“Everything I had worked for, all my years of study had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: To see and experience more truth than those given to me by my father, and to use those truth to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of views, was at the heart of what it means to self create.”
I think it’s been a few hours I finished this book, but I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s one of those books that push you out of your own circle and make you think of things you never did. I feel so much respect for this woman, who was born in a very conservative, abusive environment, and still took an active role to lead her own life rather than watching it lead by others.
Tara Westover was born in Buck Peak, Idaho into a conservative Mormon community. She didn’t have a birth certificate, didn’t go to school, didn’t go to hospital. Her father didn’t believe in the government and any system that belongs to it. As she grew older, things got worse. Her father became very unpredictable, and she had a violent relationship with her older brother. At sixteen, she decided to educate herself. And this mesmerising journey ended up in Cambridge and Harvard.
This book is about her never ending conflict between loyalty to family while finding her own truth and making a life for herself. It’s a beautifully written memoir with great talent and modesty. Throughout her story, I felt she was weak and strong, courageous and scared all at the same time. And I’m sure everyone will find a part of Tara in themselves.
At times, the content was hard to read, and I’m very sensitive about reading abusive relationships in a very graphic style. But, Westover’s style didn’t cause me to shy away from it. Her telling felt very natural, not over the top. It didn’t feel like she was trying to tear my heart into pieces. She told what happened very calmly, as impartial as possible.
I think I will think about this book for a long time, and it will be one of my non-fiction favourites.
I actually listened to the audio book as well on Audible, and I loved the performance. So, I would definitely recommend it. Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Random House for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
A definite 5 star read. By the time I publish this post, Goodreads rating is 4.56.
Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!