Thursday, May 20, 2021
File this under HOLY HELL! That is one insane memoir, you won't be able to stop shaking your head in disbelief as Tara Westover recounts her childhood and formative years growing up in a survivalist Mormon family in rural Idaho. Tara was "homeschooled," but in reality she had to teach herself everything; her mother let her and her siblings "learn at their own pace" and her father thought that anytime spent sitting around whoring after knowledge was time wasted. There was a junkyard to run after all! Tara was mercilessly abused by one of her older brothers and taught from a young age that the Illuminati were controlling everything which is why she had no birth certificate or any records indicating that she even existed. Her family refused to go to formal schools, to doctors (not even for the severe stuff!), or to anything. They were content hoarding supplies for the end of days. As Tara ages she gradually becomes aware that she should leave to figure things out on her own, but it's hard to cut ties with her family, even when they insist on dragging her down. I couldn't put this book down, you have to read it to believe it. The fact that Tara survived a very unconventional and dangerous upbringing is impressive, as is the fact that she has been so successful in her advanced education. A must read!