Tara Westover 2018
I had posted this review previously but it disappeared. Here is the text from my Goodreads review. This is the story of a woman’s childhood and young adulthood growing up on a mountain in Idaho; her father was opposed to public education so she never attended school. She has since earned a PhD in history. This memoir is a wild ride.
Ever since the Million Little Pieces debacle,* I view memoir with a jaundiced eye. That did not stop me from loving this story though; Westover made it effortless for me to keep reading. I would like to think it’s the unvarnished truth but memoir does leave room for poetic license and embellishment.
Careful Googling will take one to YouTube videos of the author’s mother and sister hawking their essential oils, and the mother sounds much more educated than she is given credit for in the book, but that could be me making assumptions about the intelligence and education level of a woman who would follow her crazy husband unquestioningly and who would sweep physical abuse under the rug for the sake of family harmony. Again though – memoir. Who knows what really happened? Not the reader, that’s for sure.
*From Wikipedia: A Million Little Pieces is a book by James Frey, originally sold as a memoir and later marketed as a semi-fictional novel following accusations of literary forgery.