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The Polygamist’s Daughter

A Memoir
Narrated by: Anna LeBaron
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.09

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Publisher's Summary

"My father had more than 50 children."

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 13 - 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.

©2017 Anna LeBaron (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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shocking, sad and inspirational

Wow. What a book!

This is an unflinching look into life in a polygamist cult. LeBaron showed immense strength in writing this book, a journey with wonderful highs and devastating lows that she is all to happy to share with the reader.

LeBaron read this herself for the audiobook which I listened to. It added so much emotion and gravitas to what she describes. While it was harrowing and heartbreaking to hear what the members of the cult were put through as children, LeBaron often found small specks of joy and fun in its midst. These explanations of the good but mundane things that occurred would have been lost on me in another book, but because I knew about the horrible actions some of the other family members were involved in they became like an escape for me also. I smiled every time young Anna was overwhelmed with joy from a generous stranger or family.

As Anna grows up, the narrative shifts from her inner monologue of ignorance to one that questions everything she sees and hears, but the writing style does not become cumbersome to hear. Everything is still peppered with LeBaron's thoughts about a situation but how high the stakes are begins to show.

Reading more about the story, I'm not surprised there are several other books written about the Ervil LeBaron murders - it's a shocking but completely enthralling story. I need to read more! Listening to the book read by Anna herself, I was continually floored by the things that people can do to people - and maybe more importantly: the things that people can process and move on from.

Toward the end of the book, there's discussion of planning to write it and even some of the process. This brought it from a story that, while true felt like a different world into this one. LeBaron has a website and speaks about her ordeal to encourage others - what a truly inspiring story!

My highest recommendation, and I think this is a definite 'listen-to' book!

2 people found this helpful

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a sad childhood

loved this it was memorising to hear all the things she had to endure then

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  • Rachel Bruce
  • 05-06-2017

Riveting!

Couldn't stop listening. This memoir reads like a novel, LeBaron was the perfect choice to read her own story. I will listen to this one again.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Karen Vanderjagt
  • 12-05-2017

An amazing true story of hardship & victory

I think I have read every book that is written by someone who would been a part of the LeBaron cult. I have to say that this one was probably my favorite. I think because it gave such hope in her relationship with Jesus Christ that Anna was able to find as she struggled to get over The horrific acts of cruelty and neglect that this girl had to endure for the sake of a madman with far too much power. I think of the words from the book, Unbroken, apply to this cult leader, "The fatal poison of irresponsible power."

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda H
  • 13-06-2017

Redemption...

This book is full of heart wrenching details about little Anna's life but is beautifully redeemed at the end. I definitely recommend it!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-05-2017

Incredible!!

Loved this amazing story of Gods beautiful redemption of something unimaginable. This story is so important as the scope of the cult is widely unknown.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Meganstubbs
  • 10-05-2017

Heart wrenching memoir

You won't be able to stop listening. Anna tells her life story incredibly well. It's awful and astonishing at the same time. I recommend this to all my friends.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tracy Coomer
  • 20-04-2017

Beautifilul & Courageous

Anna's story is a beautifully woven courageous retelling of the fabric of her complicated and oftentimes painful story of her life. I both wept and rejoiced with each story she shared throughout her healing journey.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A. C.
  • 25-04-2017

Bait and Switch

How could the performance have been better?

Please, don't pronounce Jesus, "JeSUS."

What character would you cut from The Polygamist’s Daughter?

Jesus.

Any additional comments?

Before I delve into why I disliked this book, I will tell you that I was born and raised Catholic. I chose to earn my Bachelor’s degree at a Catholic university, and I was only one class short of a Catholic Studies minor. While I don’t consider myself a religious person, I do have strong Christian values and my Catholicism is very much a part of my identity.



That being said, I will never purchase a book without checking its publisher ever again. This book was published by Tyndale House Publishers, which publishes Christian works. That’s all good and fine, if that’s what you’re looking for, but this was simply filed away as “True Crime” on Audible. If I were to have looked up its genre, listed differently on Amazon, or looked further into its publishing company, I wouldn’t have chosen this book.



Ervril LeBaron was responsible for the deaths of over two dozen people, but there’s not too much talk of murder in this book. There’s a little bit at the end, but the true crime is mostly child neglect, child abuse, and corruption of a minor. So, yes, there is crime, but there’s also irony in being part of a cult and then being “saved by JeSUS.” 



The book was quick and interesting, up until the point where I realized this book was actually about going from one religion to another. I lost interest afterward, which is too bad because it reverts back to more true crime. As previously mentioned, I’m far from an atheist. Though, because I thought this was a book about true crime and the toxicity of a particular system of religious worship, I ended up sorely disappointed.

21 people found this helpful

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  • memeh
  • 21-03-2018

very interesting book well read by the author.

what a happy ending to know how she turned her life over to Jesus Christ.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hearts Homeward
  • 22-02-2018

A must read book!

Where does The Polygamist’s Daughter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the most engaging stories I have listened to in some time.

What other book might you compare The Polygamist’s Daughter to and why?

I can't think of one, though I thought of stories by holocaust survivors on several occasions. Anna lived through her own holocaust in a way.

Which scene was your favorite?

I wouldn't try to say that. I'm grateful for the few friends and the best Christmas ever (first Christmas ever) and for Mark and Lillian.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Polygamist's Daughter: A story of indomitable spirit and hope despite tragedy

Any additional comments?

Where do I start? Anna LeBaron ... what a tremendous book! This true story of a girl who grew up in multiple states under a polygamist cult which centered around her father, Irvil LeBaron, will rock you to the core. I was riveted. I sometimes found myself saying, "OH, Anna!" in the middle of reading. I just wanted to jump into the book and help her along or get her out of a tough situation. At other times, I was so moved at the sweetnesses she experienced along the way.

This is not merely a documentary from the perspective of a child in a tragic upbringing. While you do learn a lot of the ins and outs of what a polygamist family can be like, the facts are not what will keep you reading. Amidst the extremely penetrating traumas throughout Anna's life, there is the constancy of her indomitable spirit. What would have taken many under, never completely did her in. As you read The Polygamist's Daughter, you find the kind of hope that does not disappoint. You will be in awe as you walk through Ana's experiences, enduring all she did and rising from the ashes of her challenging upbringing to be the woman she is today.

Anna is a wonderful storyteller. If you are into audiobooks (I sure am!) give yourself the blessing of listening to Anna tell her own story. Some authors are not storytellers and were never meant to read their own writing aloud. Anna has a gift of telling her story in an engaging and suspenseful way. I never knew if she were about to have a surprisingly sweet outcome or if yet another tragedy were about to befall her.

I hope my review is screaming: Go get this book! What are you waiting for? Go.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pamela Plimpton
  • 20-02-2018

Not bad, but not what I expected

This book being listed in the "True Crime" lists on Audible is not accurate. It is a memoir, but it's not a crime story. It was interesting, but just not what expected. Her story was good. I did manage to make it through the entire book & was happy for her victory over her life, but still somewhat disappointing. I have listened to a number of books relating to the FLDS & that's what I expected of this book, but it was not. It's "OK", but not fantastic.

3 people found this helpful