Have you read


Have you read this memoir yet? It seems to have been very popular on the “Book Club” circuit last year, so I arrive late.  Once again (why does this keep happening to me?!) it started off very promising and then I’m sorry to say this but Ms. Westover just sort of lost me. Why did she keep going back and back and back for more life threatening abuse?? Not from her parents, not from an abusive boyfriend or husband, but from a brother?? Honestly? And we know she’s an incredibly smart person, gifted in fact, which makes it even more difficult to believe than it already is. I would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it. I fully realize I’m going out on a really precarious limb here as it’s a best seller- over 7,000 reviews on Amazon, 81% being highly favorable (4.5 to 5 stars)



  1. I agree. Can’t believe she kept going back when she had the choice not to. I hope someone from that church or community knocks on her mentally ill brothers door to save his abused wife and kids.

  2. So very many “popular” books for the past few years have been a waste of precious reading hours.

    • I agree with you. Wish I could reclaim those hours to devote to the great books I’ll never know.

  3. I know what you mean. It was frustrating to read every time she put herself back in his presence. I thought, “Oh no. Here she goes again!” Overall, I enjoyed the glimpse into her life and her journey to become educated. I would like to read about her in five to ten years and see where her life is and what her thoughts are about her family. Brainwashed might be a more accurate title for this book.

  4. I completely agree. I too couldn’t understand why it was so popular. I guess it was the cringe factor, or just plain old modern day hype!!

  5. I was going to order this and just read your review! I love reading, and usually even if I’m not happy with a book keep reading in hopes it will be redeemed. Thank you for saving my time!
    “Just Mercy” is worth reading. The movie came out recently and is well done – the author was involved which always makes a huge difference.

  6. I really enjoyed this book. I assumed with the combination of Tara’s Survivalist Mormon upbringing, semi-homeschooled (but lacking) early education, fear of the outside world shaded by her mentally ill and paranoid father, a subservient mother, all contributed to her acceptance of the horrific abuse from her brother. Sibling abuse happens. And unfortunately neither of her parents demonstrated that they had any interest in protecting her. Most likely their parenting style only contributed to her brother becoming an abuser. Ultimately her ability to begin to trust in her own convictions, developing confidence and self esteem allowed her to break away from that abuse. When she sought out a pathway to higher education, opened herself up to experiencing the world that she had been so closed off from, determining that her faith and beliefs no longer aligned with her family, and leaving even if it meant she an outcasted to her own parents, was brave. I really enjoyed this book.

  7. I agree with Leigh Ann. It’s the same reason women stay with their abusive husbands. Often, they lack the self confidence, support system and financial means to leave. Her dysfunctional family, lack of outside support and guidance certainly hampered her ability to leave. As she became more educated and confident, she was able to get out of the situation. She was raised in a very isolated, cult like home which certainly contributed to the situation. While it is hard to understand why she would continue to go home and subject herself to abuse from a brother, she was very naive and most likely didn’t have a lot of options or outside support. I think she is an incredibly brave young woman.

Would love to hear from you!