- helpful votes
- A Memoir
- By: Tara Westover
- Narrated by: Julia Whelan
- Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
Tara Westover was 17 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. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.
The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains
- By Darwin8u on 03-28-18
Well-written but emotionally manipulative
I struggled to rate this book. A fascinating read; compelling, horrifying, strangely relatable, and well written. When I finished I was emotionally charged and had a lot of thoughts about it but I also had a strange feeling that I couldn’t quite define. Over time as I’ve replayed the book in my mind and tried to sort out this unease I’ve recognized the feeling of possible manipulation? The inevitable holes of memory are understandable in a memoir which seems to be a common criticism of the book but my issue lies more in the overall voice of the story being a little too excused, empty of fault or culpability about anything. The last thing I want to do is victim shame but in every scenario she is ALWAYS the victim, she’s always the wide-eyed innocent and real life just doesn’t always play out that way, especially when someone has been abused. I don’t know her or her family or even Idaho but intuitively I get the feeling that this highly intelligent, well-educated woman is writing a very real story but in a very specific way. I don’t doubt many of the facts of the story but they do seem to be presented in a way to lead readers to conclusions that feel like their own but have actually been masterfully engineered in how they were presented. She has put her family in an unflattering spotlight that only she controls. Is this a revenge book? I’m not sure but I do feel sure that there is more depth and color to this dreamy-eyed, emotionally frail girl than is described in the book.
63 of 67 people found this review helpful