May 20, 2021


🚀 Summary in 3 points

  1. The author, Tara, shares her story about growing up in a Mormon family and how she takes on her father’s blind faith and restricted worldview as a young girl. Her father’s conviction in the inevitable “end of the world” becomes the basis of everything she and her siblings do. Their life is driven by that fear. It is a story about family, power struggles, about what loyalty is and what it is not.
  2. Tara talks about how sexism and violence came to be normalized, accepted, and eventually internalized by the women in her family. She talks about her struggles with being slut-shamed by her elder brother and realizing that it was as illogical as it was damaging.
  3. It is also a story about the struggle humans have for the thirst of discovery on one hand and the fear of the uncertain on the other. Tara overcomes impossible circumstances to leave home, go to college, unlearn previous world views and build a new one for herself.

🎨 Impressions

Tara’s memoir has an air of other-worldliness. In a way, this book is like reading her diary because she kept an account of incidents in her journal. Yet Tara does not come across as the victim of her circumstances. Her story is candid, truthful, and brave.

“To be truly educated is to understand our relationship to all things- to money, to property, to people, to nature-in the vast field of our existence” -J. Krishnamurti

If this is true education then Tara’s is truly educated because at the end of it she understands her relationship to all things.

🕵 How I Discovered It

I found it on, and here is a video of Bill Gates dicussing the book with the author, Tara Westover.

✍️ My Favorite Quotes

“There’s a world out there Tara and it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear.”

“Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yielded now, I would lose more than an argument. I would lose custody of my own mind. This was the price I was being asked to pay, I understood that now. What my father wanted to cast from me wasn’t a demon: it was me.”

“I had come to reclaim that life, to save it. But there was nothing here to save, nothing to grasp. There was only shifting sand, shifting loyalties, shifting histories.”

Made with lots of ♥️ and