children...
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung, 2006, Nonfiction/memoir; paperback 288 pages. Also NOOK Book. Setting: Cambodia 1975-1979, during Viet Nam war. B&N Rating 4.5 stars (72 reviews).
Barnes & Noble Overview [excerpts]: From a childhood survivor of Cambodia's brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit.
… Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. …her beloved father knew Lounge was a clever girl.
When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung's family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. …As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited. …
Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 2008. Nonfiction/memoir. Paperback 384 pages. Also NOOK book. Setting: childhood in the 70’s/80’s in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya .Holland as an adult. B&N Rating 4 stars (147 reviews). Best seller 2007.
Barnes & Noble Overview [excerpts]: In this profoundly affecting memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West. … Hirsi Ali recounts the evolution of her beliefs, her ironclad will, and her extraordinary resolve to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries largely ruled by despots. In her early twenties, she escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim immigrant women.