In her book called Keep Sweet, Children of Polygamy, Debbie Palmer describes her years growing up in a polygamous sect in British Columbia known as the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). She was the oldest child of her father who had six wives and 48 children. She was very close to her bilogical mother who died when she was about seven of untreated anemia. The second wife of her father raised her and her 2 siblings. Jan, Debbie's step mother was young when she married her father and was jealous of his children from his first wife. She abused them and Debbie, by far the most. When Debbie became very sick, and she was still very young, Jan told her that she was just looking for attention and was a cry baby. She forced her to do her chores or she would beat her. Debbie was rapped at an early age. She did not really understand what happened to her. She wanted to belong and follow some of the other kids.She describes the schooling that they received and the requirements of knowing the bible or the book of Mormons by heart. She relates all the prepartions and excitement at having the prophet from the States come and preach to them.At the age of fifteen she asks to be married to excape the abuse of her step mother. She wanted to marry Jan's father thinking that by marrying her father and becoming her step mother's step mother, the abuse would stop. He was 55 years old and she became his 6th wife. He was also the leader of the group in Canada. Her life marreid to this man did not improve. He used her for sex and otherwise totally ingnored her.
It is a very interesting book to read. It only covers her life until the age of approximately 18. You do learn from the book cover and other readings that she was subsequently assigned to 2 other men and had 8 children before she left the sect with all her children. She describes at the beginning of the book that her oldest daughter was her aunt and that she was her grandmother. When she married her first husband, she became her own step grandmother because her father was already married to 2 daughters of her new husband. It's mind-boggling to try and understand their family tree. I read or heard somewhere that the 1000+ population of Bountiful is the progeny of 6 men only. Considering Bountiful is not even 100 years old, it sounds like science fiction.