Accidents and abuse were part of Tara Westover’s upbringing. Classrooms and medical care weren’t. Born in 1986, she grew up in rural Idaho, the youngest of seven. Her father’s mental illness defined the world of her youth. She draws on her vivid memories and journal entries to illustrate the physical, emotional and intellectual landscapes of her life. Westover’s captivating voice illuminates family dysfunction, her passion for learning, the challenges of joining mainstream society and the ramifications of speaking up as she reclaimed her identity and well-being. She acknowledges the possibility of flaws in her recollections and uses pseudonyms for the most hurtful people in her life. Some readers should beware of avoiding possible triggers, since she describes troubling physical and verbal assault. Those interested in family dynamics, domestic violence, bipolar disorder and how people find their voices will find her beautifully crafted memoir compelling. Westover’s physical and moral courage will astonish readers, as will her writing skill and fearless honesty.
About the Author
Lacking any formal education, Tara Westover, PhD, enrolled at Brigham Young University as a teenager. After graduating with a BA, she earned two degrees from Cambridge – an MPhil and a PhD in history – and taught at Harvard as a visiting fellow.