This book, at 384 pages, is probably the heaviest I’ve held in my hands in the last few months.
It’s weight is not so much physical, as it is visceral and emotional. It makes you sink deeper into your couch later into the night and may also have the power to tangle you emotionally in the morning… Leaving a cloudy, laden feeling.
I was glued from the very first page, I didn’t have to wait for the story to pick up pace, it was already galloping when I joined in. It became my constant companion till today, I shall miss it, I am glad it’s over.
Tara Westover had an unbelievable childhood, she and her family lived with dynamics that can make ones jaw slack with disbelief, and probably every family drama might pale in comparison to what transpired regularly at the foot of her beloved mountain.
The unfolding of a life, poorly home-schooled at first and then soaring to meteoric academic heights is astonishing and inspiring. However, the normalization of dysfunctional behavior within families, the emotional sea-saw and tug-of-war, can leave a reader drained. How Tara kept her head above water, is the reason this book is a must read.
It is a powerful book with an equally powerful message about grit and determination, it is about being lost over and over and yet finding oneself…always.
Not since, ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara, have I been so deeply moved and so emotionally drained, yet curiously alive and filled with gratitude. Gratitude for writers who share stories such as these, gratitude for their brilliance which makes us forget the passage of time even as our time-lines intertwine seamlessly.