Friday, November 8, 2013

The Witness Wore Red

Rebecca Musser was raised in a Fundamentalist Mormon group (FLDS). At age 19 she became the 19th wife of the 85 year old prophet, Rulon Jeffs. After his death, worried for her own safety, she escaped with the help of a friend to her brother's house. It took time to adjust to living outside the FLDS community, where dress, beliefs, and language were very different from what she had been exposed to growing up.

She became a lead witness in several cases involving the FLDS church. Her eyewitness testimony, explanations of the culture, and meaning of things found at the compound in Texas were key to several trials involving FLDS leaders. Her participation in these trials came at great personal cost, but she did it to help other people maintain their rights. She has become an activist for human trafficking victims.

I liked that she was very careful to never exaggerate what happened to her. Her precise delivery of the horrific things that occurred, needed no amplification. It was clear her book was not about shocking the audience, but creating an understanding of her experiences. It was about raising awareness about what happened during her time in the FLDS church, in the trials, and the raids in Texas. I also appreciated how honest she was with her feelings and her experiences.

It was heartbreaking at times to read her story knowing that it was true. I could not help admiring the courage she showed in her actions at various points in her life, when she easily could have done nothing. I thought it was well written, and I was completely absorbed in reading it. I would highly recommend reading this book.

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