Book Jacket

 

rank 93
word count 15017
date submitted 25.06.2011
date updated 10.08.2013
genres: Non-fiction, Biography, Harper True...
classification: moderate
complete

The Secret Life of a Mormon Wife

Stella J. Rabinowitz

After fourteen years of marriage, I learned my true worth as a Mormon woman -- fifty dollars and a plane ticket for the hit man.

 

Marriage in a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seals a woman to her husband for time and all eternity. It gives him absolute power and authority over her. He alone will determine her worthiness to be resurrected. Without him, it is impossible to get into Heaven.

As long as women believe in these Mormon doctrines, there is no escape from a psychological prison.

The truth can set you free.

Within eight years of my marriage in the Salt Lake City Temple, I gave birth to six children; three survived. They became my salvation, as my marriage and entire belief system crumbled around me.

After I filed for divorce, my husband and father-in-law plotted to have me killed. There was only one way to save my life.

 
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brainwashing, cults, emotional abuse, exmormon, lds church, lds temple endowments, mormon women, mormons, patriarchal societies, religion, temple marr...

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Stellajr wrote 360 days ago

I have sent a private message to Emma, thanking her for her in-depth review, and will address the issues she raises in my next edit. Until then, I wanted to clarify a few things here.

I was not aware of my daughter's abuse at the hands of the church member who physically abused her until after I had stopped taking her there. Threats had been an effective deterrent. I did confront the babysitter once I found out, but naturally she denied hitting and slapping "Leigh." She did admit to "I swatted her on the butt, because she wouldn't stop screaming." Which begs the question: Why was she screaming to begin with?

As for my son, I tried many times to have him switched to another class and even considered home schooling him. The situation resolved itself when the teacher was fired for striking another student forcefully enough to break his glasses.

As my friendship with the professor grew, I mentioned him to my parents as someone from Huntington and asked if they had known him when he lived there.They had given permission to give him their address. In condensing the story for brevity, I had omitted that important detail.

Because this is my story and not that of my parents, I deliberately omitted much of what was going on there. My father is deceased, but my mom is still living. Out of respect for her, I do not wish to discuss her personal matters. She may even have an issue with the parts I have told, but they seem essential to my story. (My mom and siblings are still unaware of my book.)

Patti's parents frequently told me I was "precious." When I say they thought I was a bad influence on their daughter, it was more along the lines of typical teenage shenanigans, nothing really bad. They made it clear they still loved me as their own. When Patti passed away, it felt like losing a sister and a best friend.

Thank you so much Emma for bringing these things to my attention.

Stella, I've read all you have uploaded. Wow. I don't know where to start. I found this to be an incredibly interesting read. I knew very little of Mormons and their beliefs and am stunned after reading this. As an atheist, religious-based books don't usually interest me. Yet yours had me hooked from the first page. You've done an incredible job with this. It's candidly told and done so in such a relaxed, conversational way that it really was a pleasure to read.

The hardships you endured defy belief. The abuse you suffered throughout your marriage is absolutely shocking. Surprisingly, I occasionally felt some level of sympathy for William. He was also a victim where his despicable father was concerned, yet there comes a point where he has to be accountable for his own actions. His complete lack of compassion, care and attention where you and your children were concerned was sickening. How on earth you managed to endure that life for as long as you did, beggars belief.

Some parts of this, I found hard to read. In particular, the hardships your children suffered. Not only were they experiencing abuse at home (mental, verbal and emotional, not to mention the sickening episode with the pornography), they also had to endure it from other quarters, too; Leigh with the babysitter, Joseph with the teacher, etc. I must admit, I was surprised at the mention of these incidents. You tell us about Leigh's awful treatment at the hands of the babysitter almost in passing, then swiftly move on. What happened? Perhaps you're a better person than me as I'd have ripped the bullying cow's throat out had she treated my child in this way. The same goes for Joseph's disgusting teacher. I must also say, I truly admire your ability to forgive the doctor after Sara's death. That must have taken some exceptional soul-searching.

As a mother, my heart ached for you as I read about the loss of your children. You are an incredibly strong woman, Stella. Your visions/dreams sent shivers down my spine as I read, particularly the one about Katrina's birth and the premonition of the death of your son. I'm glad you had the visions of seeing your children in spirit; it must have been such a huge comfort.

Orville is an absolute shit. What a disgusting, sorry excuse for a father. To be living in the lap of luxury whilst his own flesh and blood lived in poverty-- sickening. What on earth you must have gone through after realising what a dreadful mistake you'd made marrying into that hellish family! William's demands, what he expected from you as his new wife, as you drove from just being married caused my jaw to hit the floor. And the agreement with Samuel...! Bloody hell, what a horrible family! I'm so glad you got out of there and really pity other people still enduring what you did.

Despite the subject matter and the horrors you suffered, you have managed to write this in an almost tongue-in-cheek style. It gives for a highly engrossing read; you've done a brilliant job. The smatterings of humour within are very well thought out and makes this stand out from your usual non-fiction stories of abuse. I really think you have a winner on your hands with this and would be very surprised if this isn't picked up in the near future. It's truly deserving and needs to be noticed. I think you've been incredibly brave writing this and am glad you have. Your story really needs to be heard.

This is very well written and polished. Apart from some punctuation issues, there isn't really much I'd change. An edit would iron this out and make it ready for publication in no time at all. One thing that did jar a little for me was the over-use of exclamation marks. In my opinion, nearly all of them could be stripped away. They alter the tone somewhat and become a little irritating after a while. I think your writing would have a more powerful impact without them. Also, when you were praying after William's accusations regarding the professor, one line of your prayer sounds a bit confusing, as if a word or two is missing. Maybe have a read and see if you agree? Of course, it may just be me not getting it.

I thought that a few issues could be elaborated on and some others trimmed. For example, the mention of your parents suddenly stopping attending church was mentioned but no real reason was given or explained. And how did they feel about you continuing to attend? Did you discuss this with them, etc? It just seemed a little odd to me and I'd have liked to have known more about that. Also, you mention that Patti's parents saw you as a bad example to their daughter then say you were hardly away from their home and that they often mentioned wanting to adopt you! This doesn't really make sense. As for the parts that could be trimmed, I think you've done a fantastic job with the descriptions of the mormon faith and its teachings and have included a lot of interesting information. It does, however, seem to drag on a bit in parts and I found myself skipping sections at times, wanting to get back to the main story. As I've said, though, you've done a great job explaining the history and customs, etc. They were very insightful, thank you.

As I've stated, William's behaviour is awful. I did, however, agree with his opinion on one matter. I too thought it a little odd that you gave the professor your parents address. Maybe it's a US/UK thing, and you're a lot more friendlier over there, but I could just imagine my family's reaction if I gave their address to someone they'd never met and they just turned up out of the blue! I don't mean to offend you (and it goes without saying, William's reaction with the shotgun was completely wrong), just giving, as a reader, my opinion.

There's not much more to say. I applaud and admire you for your brutal honesty and your ability to admit and hold your hands up to some of the mistakes you made, especially with the children and Patti's ordeal with William and the rape. Writing this must have been a very emotional project and I thank you for giving me the opportunity of reading it. You are a brilliant writer, a great mother and a very nice, very brave, human being. I wish you all the best for the future and with getting this published. I've starred this highly and will be shelving it at the next shuffle. Well done.

ShirleyGrace wrote 363 days ago

Stella:
I was going to send this to you in a private message but maybe it needs to be posted as a comment. When I first read your book I didn't want to admit that the shocking things you have said about the church could be true. The first time I attended church was at my grandmothers house in her living room as we had no building and most of the members in the town were family and the town was small. I was very young, a baby really. We later had church over the A&P store downtown. It took many years and many bake sales before we were able to get a chapel. My grandfather was Pres. and then my uncle. When you have had this religion drilled into you for eighteen years, it is difficult to let go of it. My mother and her family were members. The men my mother and her sisters were married to joined much later in life and were not active when I was growing up. If they had married members of the church, they would have had to marry cousins. (people in Kentucky have been accused of that) Laughs and smiles for a little humor there. I taught Sunday school and was very active in the church. When the abuse began at a very young age, I had to ask myself if the church was so great how come it was not okay to drink coffee or pepsi and smoke but it was okay to beat your children and send them to school with broken teeth and bald places where the hair was pulled out. My aunts did not treat their children that way, however. When I was about ten an elder (missionary) tried to sexually abuse me. We were in a crowded car and I was forced to sit on his lap. I was damaged by that. I told no one. I do not say the things you state in your book are not true but I do think it is sad. I have to question a church or religion that holds it's women down as homemakers and producers of children and placates their wives by telling them they, as mothers, have the most important job of all, not that I disagree with that but I do disagree with the motive. I do not attend church at all.
Enough of that and now to your book.
It is well written and polished. If this is written in a true sincere purpose and I have no reason to doubt that, I applaud you. I like to think there are good people in the church, and I'm sure we would agree on that. I wish you well and have starred you well.
Sincerely
Shirley Grace

olbilldor wrote 827 days ago

As a former mormon myself (though I left the church just six years ago), I understand your previous reluctance to write something like this. It has only been recently that I felt comfortable even saying my opinions of the church out loud. I'm certain you've heard the old saying (in the church) that apostates can leave the church but they can't leave it alone. I was determined not to become one of those kinds of apostates. Then one day, I realized that I harbored a lot of pain and emotional scarring due to being raised in the church and the more I refused to discuss it, the more bitter I was becoming. It was a liberating moment for me. I now tell people that the reason I speak out against the church is because it brainwashes its members and fosters a community of oppression and abuse. I have told my family (all of whom are still devout Mormons) that if I die, they are never going to raise my daughter. I say this not because I don't love them - I do - but because it would be a shame for my daughter's sweet spirit and natural inquisitiveness to be snuffed out by a religion who believes a woman's only place is in the home.

Thank you for writing this. I hope you reach a wide readership. It is important that people understand that, no matter how hard the church tries to portray an image of being just like everyone else, they are NOT. And that difference is not a good thing. In fact, it is an awful, horrifying difference.

EMDelaney wrote 837 days ago

The Secret Life of a Morman Wife / Stella J. Rabinowitz

I read this entire book today. Ironic it is, I can't say I 'enjoyed' the story at all times, whilst I certainly did like the writing. As some memoir based 'true-life' stories will go, I found the author's depiction of the Morman church to be in complete concurrence of my own previous belief that it is an evil and disgusting institution, filled with falseness, powermongers and hatred.

The author does a good job of explaining details. Sometimes, I must admit, I felt as if she was 'going on and on' to make points / lend emphasis to such. Some of the story could have been shortened I believe, essentially, edited to emit some of the rambling. This is not to say that it is not a good story...it is!

The writing was clean from the standpoint of being readable. Very little was suspect in punctuality. My previous statement about rambling may be such that if I had been the one who endured this life I might ramble a bit about it too when I finally write it all down. The author is a good writer, one able to convey thought quite well. There are elements of sarcasm at times that were actually humerous, given the fact that they seem to express a comfort level felt by the writer at the time of this writing, as opposed to the thoughts she portrays in thought about earlier times. During those pages I got the idea she was constantly being taken back to the times when these occurrences took place and it somehow stimulated those old feelings again. THAT is good writing I guess because I read an entire book I planned to only skim through. Go figure.

The author tells an in-depth story about her life as the wife of a selfish, cult-associated individual (I've always felt the religion a cult) His sexual tendencies, mannerisms, failure to have genuine concern for his family or his wife reinforce an impression I've always had about this religion as a whole. Reading the parts whereas the author expresses her faith / spirtual committment to her husband made me angry. (The childbirths, the banishing of her friend Patti from her home after her husband attempts to seduce her, etc,..) I'm one of those ones who always wonders why women take from their men what they do to bebing with though.

It seemed to me the author, through her own depiction in parts, gave me reason to believe she could / should have left this guy years earlier. (The Playboys and stuff) I mean, just damn, how many times can a person tell a lie and have it conveniently 'back-burnered' by a blind faith in some lie that it will change.

NOw, for me to be asking these things means the story was conveyed correctly. I'm angry at the author in a sense that she didn;t leave earlier, or during the 'ceremony' whereas she noticed so many things wrong to begin with. I'm sure she too, has spent many thousands of hours being mad at herself. The story got to me and I have to think that is the intention of it. That said, mission accomplished.

Obviously, being a memoir narrative in FP, the only POV is the author. In this regard I felt she did quite well in keeping down the # of times 'I' appears. The flow was quite good, kept in 'story' form a majority of the time and there was switching of timeframes to keep a pace that was interesting.

All in all, this is a riveting story, told from the heart. The writing is good. There were times (forgiving Dr. S) when I thought I saw how the author was weak, or 'so' into blind faith, whatever, that I see how she allowed herself to remain in this environment for so long. From a storytelling standpoint, she's done that quite well or I wouldn't be feeling as passionate about it as I am right now. I went through it all in this story. I sympthosized with this lady, I was angry (for), not at her, emotional and felt disgust. Basically, I went on the entire ride this story was intended to take the reader on.

I read a few chapters of this book to teen in the house, who appeared to be interested to want to read it on her own. (She has her own Authonomy account) Being a young lady (college) who is of faith, I thought it interesting to hear her response to the more critical aspects of the writing on the Mormon church. We live in one of those areas where they send out their door-knockers who show up unannounced at the worst possible times expecting you to stop what you are doing and hear their testimonies. I thought a 'testimony' like this one from the author might serve well to provide her an 'insurance policy' against ever taking time to hear what those radical idiots have to say.

I certainly do wish my best to / for the author. You took me on a literary trip today my friend and I appreciate your writing. 5 stars for this good work. I believe it is one pro-edit away from publishing.

E M Delaney

ShelleyWalden wrote 981 days ago

Intrigued and wanting to know more about the LDS faith, I dug right in. Little did I know how much I would relate to you and your experiences. Having resided in the same area for a number of years, I have have been touched by this religion in ways I never expected. Not only in contact with Mormons but also with the abuse you suffered. In this tight knit community, either one follows the Mormon faith or one is simply an outsider. Your experience opened the window into this secret world and I applaud you wholeheartedly for sharing. I can only imagine the trauma that you not only felt in the church, but especially out. An exceptional and completely informative read! I look forward to the next one!

t23please wrote 50 days ago

Hi

I thought this was a really interesting piece of writing, & really well written. I'm always fascinated by different people's takes on religion, & it's even more interesting when it's their own story. I hope you do really well with the book. I had a couple of spaces on my bookshelf, so added "The Secret Life ...".

Best wishes

Tim - The Latter Day Church of Tiny Tim

BarbShaya wrote 64 days ago

Stella - HTLG read -
Interesting story - I am fascinated by how various religions and cultures work. I think there is an audience for your story.
It says 'complete' but looks to me like you have taken down all but the first five chapters.
You have a nice writing style - my one piece of feedback for you is that the story felt rushed. I felt like we were racing from event to event and tidbit to tidbit without any building of or depth to the many stories within. This could be a much longer book. Maybe use this as your version designed to just get your story on paper, then take it and expand it with some real writing and descriptions - backstory, etc.
Best of luck to you -

Barb (Not Really Gone)

Dawn Wessel wrote 83 days ago

Wow...thank you for sharing...every single Mormon should read this (and every other religious person) but we know they probably won't because you will be made to look like you're the problem...still, hopefully it might save a few from the same fate.

Best Wishes

Belinda Walker wrote 253 days ago

Hi Stella
This is excellent. I have just started and am already completely hooked. Hope this book continues to do well. It deserves a really wide readership than just the authonomy community. Well done for having the courage to write this.
Belinda Walker

Jubi wrote 256 days ago

Stella, surely your story will be picked up by a major publisher. I have finished the book and given it 5 stars. You are very good at making the reader feel that she is there. At times, I felt myself getting angry and sad and later, I felt happy that you finally took some control and began to speak out (rightfully) against that monster mistake of a husband. I was astounded that he could not even find an ounce of compassion during your surgeries, especially when the tumor was cut out. He was a selfish, self centered brute, the same as his father. I can't think of anything you could have written differently. I did notice a couple of errors early on, but forgot to note the page number. This was early in the book and I got involved with your story and forgot about them. So, I guess to me, they were insignificant when compared with your true story.
I wish you great success with this work!
Juditj

Jubi wrote 258 days ago

Stella, I have read the first 3 chapters of this book and can't wait until I can get back here to read more. Having already researched a lot of things written by women who 'escaped' the LDS, it just seems to me the women are no more than sex slaves. But each woman's story is different. Your story is intriguing.

I really do look forward to reading the remainder of the book, but need to leave for a few hours. I can already see that this book needs to be published.
Judy

Declan Conner wrote 265 days ago

Comment after reading pitch and two chapters.

Reading the pitch, I almost forgot this was a true story. That opening is as good as it gets for back cover blurb you would expect from a thriller.

I have to say that I have never read any true stories, so I have no clue as to how they should be crafted.

My overall impression of the two chapters is that there is a story here, but it needs the guidance of someone who specializes in bringing memoirs to market. Not that saying that takes anything away from you ability to write.The only thing I know about memoirs is that without skeletons, they are not marketable, so I assume that it something that should be expanded on in more depth. As it is, I felt bogged down in a family tree, not really getting inside your head with any conflicts in your life outside church and your religion, which would make it interesting to me as someone who is not religious.

Locked up in jail for running away? Wow, but no description of what must have been a horrific situation for a fifteen year old.... big mistake skipping over it in my opinion. I wanted to know more.

As another example, you tell us about your friend and her experience with the band member. Fair enough it’s a humorous anecdote and made me smile, but that’s her story with nothing edgy about your experience there. I know that as a memoir it has to be factual, so I not suggesting embellishing, but really I want to know about your conflicts and experiences and not those of your friends.

Chapter 1
I see you have split the dialogue from the solicitor into paragraphs, (not sure why) but you haven’t closed the dialogue tags on the first para. ‘this woman has to be crazy.’”
Another alternative would be to do away with the single quotes for the thought and to put in italics. But that’s a personal style issue. Whatever it needs closing quotation marks.

I personally would close his down to one para with quotes beginning and end in one para. Or, I would think back to maybe a thought I had, or facial expression or movement of his to intersperse between the separate dialogue tags. I would have preferred a little scene setting and some of your thoughts before he starts speaking

“I’m serious! Who is this person?(“) quotation marks needed. Also I would join the two paras together with one set of quotation marks.

That final para is brilliant, not only does it take inside your head, but it is an ominous and yet humorous at the same time. Great line.

Reading your pitch, I personally would write and query and outline and start pitching to agents if you have not already done so. Agents work with true stories, helping writers to edit and craft their stories from scratch to marketable and therefore publishable stories. You are at an advantage in that you have already completed the book, so they would have more to work with than an outline.

Good luck with your endeavors.

R. Dango wrote 271 days ago

I had been wanting to read this book for a long time, and for some reason, I have put it aside until today. As soon as I started to read the first paragraph of the first chapter, I knew I should not have waited this long. It's the most interesting read, if I am allowed to be so excited about someone's hard life. in my country, when I was a teenager, my town was flooded (or at least it seemed) with young and clean-cut American men chatting up people and inviting them for 'free English language lessons - at their church'. That was Mormon for us. We used to make jokes about them. And I really had no idea …
I am reading on.

R

Jack Waters wrote 271 days ago

Hi Stella, this is a difficult subject to deal with. You have a heart-breaking story for sure. The things that have happened to you are beyond recompense. No one can make it better. It will always be. This popular cult is in essence, of the devil and not of God. It's leader's are wolves in sheep's clothing and all that. I gathered you were born into it and not convinced by it, which is better for you. Edmund Burke (1729-1797). 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' You are good, and needing to tell the world of this foul and evil religious organization. You are not doing nothing which is why you have written this book. A British politician called Roy Hattersley once said, 'Familiarity with evil breeds not contempt but acceptance.' You cannot accept this evil that you lived with and want to tell the world to make them aware of the terrible life you lead under that religious regime. I commend you, but I wonder; America's Christian fundamentalist attitudes are on the increase; we have the Creationists, God put dinosaur bones in the ground to give archaeologists something to do. Crazy, and on the whole terrifying. Good luck with your book I hope it reaches the right people.

Regards
Jack Waters
Reuben Falls, Dark Legacy.

Mr. Parina wrote 289 days ago

Stella:
I found this informative and shocking. I have not much to add other than what has already been stated in your comments. My other half suggested the read and it is my pleasure to back.
Mr. P

Old Ned wrote 315 days ago

Stella.. I need to send you a private message but new to this site and not sure how, please let me know..thanks


What a great book needs to be out there in the public.. I found you by accident...

Old Ned.. Mormon for 20 years and now set free for 38 but still reaching in and pulling victims out..

Reid-Sumter wrote 317 days ago

I've read it once, I've read it twice, and in fact.... I'm reading it again. I've taken careful planning on what to say to this wonderful work of art, but I find it hard to compose such a message that hasn't already been retold three times over. So I will leave you with simplicity.

To the eyes of an author, your are a remarkable being to have created such a plot of irony and deception. A woman and in being a woman... We strive for so many unremarkable talents, wishes, dreams, and sometimes our religion can be the complete package of that in its complete entirety. As a woman's perspective on such a prudent subject of "what was to be thought of and what truly became an outcome" has douched me in tears. I absolutely fell die hard for this inspiring title.

To all credit that is due, I wish I could elaborate on how much love is well played and far fetched.

For without suffering, there's not an inch of us that can live. And for the female to be captivated in thorough emotion as if that is our predestined mind set, we look on terms such as this as a lesson never to be learned or taught. But a wrenching moment in the life of a woman who thought her life was at full circle.



With Full Support
Alexandria

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 324 days ago


finally made the time to read a piece of this, it's been sitting on my WL forever!
anyway, this is hella interesting and as far as constructive critism goes - i've got nothing... except maybe watch your tenses, if you're reflecting on past moments, it's still past so "by now we were inseparable" should be "by then we were inseparable" - now is now, then is then...

but honestly, nothing really stood out to me as wrong or incorrect, i looked past anything because i was so into the story and the fact that it's YOURS and not fictional is un-freaking-believable... i've got nothing to add - but man, i do look forward to reading the rest!

Jaclyn x
My Life Without Me

Tottie Limejuice wrote 327 days ago

Extremely brave to write this book, Stella. I too felt shock and amazement at the total personality change in William right after the wedding. Have only had time to read the first six chapters but will keep it on my watchlist and hopefully come back to read some more.

Well done to you for escaping from the living hell and I do hope your life is now much happier.

Tottie Limejuice
Sell the Pig

J Greene wrote 330 days ago

I live in the 'bible belt' in Canada where I teach a lot of Mormon children. Many have happy homes. A few I worry about, where girls are made to cook, clean, and care for their siblings while their older brothers do whatever they want. I want to learn more about your life. I will keep reading.

BeeJoy wrote 332 days ago

Wow. Super interesting to know more about Mormom religion. I did not know much about it and it's secrets. Thank you for bringing this story up in such a brilliant way. You write well and I wish you the best with this book. 5 stars

D. S. Hale wrote 333 days ago

I am hooked. Your book is very engrossing. i have finished chapter #3 and want to read the rest of it now, but I have to wait until I get to the computer at the library, or I will use up all the gigabites on my internet. Argh! I am putting you on my WL, and will put you on my shelf as soon as I can.

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

LondonFog wrote 336 days ago

Hi Stella,

Came across your work completley by accident, but now i am so glad i did. Having only read the first chapter, as this is all i have time to read properly. The pitch for your story, as this is all i can work on as a means of assessing the work, filled me both with a tinge of sadness and a overwhelming sense of pride in your achievements to break away from that environment. Bravery is the word to best sum it up. I have deep respect for people who challange the authority they have been brought up in, that they have been almost brow-beaten into yielding towards. Speaking as an athiest (don't worry i'm not one of those smug athiests that everybody seems to hate) i think that more people who have been in your position should tell their stories. As it stands as a good symbol for everybody and everyday life: you should not accept your life as it is if you are not happy with it. Only you can make a difference.

Anyway, those were my initial thoughts of the first chapter and your pitch as a whole, i have no real critisim or advice as like i said i haven't read enough to afford me those view points, but rest assured from what i've read alone your book has my backing and my watchlist. Keep up the good work!

Tom
Paradise, Volume 1

(ps sorry for any spelling mistakes, as this was written in a hurry)

Brian G Chambers wrote 339 days ago

Hi Stella
What can I say, except I admire you very much for giving us such an insight to the way of the Mormons. I had heard such stories before, but it is better to be believed through the eyes of someone who witnessed it. One reads such horrible things about different religions and how they abuse the very people they should be protecting from evil. One only has to watch the news or read the papers to see such things as children being abused by priests. It is a sad sad world that we live in. I am however a believer in God and know that he will take revenge on all those who have abused us. I wish I could put you straight onto my shelf, but as it is I will have to oust someone from my WL and keep you there until I can get you onto my shelf. The reason being was that I was so touched by your story that I think it deserves to be published, so that the world really knows what goes on behind the mask of religion. So on my WL and six stars for now. You will make it to the ED before you know it.
Brian.

Geoff Green wrote 340 days ago

Dear Stella
This is a remarkable and important book, extremely well written and a brave debunking of much that goes on in the world of 'religion'. I have just finished chapter seven and am completely gripped.
How lovely to have a Charlie in your life - but the chilling William who reminded me of Patrick Bergen in that scary movie, Sleeping With The Enemy - scared me to death. How you didn't jump out the car on your way back to Idaho after the wedding I will never know...
It seems to take us human beings some time (some never get it) to realise that intellect (all brain, not much soul) and intelligence (love and truth) are different things. But how cleverly powerful believers take control and ruin lives, taking innocence away by claiming their secret society is better than another - how preposterous. It seems to me that, the closest thing we have to truth is that' inner voice, that instinct that transcends bluff and rhetoric, that thing we often ignore - at our peril. Been there, done that.
Your book will do well.
I have rated it highly and backed it. Very well done.
Geoff - Paying for the Past

Anonymity wrote 341 days ago

Stella.

Thank you so much for this book – I am finding it fascinating, in an educational sense, and riveting as a story. I could hardly believe it when you joined the Mormon Church again as a teenager, after everything you had been through!

I usually nit-pick my way through books, but there was no need in your case. Although it could still use a little polishing, the writing runs smoothly and is easy to read.

I don’t blame you for dropping Neural Psychology and taking poetry class – the frog incident is stuck in my head now and, of course, I wasn’t there!

Stella, I’ve read up to chapter four and intend to read more from time to time. This is the kind of book I like, and would certainly select it from a bookshelf at a bookstore. The only thing preventing me from reading it more intensely is that I don’t like reading online – it hurts my eyes! So, let me know when it hits the bookstores, and I’m sure it will, so I can buy a copy.

Janet/Helen wrote 354 days ago

The Secret Life of a Mormon Wife. Chapters 1 to 10

I have only read 10 chapters today but, had time permitted, I would have happily gone on to read all that is downloaded. A very, very powerful insight into the life and beliefs of Mormons -and what revelations. I cannot add anything much to the detailed comments already posted, but I consider your style of writing to be such that it makes this book hugely readable. I love the humour that manages to surface here despite the darkness of the story - describing William on your wedding day as looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy made me laugh despite my overall feeling of anger at what you were going through on what should have been the happiest day of your life. I can associate totally with humour being a way of dealing with stress and pain - don't ever lose that humour.
6 stars and will watchlist this for future backing. Janet

Janet/Helen
The Stranger In My Life

NLG-86 wrote 360 days ago

This is an interesting subject matter which is really well written. Your writing style is natural and very readable.

You let your experiences speak for themselves. Once I started, I could not stop until I had read it all.

This is really powerful and I’m sure it will stay in the mind of all who have read it. It must have taken a great deal of courage to write and I want to thank you for sharing it.

Best of luck,
Nicola.

Stellajr wrote 360 days ago

I have sent a private message to Emma, thanking her for her in-depth review, and will address the issues she raises in my next edit. Until then, I wanted to clarify a few things here.

I was not aware of my daughter's abuse at the hands of the church member who physically abused her until after I had stopped taking her there. Threats had been an effective deterrent. I did confront the babysitter once I found out, but naturally she denied hitting and slapping "Leigh." She did admit to "I swatted her on the butt, because she wouldn't stop screaming." Which begs the question: Why was she screaming to begin with?

As for my son, I tried many times to have him switched to another class and even considered home schooling him. The situation resolved itself when the teacher was fired for striking another student forcefully enough to break his glasses.

As my friendship with the professor grew, I mentioned him to my parents as someone from Huntington and asked if they had known him when he lived there.They had given permission to give him their address. In condensing the story for brevity, I had omitted that important detail.

Because this is my story and not that of my parents, I deliberately omitted much of what was going on there. My father is deceased, but my mom is still living. Out of respect for her, I do not wish to discuss her personal matters. She may even have an issue with the parts I have told, but they seem essential to my story. (My mom and siblings are still unaware of my book.)

Patti's parents frequently told me I was "precious." When I say they thought I was a bad influence on their daughter, it was more along the lines of typical teenage shenanigans, nothing really bad. They made it clear they still loved me as their own. When Patti passed away, it felt like losing a sister and a best friend.

Thank you so much Emma for bringing these things to my attention.

Stella, I've read all you have uploaded. Wow. I don't know where to start. I found this to be an incredibly interesting read. I knew very little of Mormons and their beliefs and am stunned after reading this. As an atheist, religious-based books don't usually interest me. Yet yours had me hooked from the first page. You've done an incredible job with this. It's candidly told and done so in such a relaxed, conversational way that it really was a pleasure to read.

The hardships you endured defy belief. The abuse you suffered throughout your marriage is absolutely shocking. Surprisingly, I occasionally felt some level of sympathy for William. He was also a victim where his despicable father was concerned, yet there comes a point where he has to be accountable for his own actions. His complete lack of compassion, care and attention where you and your children were concerned was sickening. How on earth you managed to endure that life for as long as you did, beggars belief.

Some parts of this, I found hard to read. In particular, the hardships your children suffered. Not only were they experiencing abuse at home (mental, verbal and emotional, not to mention the sickening episode with the pornography), they also had to endure it from other quarters, too; Leigh with the babysitter, Joseph with the teacher, etc. I must admit, I was surprised at the mention of these incidents. You tell us about Leigh's awful treatment at the hands of the babysitter almost in passing, then swiftly move on. What happened? Perhaps you're a better person than me as I'd have ripped the bullying cow's throat out had she treated my child in this way. The same goes for Joseph's disgusting teacher. I must also say, I truly admire your ability to forgive the doctor after Sara's death. That must have taken some exceptional soul-searching.

As a mother, my heart ached for you as I read about the loss of your children. You are an incredibly strong woman, Stella. Your visions/dreams sent shivers down my spine as I read, particularly the one about Katrina's birth and the premonition of the death of your son. I'm glad you had the visions of seeing your children in spirit; it must have been such a huge comfort.

Orville is an absolute shit. What a disgusting, sorry excuse for a father. To be living in the lap of luxury whilst his own flesh and blood lived in poverty-- sickening. What on earth you must have gone through after realising what a dreadful mistake you'd made marrying into that hellish family! William's demands, what he expected from you as his new wife, as you drove from just being married caused my jaw to hit the floor. And the agreement with Samuel...! Bloody hell, what a horrible family! I'm so glad you got out of there and really pity other people still enduring what you did.

Despite the subject matter and the horrors you suffered, you have managed to write this in an almost tongue-in-cheek style. It gives for a highly engrossing read; you've done a brilliant job. The smatterings of humour within are very well thought out and makes this stand out from your usual non-fiction stories of abuse. I really think you have a winner on your hands with this and would be very surprised if this isn't picked up in the near future. It's truly deserving and needs to be noticed. I think you've been incredibly brave writing this and am glad you have. Your story really needs to be heard.

This is very well written and polished. Apart from some punctuation issues, there isn't really much I'd change. An edit would iron this out and make it ready for publication in no time at all. One thing that did jar a little for me was the over-use of exclamation marks. In my opinion, nearly all of them could be stripped away. They alter the tone somewhat and become a little irritating after a while. I think your writing would have a more powerful impact without them. Also, when you were praying after William's accusations regarding the professor, one line of your prayer sounds a bit confusing, as if a word or two is missing. Maybe have a read and see if you agree? Of course, it may just be me not getting it.

I thought that a few issues could be elaborated on and some others trimmed. For example, the mention of your parents suddenly stopping attending church was mentioned but no real reason was given or explained. And how did they feel about you continuing to attend? Did you discuss this with them, etc? It just seemed a little odd to me and I'd have liked to have known more about that. Also, you mention that Patti's parents saw you as a bad example to their daughter then say you were hardly away from their home and that they often mentioned wanting to adopt you! This doesn't really make sense. As for the parts that could be trimmed, I think you've done a fantastic job with the descriptions of the mormon faith and its teachings and have included a lot of interesting information. It does, however, seem to drag on a bit in parts and I found myself skipping sections at times, wanting to get back to the main story. As I've said, though, you've done a great job explaining the history and customs, etc. They were very insightful, thank you.

As I've stated, William's behaviour is awful. I did, however, agree with his opinion on one matter. I too thought it a little odd that you gave the professor your parents address. Maybe it's a US/UK thing, and you're a lot more friendlier over there, but I could just imagine my family's reaction if I gave their address to someone they'd never met and they just turned up out of the blue! I don't mean to offend you (and it goes without saying, William's reaction with the shotgun was completely wrong), just giving, as a reader, my opinion.

There's not much more to say. I applaud and admire you for your brutal honesty and your ability to admit and hold your hands up to some of the mistakes you made, especially with the children and Patti's ordeal with William and the rape. Writing this must have been a very emotional project and I thank you for giving me the opportunity of reading it. You are a brilliant writer, a great mother and a very nice, very brave, human being. I wish you all the best for the future and with getting this published. I've starred this highly and will be shelving it at the next shuffle. Well done.

Emma.L.H. wrote 360 days ago

Stella, I've read all you have uploaded. Wow. I don't know where to start. I found this to be an incredibly interesting read. I knew very little of Mormons and their beliefs and am stunned after reading this. As an atheist, religious-based books don't usually interest me. Yet yours had me hooked from the first page. You've done an incredible job with this. It's candidly told and done so in such a relaxed, conversational way that it really was a pleasure to read.

The hardships you endured defy belief. The abuse you suffered throughout your marriage is absolutely shocking. Surprisingly, I occasionally felt some level of sympathy for William. He was also a victim where his despicable father was concerned, yet there comes a point where he has to be accountable for his own actions. His complete lack of compassion, care and attention where you and your children were concerned was sickening. How on earth you managed to endure that life for as long as you did, beggars belief.

Some parts of this, I found hard to read. In particular, the hardships your children suffered. Not only were they experiencing abuse at home (mental, verbal and emotional, not to mention the sickening episode with the pornography), they also had to endure it from other quarters, too; Leigh with the babysitter, Joseph with the teacher, etc. I must admit, I was surprised at the mention of these incidents. You tell us about Leigh's awful treatment at the hands of the babysitter almost in passing, then swiftly move on. What happened? Perhaps you're a better person than me as I'd have ripped the bullying cow's throat out had she treated my child in this way. The same goes for Joseph's disgusting teacher. I must also say, I truly admire your ability to forgive the doctor after Sara's death. That must have taken some exceptional soul-searching.

As a mother, my heart ached for you as I read about the loss of your children. You are an incredibly strong woman, Stella. Your visions/dreams sent shivers down my spine as I read, particularly the one about Katrina's birth and the premonition of the death of your son. I'm glad you had the visions of seeing your children in spirit; it must have been such a huge comfort.

Orville is an absolute shit. What a disgusting, sorry excuse for a father. To be living in the lap of luxury whilst his own flesh and blood lived in poverty-- sickening. What on earth you must have gone through after realising what a dreadful mistake you'd made marrying into that hellish family! William's demands, what he expected from you as his new wife, as you drove from just being married caused my jaw to hit the floor. And the agreement with Samuel...! Bloody hell, what a horrible family! I'm so glad you got out of there and really pity other people still enduring what you did.

Despite the subject matter and the horrors you suffered, you have managed to write this in an almost tongue-in-cheek style. It gives for a highly engrossing read; you've done a brilliant job. The smatterings of humour within are very well thought out and makes this stand out from your usual non-fiction stories of abuse. I really think you have a winner on your hands with this and would be very surprised if this isn't picked up in the near future. It's truly deserving and needs to be noticed. I think you've been incredibly brave writing this and am glad you have. Your story really needs to be heard.

This is very well written and polished. Apart from some punctuation issues, there isn't really much I'd change. An edit would iron this out and make it ready for publication in no time at all. One thing that did jar a little for me was the over-use of exclamation marks. In my opinion, nearly all of them could be stripped away. They alter the tone somewhat and become a little irritating after a while. I think your writing would have a more powerful impact without them. Also, when you were praying after William's accusations regarding the professor, one line of your prayer sounds a bit confusing, as if a word or two is missing. Maybe have a read and see if you agree? Of course, it may just be me not getting it.

I thought that a few issues could be elaborated on and some others trimmed. For example, the mention of your parents suddenly stopping attending church was mentioned but no real reason was given or explained. And how did they feel about you continuing to attend? Did you discuss this with them, etc? It just seemed a little odd to me and I'd have liked to have known more about that. Also, you mention that Patti's parents saw you as a bad example to their daughter then say you were hardly away from their home and that they often mentioned wanting to adopt you! This doesn't really make sense. As for the parts that could be trimmed, I think you've done a fantastic job with the descriptions of the mormon faith and its teachings and have included a lot of interesting information. It does, however, seem to drag on a bit in parts and I found myself skipping sections at times, wanting to get back to the main story. As I've said, though, you've done a great job explaining the history and customs, etc. They were very insightful, thank you.

As I've stated, William's behaviour is awful. I did, however, agree with his opinion on one matter. I too thought it a little odd that you gave the professor your parents address. Maybe it's a US/UK thing, and you're a lot more friendlier over there, but I could just imagine my family's reaction if I gave their address to someone they'd never met and they just turned up out of the blue! I don't mean to offend you (and it goes without saying, William's reaction with the shotgun was completely wrong), just giving, as a reader, my opinion.

There's not much more to say. I applaud and admire you for your brutal honesty and your ability to admit and hold your hands up to some of the mistakes you made, especially with the children and Patti's ordeal with William and the rape. Writing this must have been a very emotional project and I thank you for giving me the opportunity of reading it. You are a brilliant writer, a great mother and a very nice, very brave, human being. I wish you all the best for the future and with getting this published. I've starred this highly and will be shelving it at the next shuffle. Well done.

ShirleyGrace wrote 363 days ago

Stella:
I was going to send this to you in a private message but maybe it needs to be posted as a comment. When I first read your book I didn't want to admit that the shocking things you have said about the church could be true. The first time I attended church was at my grandmothers house in her living room as we had no building and most of the members in the town were family and the town was small. I was very young, a baby really. We later had church over the A&P store downtown. It took many years and many bake sales before we were able to get a chapel. My grandfather was Pres. and then my uncle. When you have had this religion drilled into you for eighteen years, it is difficult to let go of it. My mother and her family were members. The men my mother and her sisters were married to joined much later in life and were not active when I was growing up. If they had married members of the church, they would have had to marry cousins. (people in Kentucky have been accused of that) Laughs and smiles for a little humor there. I taught Sunday school and was very active in the church. When the abuse began at a very young age, I had to ask myself if the church was so great how come it was not okay to drink coffee or pepsi and smoke but it was okay to beat your children and send them to school with broken teeth and bald places where the hair was pulled out. My aunts did not treat their children that way, however. When I was about ten an elder (missionary) tried to sexually abuse me. We were in a crowded car and I was forced to sit on his lap. I was damaged by that. I told no one. I do not say the things you state in your book are not true but I do think it is sad. I have to question a church or religion that holds it's women down as homemakers and producers of children and placates their wives by telling them they, as mothers, have the most important job of all, not that I disagree with that but I do disagree with the motive. I do not attend church at all.
Enough of that and now to your book.
It is well written and polished. If this is written in a true sincere purpose and I have no reason to doubt that, I applaud you. I like to think there are good people in the church, and I'm sure we would agree on that. I wish you well and have starred you well.
Sincerely
Shirley Grace

Sheena Macleod wrote 366 days ago

The Secret Life of the Mormon Wife by Stella J Rabinowitz
I highly recommend reading this book.

This is not an area I know much about, and appreciate the clear explanations given about the culture and religion. The level of this is perfect.
in 1830 (add space ?)

suffice to say ( suggest removing it)

You are brave indeed to speak out about the abuse suffered, not only by yourself but by your family.
I cannot imagine how your mom coped with such a horrific experience.
You describe a range of traumatic childhood experiences.
It is humbling in the way you do not seek sympathy. (although you deserve a lot of empathy and understanding).
I cannot comprehend the exact feelings that must have arisen from such traumas.

This is an excetionally well written account of what life can be like for a Mormon family. Its brutal honesty and heart wrenching accounts are heartfelt by the reader. I cannot begin to imagine the emotional and psychological cost of some of these experiences. It takes a strong person indeed, to not only survive such circumstances, but to go an and write about them.

This book deserves wider readership and praise. It is written from the heart, not to extract sympathy, but to raise awareness and understanding. The contents will stay with you long after you lay this book down.

A worthy contribution to the genre. I trully hope it does well.

I will continue to read this at my own pace.

Sheena
The Popish Plot


Lourdes wrote 377 days ago

Author Stella J. Rabinowitz, presents us with an interesting look into the Mormon culture as well as its umbelievably scary (from MPOV) practices and beliefs. Although i only read the first five chapters, i felt this book was brilliantly written with good descriptions and even a sense of humor, in spite of the seriousness of the narrative.
High stars, on my WL and placed in line for the shelf.
Maria
The Path to Survival

zap wrote 377 days ago

Hi Stella,

I enjoyed reading your book . . . and that is the complete MS. While I was very interested in the subject matter, I also wondered how you would tackle the many faceted strands of this controversial religion. I was deeply impressed with the way you handled the story-telling which was laced with many an informative paragraph about the basics of Mormonism.

There was not a hint of ranting or raving, nor any sensationalism, which could have marred or distorted an objective viewpoint. Instead, your down-to-earth approach told a truthful story, but never resorted to retaliation or name-calling. You've woven your own life-story with its joys and woes into this book, and the contradictions and discrepancies seem to become more apparent when using the method of opening your private thoughts to a wider audience.

I thought that the cover could be more eye-catching. If you look for Bradley Wind's thread 'Free cover', you can ask on there for one to be designed to your specifications.

Some of the back-story in the beginning seems a little lengthy, with towns, schools, friends and university descriptions which may be interesting for people who know those places, but don't have much of an impact on a non-American reader. I feel that a little cutting back of this info could tighten up the story-line.

I agreed with all your discussions about doctrine, and thought that your arguments were
very clear and logical. The 'rod' in biblical terms is a stick with which the shepherds used to GUIDE their flocks, not beat them.

I found your story extremely well balanced and moving. I've backed the book.

Ame



Fontaine wrote 382 days ago

I've read the first eight chapters of your book. I found it harrowing to read but your sense of humour also shines through which made it bearable (just). I am completely ovewhelmed by what happend to you and think that you must possess a very strong personality to have survived the experiences you went through (and I just know I haven't read the worst, yet). I think it is important for people who know about these organisations from the inside to explain them to the 'outside' world.
Your writing style is suited to this kind of book and you move swiftly through some very dificult and painful passages keeping the flow and pace going.I didnt see anyting I felt should be edited excetp for (I think in chapter 2?) it might be helpful to give a brief explanation of what you mean by 'baptism for the dead'. I think I know what it means but it may need clarifying.
This story resonated for me, personally, and at time was painful to read but that just shows the power of your writing and the way you are able to express the feelings you experienced. You seem to be completely devoid of self pity. Thank you very much for sharing your story. I hope it will help other people who are trapped not only in restrictive cults but in abusive relationships of every kind. You give out a message of hope and optimism. Highly starred.

KMac23 wrote 404 days ago

Stella, I read through your first five chapters. This was a very eye-opening experience. It's always been interesting to me why the Mormon leaders keep all their rituals and ceremonies very private. After reading this, I'm thinking it might be a wise thing for them to do. The scripts in the wedding ceremony you described digressed in so many ways from the Bible and seemed to substitute God with the devil. There seem to be many inconsistencies in their beliefs.

This was edited well. You are also very clear and succinct about the way you organized your work. You describe in detail each area of your life before moving on. I felt your confusion and pain in both your upbringing and throughout your college years. I think brainwashing is powerful and even though in the back of your mind, you questioned some of the ideas and rituals, and the things your husband-to-be's family were doing, you created excuses for the behavior or chose to ignore it. I think the exposure of this book is important. If it helped one person to find their way out of such a life, it would be worth it. Best wishes,

Kara
A Gate Called Beautiful

Lyn4ny wrote 410 days ago

WOW what a start to this book. I have only read chapter one here but will read more soon. I like it so far and think its nicely written with a great flow to it. Will be interested in seeing where this is going. Very wonderful writing style here. High Stars from me and on my WL for now. Thanks for sharing this story.

-Lyn
Forty-Four Footprints Following Me

Elizabeth Kathleen wrote 413 days ago

Stella I read all the way to chapter 30 and I appreciate your brutal honesty and openness. I hope it will cause some to think deeper than the surface and to look past closed doors to what's going on inside. Your writing is clear and understandable. I'm sorry you've suffered so much. Your life was a hard one and I will pray that all will be much better for you and your family from now on. May there be someone who's saved because you told the truth. I've never been a Mormon, but have relatives who are and I appreciate your writing.
God bless you!!!
Elizabeth Kathleen
"If Children are Cheaper by the Dozen, Can I Get a Discount on Six?"

Cathy Hardy wrote 432 days ago

Poor you. I have come back to your book and read up to chapter seven. How awful your life must have been with William. I had no idea that these people behaved in such a way.

I will read on, hopefully you survive which I Imagine your did.

You have written this so nicely and matter-of -factly, that it is really easy to follow.

I like the ice cream analogy and the fact that William looked like the pilsbury dough boy in the temple. I would have laughed out loud I'm sure.

I was shocked at the idea that heaven was an exclusive club and William was your Lord. How dreadful.

You tell this story well at a steady place. I willl come back and comment once I've read more.


evermoore wrote 432 days ago

Stella...I had such a different view of Mormons. I'd think of famous people that looked so very happy and simply thought they had found their faith just as I had, but in a different church, if you will. I never realized what beliefs they held or that they differed so drastically from my own. I ached for you. I don't think I'll ever forget that paddle that was gifted to new moms...or the meaning behind it. On one hand, at times, I felt for William, realizing he was just a by product of his own horrible upbringing...but there comes a time when we all cut the apron strings and take those things we held true, leaving behind those things we knew weren't what we want. And you, you poor thing, so far from your own family...so trapped by your dreams of being a good Mormon when everything in your existence was so darkly painful. I am so happy you found your way out...so thrilled that you found a man to love and be loved by, that is good, loyal, loving, and true. I am sure this will reach the desk and hope you are contacting publishers in the meanwhile. Six stars and a hug...
Linda

Seringapatam wrote 453 days ago

Not my normal Genre this, but I am trying hard to broaden my horizon and look at as many other books as I can. I am pleasantly surprised at how muck I enjoyed your book. I think you have put a massive effort in making it feel real through the way you tell it. You have not attempted to brainwash the reader and that is clear. People get put off with that. I wish you luck with this and I hope like me you can tempt people in to reading it as I really liked this a lot. Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you? Happy New Year. Sean

Andrea Taylor wrote 455 days ago

I have just dipped into this, (two chapters) but it is written with great feeling and passion and because of that, it is riveting. As an English woman with a occasional attendance at church on high days and holidays (Christmas and weddings) I found the obsession with a religion (or anything else for that matter) worrying and an eye opener. I've always felt that religion (all of them) was for the suppression of women. This only confirms it. My heart goes out to you and I think your bravery in writing this is tremendous. Because I could not stop reading, I also think that this is a very well written book and for both reasons I will give you six stars and add you to my bookshelf when I have fulfilled my other offers.
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair

JBerg wrote 456 days ago

Wow. Your book is one of the very few that I have read from beginning to end. Your personal story pulled me in and wouldn't let go. Your book NEEDS to be published, however, editing and cutting will need to be done before that. The one part that sticks out in my head is the part where you are describing the jail cell. In your book, you stated that you weren't going to discuss your childhood, but then there was 1-2 pages on the jail cell. It would be scenes like this that maybe need to be cut or shortened if you want to keep it in.
Overall, though, this book is a great read and spell-binding! Not only am I giving you high stars, but I am backing your book:)
Jessica
A Place to Call Home
Writer and Editor

Celine Zabel wrote 465 days ago

Stella,

I read through chapter 3. I have never understood the Mormon, excuse me, LDS Church. Your historical depiction through your story is absolutely fascinating. I will return to read more.

Your writing flows, and is easy to understand. I enjoyed what I read, and look fwd to reading more. I hope this gets published. Good luck, and congratulations, on gettng this in wriitng.

Celine Zabel
Lives Shattered: One Mother's Loss at the Hands of the Legal System

Cathy Hardy wrote 483 days ago

This is so interesting. I was bredfly a Mormon in my teens because I was a fan of the Osmonds (Please don't laugh :) However, it was short lived. I thought they were good people however, which I'm sure many of them are. I will be reading this with interest though. On my watch list. Top stars!!

Jane Mauret wrote 496 days ago

Hello, Stella
I was quite mesmerized by your writing from the off. You are a natural storyteller and you have a fascinating tale to impart.
You are quite matter of fact regarding the events of your early life and I think that adds to the quality of your writing. You gives us a sense of yourself without seeking sympathy; no mean feat.
I personally find stories like this fascinating and never cease to be amazed at the lengths these cultish people will go to, to hang on to members of the flock.
I was brought up in convent schools and we were terrified of the nuns and priests who often acted inappropriately. Still today, I think of the effect those years had on me as I was torn between trying to please these figures that loomed large in my life.
I will keep reading your book.
I did not feel I was reading work from an amateur especially when you paint characters, locations and events so vividly yet with a few well-chosen words.
It also takes courage to tell a story like this and I am glad you have decided to embark on this project; I think we need to learn exactly what some people go through.
Best wishes and bye for now.
Jane Mauret
I CAN LAUGH – NOW!

AlexiaDeAngelis wrote 506 days ago

Hi Stella, I have had your book on my WL for sometime. I have finally had a chance to read some of your work, and have made some notes for you.
Your pitch drew me in - I too have written a memoir with similar themes of opression, escape and doomed marriage etc. I also found a lawyer who gave me a world of hope in a time where I was so empty, so I was glad to see a glimmer of hope after your pitch.
May I suggest using your husband's name instead of 'him' in your short pitch? --> 'Secret Mormon rituals trapped me in an unhappy marriage. Being married to William for eternity was going to be hell' - it just gives a brief introduction to key characters.
Long pitch; '...time and all eternity and gave him the power..' why not try this '..time and all eternity, giving him the power..' It just helps to ease the flow of reading.
'I could not escape from my miserable marriage.' You have already said marriage, why not try '..I could not escape my misery.'
Chapter 1; I like the fact you start with diallogue, on a positive note. I think perhaps you could cut out a lot of background information which isnt relevant to the story, and replace this with more diallouge - so illustrate the story rather an explain it.
You start a lot of the paragraphs with 'my parents' or 'I'. I know its difficult to avoid esp with a book of this genre. But for example 'My parents gradually stopped attending..' could be better worded 'Gradually we stopped attending..'
'Celestial (Heavenly) love..' - I don't think you need (Heavenly) there, leave it at Celestial love.
I think you have a huge potential here, with a story which will shock and inform. With a little nip and tuck here and there, you're sure to have a winner. Rated highly for now, I'll be back for more.
Adina
Confessions of a Dervish

Porcelynn wrote 530 days ago

This book is an absolutely heart-throbbing account of a life paved in tragedy. Stella, my heart ached for you; I could not stop reading this all day.

My best friend had a terrible experience with the LDS and fortunately, she was able to divorce her husband and also leave the church. I found myself thinking of her and really putting both your and her experiences into perspective having heard her account and then reading yours.

Thank you for writing this. This is a very brave testament of raw facts and your emotionally driven story. The truth needs to be out there, and hopefully we can prevent others from facing the same harsh reality that you once lived.

I actually found, while reading this, that I was seeking a more visceral account of your story. Often I felt perhaps you were leaving out detail that could have added more depth to the story. Really I think you should use this as a base and expand on it, it's really such a raw account of your life and you are so interesting and your story is so compelling! There is so much emotion wrapped up in your tragedies, I want more of your heart in your writing; your story is just absolutely amazing!

Keep writing, you have talent and you have a story!

levielm wrote 531 days ago

Powerful!

Your account is well written and strong, meanding at times, but then you have 90K words. In terms of readability, and I think in concert with some of the other comments, you would be well served to cut where you can, re-write your passive verb sentences into the active verb forms where possible, and trim to 80K or less. That would make this clean, succinct, powerul, and a want-to-read, just as it already is, but a good strong edit would make it more appealing to agents, which is where you need to go next. Well done. Best. j

Dianna Lanser wrote 559 days ago

Hi Stella,

I have revisited “Secret Life,” and once again, I so appreciate your story. It is told with a candidness that is not looking for pity but simply to set the story straight.

Your honesty and ability to insightfully relate your experience makes this a very entertaining and interesting read. I found myself angered and sometimes shocked at the far extent that people’s selfishness will go.

I hope by telling your story you receive healing for your hurt and that after reading this, people will be wise as foxes when they enter into any kind of “religious” contract. I gave you six stars a long time ago and they still stand!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

Tod Schneider wrote 635 days ago

This is a harsh tale, well told! You lay it out well. I think your details are vivid and they enrich the telling. I'm so glad you escaped! Best of luck with this.

And if you have any interest in children's literature, you are invited to check out my novel The Lost Wink.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Six Foot Bonsai wrote 745 days ago

I feel we have a lot of sisterhood in our situations. I married a Japanese man at 18 in 1982 and tried to become the best Japanese wife ever! I succeeded in a lot of way, but eventually I hit a wall and spiraled out of control. It was truthfully like an addiction. I left my Japanese husband- but I could not leave Japan and my indentity as a yomesan.

I love the way you expose the crazy rituals and demands of the church. I was LDS for a short time in my teenage years and several relatives are "mormon." I'm Christian and thrive through the grace of God today- but I do so by reading and following His word as written in the Bible. Best wishes to you! I hope your book is published! P.S. Do you have any thoughts on Mitt Romney? Could you back him even though he is LDS?

Six Foot Bonsai wrote 747 days ago

I'm enjoying your book. I selected it because of personal connections to the subject matter. The grammar and punctuation are impeccable really. I tend to jump over my own mistakes so I can't say the same for my book. I've got plenty of goobers to clean up and I continue to work at it.

I was LDS for a few years during my early-mid teens- even participating in baptism for the dead. My book (a pseronal account of life a Japanese wife), however contains none of my LDS background. It simply wasn't significant to my story of cultural addiction. I say this, because at one point my book was much longer and I had encluded the LDS part. Then, a trusted content editor told me the Mormon stuff was interesting but that it was just sort of hanging out there as a side note. I removed those sections and several others based on her advice. When I look at CMTStibbe's comments below I see he noted some rampling. I found this as well. It's such a fine line what to include and what not to include. Sometime I feel like I've omitted too much.

In any case, this is a great book. I was impressed by your voice and the self-reflection. I too married young- with a voice saying "No". I just want to belong to something. I relate totally. Great work! Stacy G.

Groaner wrote 788 days ago

Hi Stella. Here as promised. I read the first two chapters. Not far enough to get into the meat of the story, but enough to see that your writing is certainly competent. I was a bit torn between the feeling that - 'did I really care about such detailed personal information that seemed to ramble on in the beginning' - but at the same time suspecting that I would need that much of it to really get the picture as the story unfolded. To be honest, this is not something I would read (just personal preference) so I have to confine my comments to the writing alone. In that regard, I don't see any problems (that, of course, in my amateur observation). I think your descriptions of events are clear and well presented and so far I have no questions about what you're saying. The flow is smooth - I didn't find myself going, "Huh?" anywhere. I thought the 'sequencing' as you went along was excellent (not always the case in some true life I've read here).
All in all, I think you have a very interesting subject, written well, and from what I gather, one that should draw a lot of attention.
Best of luck to you. See you at the desk.

Neville wrote 807 days ago

The Secret Life of a Mormon Wife.
By Stella Rabinowitz.


I can say that this book has opened my eyes quite a lot…so to speak.
I knew very little about the Mormon Church or their followers, so it comes as a surprise to learn of your past experiences.
I do feel sorry for you…I think many more will do as well after reading your account.
I wonder if it could have been someone else, would the marriage have been any different.
To get back to the main point of reading your book…It’s a well written, brave account of your ordeal.
You are to be commended for that alone and I’m sure your book will be carried out of many shops by a satisfied customer.
I would have bought it purely on its title and cover…wanting to gain the wealth of experience that it offers to the reader… I would have been pleased with my purchase…I know that.
Pleased to star-rate your book, Stella, BACKED!! and I wish you well with it.

Kind regards,

Neville. The Secrets of the Forest - The Time Zone..