In Westover’s childhood, good daughters are obedient, stoic, and submissive to patriarchal figures. Over time, she defies her parents’ ideals first in subtle ways and then later in substantial ways. Perhaps the greatest defiance to her childhood is writing and publishing such a vulnerable memoir. Tara Westover eventually finds her voice and wields it to become her own narrator and historian.
Westover writes, “My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”
Consider the scenes when Tara keeps silent to protect others, preserve the status quo, or avoid pain. Do you see any patterns between the moments of silence? Consider the scenes when Tara uses her voice in a bold way. Which scene stands out to you the most and why?