Who has never complained about going to school? Annoying teachers, long tests and ridiculous amounts of homework. How many times have you wondered what would be your life without school in it? You probably imagined a life full of pleasure: waking up late and spend the whole day playing and doing stuff you like. In this book, we follow the life of Tara Westover, a girl from the mountains who don’t attend school due to her parent’s wishes. However, everything is not as in our dreams. Throughout the novel, she shows us the horrors and dangers that ignorance and extreme faith can bring.
This book is actually an autobiography written in the form of a novel. So, is pretty easy to follow and it hooks the reader almost from the very first page. With total honesty and without any filters Tara tells the readers the story of her family that consisted of her parents and seven siblings. They lived far away from the city in the mountains, in Idaho. His father strongly believed that doomsday was near and that the government was involved. From his point of view, the only way to save his family was to keep them away from everything they provided, overall, medicine and education. His family, naively followed his believings and this brought catastrophes to them.
While they were supposed to be homeschooled, the Westover kids spent their days working for their dad in the farm performing dangerous activities. So Tara decides to teach herself complicated stuff like trigonometry and her knowledge was enough to pass the ACT and enter university. She was seventeen when she first stepped into a classroom and a long and exhausting struggle followed after that. Because in her family, going against her father`s wishes was considered a betrayal and that meant not seeing her family.
So in this book, Tara shows us the raw horrors that traumatized her childhood. But what astonished me the most was the way she wrote herself. I could see how human she is, how many times she went back home until she understood that she couldn`t keep on with that life anymore, or how hard was for her to stop seeing her dad as a hero and start considering him as an adult who was doing things the wrong way. Guilt also haunted her. Her family abused her and traumatized her so it was not easy for Tara to finally open her eyes.
And I cannot help but admire her braveness. Opening up and telling your story to help others not to suffer the same is brave. Of course, many will find themselves frustrated sometimes by her actions. At some point in her life, she was indeed very clever and aware of those situations and she kept going back anyways. But we have to learn to understand and emphasize with her story. As much as it makes you suffer, letting go is not easy.