Man, what a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions this book took me on. I will definitely say that this was worth the read.
It’s hard to know where to begin describing it because there’s so much to unpack in Tara Westover’s story. It’s a memoir of multiple layers – an educational journey, a journey of self-growth, a tale of familial survival, a history of abusive relationships, a narrative of alternative medical practices, a tale of mental illness, and several other measures. All of it rolls into Tara Westover’s experiences from childhood to the present day and I’ll admit it gutted me in more ways than one. Westover’s narration is unflinching and raw in its detail of how she grew from an isolated family with a lacking educational background to one that presents several opportunities for her, though also surviving some brutal experiences and the relationship she has with her mother, father, and siblings. I’ll admit there were moments in the narrative that had gaps I wish could’ve been filled more, but I realize she did the best she could with noting some of the accounts and variations due to her own memories and also other people’s reflections on their experience through their own lens.
Julia Whelan does a remarkable job narrating the audio version of this book. I enjoyed the narration and appreciate the honest, personal account, though it still left me feeling like I wanted a little more expansion and closure, which is why it only gets 4 stars from me.
Overall score: 4/5 stars.