This story is not about Mormonism.
I have to admit that I do not usually read the Author’s Note, but that one line captivated me. Probably because I was thinking that it was going to be about the religion and the effects of it. It turned out that that line was completely correct. Even without the line, I don’t think that I would have considered Tara Westover’s family devoted Mormons.
This memoir is my first non fiction feature on my blog. Definitely something different from what I usually read and review. I welcomed this story with open arms. This was an unexpected arrival and I chose to not read the synopsis before diving into the story.
The story follows Tara who is a native of Idaho and a member of a family who is living off the grid.
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.
That is just a piece of what this book entails.
I don’t usually read physical copies of memoirs, but I am glad that I read this one. Sitting down with this book was like stepping into a world that I have only been involved with thru media such as movies or news articles. Tara’s family lived in the mountains of Idaho and were basically living in their own universe and not concerned with the “corrupted” world. Tara grew up experiencing life with a parent who probably suffered from a mental illness, a mother who seemed to be complacent, and a life with a sibling who is physically and mentally abusive.
Tara may have started life in that unusual environment but she was strong enough to desire a different style of life for herself, although it was not an easy task. Tara stepped foot in school at the age of 17 and it was not a high school classroom but a college classroom. By stepping into this life outside of her mountain life, she realizes that she has been sheltered from a world that has gone on and she knows nothing of it. I believe that Tara was like a sponge and absorbed all the information that she could. There were times that she was discouraged or felt that she was being a traitor to her family. Tara ended up risking her spot in her family and became the “black sheep” because she wanted a different life for herself. She wanted to discontinue the lifestyle that she was raised in.
I loved the language that the author used in her story. The story was well written and read like a novel instead of a memoir which I enjoyed. I definitely would not have believed that Tara didn’t start going to school until she was 17 years old and that most of what she learned had to be self taught.
I gave this novel 4.5 stars
I received this novel from Random House. I am was very pleased to give an honest review.
This book is set to be released February 20, 2018 from Random House.