My last Monday must-read of 2014 is The Witness Wore Red, a memoir by Rebecca Musser of her time in the FLDS.
Musser was married as a teenager to the father of Warren Jeffs, the now infamous leader of a FLDS sect in the southwest.
The Witness Wore Red chronicles Musser’s childhood, being raised by polygamist parents, her marriage to the elder Jeffs and the run-ins with Warren Jeffs that led to her leaving the group for a life on her own.
The book also chronicles Musser’s interaction with police as they raided the compound several years ago and Musser’s testimony in the criminal trial that sent Jeffs to prison.
I knew a bit about the FLDS through news articles about the Jeffs’ saga. I had no idea the extent of the hold Jeffs had and continues to have on that community.
This book came to my office as a freebie. Between my coworkers and I, there was a line for the book and everyone was encouraged to read it quickly so the next person could read it.
Musser did a series of interviews near the release of the book and I had seen one of those. The book was intriguing to me to begin with, but after the first few chapters, I was enthralled. It’s hard to believe a culture like this exists in the 21st century in America.
This is an interesting read to expose yourself to a different culture and belief system, while showing the dark side of those cultures as well.