Tara Westover never set foot in a classroom until she was 17. She didn’t see a doctor, nor did her siblings, when they direly needed medical attention. Her father was a survivalist Mormon with very strong ideas about how the world ought to be. His faith in his religion certainly jeopardized his wife and children’s health as well as his own.
Tara’s older brother Tyler said, “There’s a world out there, Tara and it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear.”
I couldn’t put this book down. It’s well written and amazing to read about the obstacles Westover had to overcome. There were times I thought, if this were me I think I would have wept and given up. I’d like to think I’m stronger than that but I know this, I never had the drive Westover did at the same age. Nor did I live in the same circumstances.
It would have been far easier for Tara to fall back into the fold, follow her father’s path and shut off the inquiring and intelligent part of her brain, plow through life with her survivalist family. Good for her for striving forward. She taught herself mathematics and history and managed to get accepted to BYU. After massive culture shock she thrived and went on to Cambridge and Harvard, eventually earning a Ph.D in History.
As for the memories which Tara states she consulted her brothers for their recollections, there is an inconsistency here and there. To read what her brothers stated after the publication of this book click HERE. I am also considering that she may well have been treated differently as a female in regard to her father’s and church expectations.
Category: Social Science. It’s a memoir but as social science focuses on relationships among individuals and society.