Susanna is the 23rd child of 46 children, the quintessential middle child. Growing up in a fundamentalist religious home shaped her life, her values, and her views on literally everything.
Although she is no longer affiliated with any polygamous group on a religious level she is surrounded by family and friends who are practicing polygamists.
She is currently working on her second memoir detailing her marriage within the polygamous culture and what motivated her to leave. Another important theme in the second book is the impact of abuse on relationships and the ability to parent.
Susanna lives in Bluffdale Utah with her husband, six children and their dog.
I was born to write this book.
It is as if all the events of my life culminated to the moment I began writing it. From that point my life has sprung forward in directions I could never have anticipated and has brought me blessings I could only appreciate from this vantage point of my life. While it seems from the viewpoint of the past that my life was filled with heartache and tragedy from where I stand today I see it for the gift that it was. It was a moment in my life, it isn’t my life. I needed to write the book in order to see it differently. I became different by writing it.
That is not to say it wasn’t a difficult task to write the book. I traveled deep into the emotional pain of my past and turned over every rock and looked at every violation as if it were happening all over again. It was like creating an earthquake in a major metropolis. Buildings crashed, bridges collapsed and when I was finished my life was in crumbles. It was out of these crumbles that I reconstructed a new life. The life I was meant to create, just as I was meant to be the one that dismantled the old. In the end, I lived the life I was given so that I could write about it and in some way serve the world. In writing the book, I let the rotting parts of myself die and I asked the book to carry the emotional truth that my body could no longer hold.
I will write many books but this one will always be the threshold that I had to cross in order to write anything at all. It opened my mouth. It freed me.
Where to find Susanna Barlow online
Where to buy in print
What Peace There May Be
by Susanna Barlow
In this coming of age memoir, the author recounts six critical years of her life of isolation, polygamy and abuse. After secretly reaching out to someone on the outside, she faces new challenges and finds renewed hope in her struggle to overcome the obstacles to free herself and discover her true worth as a human being.
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