About the Author

To further complicate the fragile eco-system of my brain, our father decided the world was ending. This Yale-educated urbanite became convinced that to save us from imminent death, he needed to move his family and many others from the community to a rural, mountain commune out of state. We built a bomb shelter and attempted to raise chickens and grow our own food in order to survive the forth coming nuclear winter. The collective disaster at living “off the land” eventually led to a mass exodus back to the Windy City, leaving only our family and a granola-eating survivalist (later becoming a Neo-Nazi who attempted to kill us by shooting out the bay windows of our home).

A strange childhood, but at least our father’s religious dogma didn’t force me to marry men five times my age. I didn’t have to give up our education, freedom or dreams. And if I met the love of my life, I was free to marry him (kind of). Most importantly, I wouldn’t have to share my husband with sister-wives.

There was nothing in my childhood that even remotely resembled the lives of young girls being raised within polygamous cults in 21st century America. Even though I grew up in a “cult” type environment, I was never subjected to the dehumanizing abuse that so many women and children living in polygamous communities endure in the name of religion.

Thankfully I left my childhoods behind, stronger as a result and empathetic to the individuals trapped in extreme circumstances like those portrayed in Hidden Wives.