Carolyn Jessop, the author of Escape (2007) is just a few years older than me. Reading her memoir of life in the FLDS (Warren Jeffs' fundamentalist Mormon cult), I would occasionally note the year an event occurred and try to remember what I was doing when it happened--e.g. when she was married off at 18, becoming the fourth wife of a man in his 50's, I'm pretty sure I was at band camp with my friends. And she finally fled the community, taking all 8 of her children with her, a few months before I got pregnant with my first and thus far only child. If I didn't anchor her life to mine that way, I'd forget that I was reading the story of one of my contemporaries, because it seemed so unreal that this kind of abuse was going on in my country, in my lifetime.
It's a harrowing book, but it has a happy ending because of Carolyn Jessop's strength and courage. That she managed to get out, win custody of her children, and find a way to live in mainstream society is a testimony to her resilience.