Skip to main content

Virtual Book Club: Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer


Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer is a memoir from the author's first marriage--to a polygamous husband who had 10 wives. It is a heartbreaking book, as one can imagine, and not the first I've read about this subject. At just under 400 pages, it is a big book, but a very quick read, and once I actually had the time to sit down and really get into it, I quickly finished 250 pages in 2 days!
Young Irene is only 16 years old when she runs off to marry a man named Verlan LeBaron (from the LeBaron clan of Time Magazine polygamy 'fame') and become his second wife. Throughout the 28 years married to him, she endured extreme poverty, utter physical and mental exhaustion as a wife & mother caring for 13 kids (and often times, other wives' kids), and severe loneliness and isolation.
Her husband only lived to his early fifties, but in his 30+ years of being married to 10 different women, he sired 59 children and moved his family(ies) all over Mexico, Central America, and the Southwest of the USA many times to flee persecution and governmental oversight.
This was a very fascinating book into the life of a woman who has to share her husband, and give up everything to "live the Principle" (to be exalted in the afterlife, they were to help their husbands marry & sire as many children as possible in order to populate their own planets), and shows just how far illusions and false teachings can go. It was at times frightening and disheartening to know there are still people stuck in this mind game of trying to pay for their sins of jealousy and sacrifice everything--even their sanity--in order to gain 'godhood' in the afterlife. Mrs. Spencer ends her book with her epilogue; telling the reader she couldn't believe what a huge lie it all was--that someone already died to save us from our sins and the grace He gave was freely given. A very sad tale, but like all great stories, a wonderful ending.
Mrs. Spencer's newest book was just out in August of this year, Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement.
Have you read this and if so, what did you think?

Our next read for Book Club is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
Stay tuned for part 3 of our Alternative Educational Series. Post 1 & 2.


Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

The Rule of Threes

Costco aftermath
This is what my kitchen looks like for at least an hour after a Costco trip. I haul in everything after an exhausting journey through the busiest store (seemingly) in this country and I just can't do a dang thing more. For an hour. While I get a breather. And eat some obligatory reward chocolate. Eventually I'll get to those piles and everything will be put in it's proper place, but usually it stays like this for that necessary hour. 
                                                                          *** I don't think I'm alone in sensing that our culture has gone hog-wild with unrealistic expectations in just about every department, and I want to tell my friends, and anyone else who will listen, that we can only do so much in a day.  My husband once told me a friend of his pondered the busy-ness of our modern lives and said something to the effect of, "God gives us just enough time in the day to do only the things we need to do." …

Snapshot Story of Malibu, Lake Louise Inlet, British Columbia

top photo: The Blainiacs; self-titled, our group from bible study

There are too many words to share everything about Malibu, so I'm going to share a few pictures, and some words in this post. Malibu is a Young Life camp that is it's own little village in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia, or at least it feels that way--very isolated. It's right at the top of Lake Louise Inlet (right before Lake Louise) but really, there is nothing out there. It is what a leader called "The Thin Place"; the place right in the middle of heaven and earth. It's beautiful, welcoming, joyful, and raw, pristine.

This lodge is where "Club" happens. This is where the large group of the 220+ women who were present for Women's Weekend  would get together twice daily for skits, singing, and hearing speakers before breaking out into small group time. The Women's Weekend follows the Young Life way in how they structure the retreat. Everything we did resembled what t…