Lost Boy by Brent Jeffs
Brent Jeffs was part of a family of polygamist royalty as the grandson of FLDS prophet Rulon Jeffs. Unfortunately, this did not translate into an easy life. Brent’s father Ward was the only one of Rulon’s sons to go to Vietnam and he returned with PTSD. Add to this the fact that two of Ward’s three sister-wives were actually sisters who had never gotten along and the third was a supremely messed up teenager who married him to get away from a controlling mother and didn’t seem to know how to interact with other people, particularly children, and you can start to see why Brent’s life may not have been very easy.
However, things did not stop there. When Brent and some of his brothers were around 5 years old, they were molested by their uncle Warren Jeffs, the man who would later take over his father Rulon’s position as FLDS prophet. Warren molested them only from about ages 5-7, but afterwards seemed determined to make life difficult for them – not a hard task since he was the principal of their school. This led Brent and many of his brothers, all of whom seem to have initially repressed these memories, to become rather troubled adolescents.
This was a very interesting book. It seems that most books dealing with polygamy and FLDS explore the effect this life has on women. In “Lost Boy,” we see the effect it can have both on the boys who are pushed out and the men who are more fully integrated into the polygamous adult male life style, like Brent’s father. The writing isn’t the best – there are far too many exclamation points! in some places – but it is serviceable. This is not the sort of book you read looking for lovely prose anyway, you read it to learn what is happening perhaps only miles from where you live. By that metric, I think this book succeeds. I found it to be an interesting and informative read, and one I would recommend to people interested in this topic.