I got this book yesterday at about 2 pm. I was busy until 9 pm, went to bed, read my scriptures, picked up Susan's book, and didn't fall asleep until 4 am. I finished the book. I just devoured it.
I ordered this book after reading a post on Viva Ned Flanders about Krakauer's book and being reminded of a quick news story I'd seen on TV about a woman (Susan) who'd written a book. She was commenting, as I recall, on Rena Chynoweth's listing on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted.
And I thought, "hey! I think a girl named Susan, who was married to Ervil LeBaron's brother lived across the street from me." So I checked it out and sure enough, she was the girl across the street with all the kids.
Memory is funny. I thought she was 27, had seven kids, and the oldest was a boy. She was 27, had six kids, and the oldest was a girl. I honestly don't know why we didn't become better friends, we were both young single mothers. I think I must have looked down on her, even shunned her, I don't know.
I'm pretty ashamed of myself after reading her story. You guys, this woman paid her dues in the school of life early and hard.
I've read a couple of books about fundamentalists, besides Krakauer's book. The thing that struck me the most is how much those men neglected their families' physical welfare. I remember one girl writing about taking onion sandwiches to school. Susan and her children did without in similar manners.
I'm rambling, but I recommend this book. For one thing, she tells some of the history in Krakauer (I cannot remember the name, it's early)--the missionary problem overseas after the war. It looks like they're all offshoots, related to each other, somehow. Oh, and here's a teaser: she almost married Ervil LeBaron. You'll want to know how that went. She was a pretty smart and strong 14 year old.
But more, she tells a love story. She loved her husband and he loved her. He was screwed up, she was a kid, but she loved him. She tells their story with unflinching honesty and expertise.
You guys, really good book. And I sort of knew her. Isn't life just so strange?