I’m totally stumped as to how to adequately express how much you need to read Tara Westover’s memoir. It is incredibly good and utterly shocking in so many ways. I’ve never read non-fiction that reads so much like a page-turning novel before, although if you gave it to me as a novel I might have accused the author of making the events too far-fetched.
Tara was born and raised in an end-of-days, devout Mormon family in Idaho. She worked with her father and her brothers in the scrapyard, helped her mother make tinctures and assisted her as an untrained midwife, and the time leading up to Y2K was spent preserving peaches and hiding fuel underground. But she didn’t legally exist. She was not sent to school, had never been to a hospital, and didn’t even know when her birthday was because she had never been registered for a birth certificate, as her father believed these things to be run by the Illuminati. Yet Tara’s hunger for an education still boiled within her and eventually bubbled over after a series of incidents and injuries at home that could no longer be prayed away.
I’ve never seen the power of determination and overcoming adversity put down so clearly on a page before, and this book is both inspirational and entertaining from start to finish. If you read this review and think, “OMG everyone always talks about this book”, it’s because it’s fantastic. Read it. Join us.
Read more memoirs: