I was contemplating calling this post overeducated but then decided against it because it may be misunderstood as a criticism of the book.
I am, in fact, criticizing myself, and how many reviews I have read, and opinions I have listened to about the book. At this point, I am a bit fuzzy on what is actually my opinion and what was pillaged from other peoples. Therefore I will try and keep it simple.
I want to start off telling you how surprised I was in finding that I related to the upbringing of a Mormon daughter of survivalist parents living in Idaho.
Some related to things that happened in their conservative upbringing, some by the examples they saw around them. Mostly we all related to the extremes of right and wrong we had in our education. The very black and white ideas we were taught by some of our teachers and in my case was lucky enough to have explained, unravelled and corrected by my parents.
I was also surprised by how uncomfortable I felt with her ‘airing the dirty laundry’ of her family. All I kept thinking was ‘Is this completely necessary’. But that’s the Arab, Muslim woman in me.
Reading it, I can see how this book can be a classic. A book on the list of 100 books to read before you die. Not only does Tara write beautifully, but her story also left me speechless, winded on occasion.
Whether beautifully painting the rural landscape, the matter of factly retelling incidence of violence and abuse or describing her introductions to knowledge and information we all take for granted, Tara writes with a beauty and grace that is a pleasure to read.
I have read and heard a lot of criticism when it comes to how factual people feel the book is. Under normal circumstances and even if only half of it was true what Tara accomplished is impressive. It’s remarkable for people who had no challenges in their lives at all!
It is a one-sided story. But isn’t that the purpose of a memoir in the end? For a person to tell their side of the story.
The book left me feeling Tara still had a long way to go to come to terms with the events of her childhood and how their family dealt with the abuses. And how they continue to frame her. I can imagine these events cling to a person for the rest of their life, subdued and managed, but always there in some form or another.
As I said before, I’m going to keep this short. Go read this book. And if you want a better, more eloquent and insightful review go read this blog post by my incredibly talented friend Reem.
Our next selection:
My Sister The Serial Killer.