by Tara Westover

I treasured this best-selling autobiography of a remarkable woman emerging from imposed family isolation into a brand-new hard-won world of her own making. Westover’s prose shimmers with originality as she describes a life unlike any other.  Tara grew up uneducated, the daughter of Mormon fundamentalists in Idaho. Instead of going to school, she assists her mother, a sort of apothecary, and her father, a junkyard survivalist. She and her six older siblings co-exist in an atmosphere fraught with violent outbursts, volatility and abject poverty.  Little by little, Tara is able to break free of her life of hard physical labour and to educate herself, a journey which ultimately leads her to Cambridge University. A must read.

Reviewed for Zimmermann by Sophie Lee.