October 20, 2018 12:19 PM - by Tara Westover - Subscribe

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. [Trigger Warning: Descriptions of physical and emotional abuse in the book and in links below the fold]

The Guardian interview: ‘In families like mine there is no crime worse than telling the truth.’

Vogue: Interview, Excerpt.

The book touches on abuse, gaslighting, mental illness, and religious fundamentalism. It's heartbreaking and infuriating to read. I'm glad I read it, but take care of yourself if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea.
posted by Anonymous (4 comments total)
I loved this book. I heard an interview with Westover on NPR and then waited for the book for two months from the library. I read it in a day. I found it both interesting and hearbreaking how carefully she details the incidences of abuse with footnotes of how other people remember the incidents. She's so used to being gaslit and lied to that even fact-checks her own memoir.

I liked Westover very much and was ultimately glad I read it.
posted by Aquifer at 7:04 AM on October 22, 2018

I read this book when it first came out and still find myself thinking about it. The explanation of how her mother came up with the essential oils... well, I think of them when friends try to sell me their MLM stuff.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:32 PM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I finished this book last night. Everyone was recommending it to me. It hit a little close to home, pun intended. Off to read the interviews.
posted by wellred at 10:47 AM on December 5, 2018

I have been sneaking away from my desk at the office to read this in the stairwell.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:46 PM on January 24, 2019

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