Goodreads Choice Award –  Nominee for Best Memoir & Autobiography (2023)

Counting the Cost by Jill Duggar
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Counting the Cost by Jill Duggar is a vulnerable and heartbreaking memoir. It’s a view into the dysfunctional upbringing Jill endured and now struggles to overcome.

My Overview

Over the years I’ve only watched a handful of the Duggar shows, but that’s not say I didn’t know much about their lives before reading this book. How could I not know about this family, since they were media darlings for so many years? From online articles to print magazines, it’s been hard to avoid their story. When the news about Josh’s abuse broke out, I realized there was a lot hiding under that “wholesome family” façade. I’m glad Jill has now had the opportunity to tell her story, as she’s counting the cost.

In this book, Jill shares about her childhood, her upbringing, and the turmoil within her family. She also offers a glimpse into her life today. For the most part, her stories are heartbreaking. Especially those about the way her family has treated and used her for the sake of their shows. Aside from her parents’ manipulations, most heart breaking is the retelling about the abuse and what she endured to cover it up. The shining light in Jill’s life is her husband, Derick, who has been the only one to stand up for her and has helped her find her own voice. Together, they’ve formed their own family and live on their own terms.

Overall, this is a heartbreaking and inspirational memoir. It’s heartbreaking to read about the manipulation and treatment Jill has endured from the people she should’ve been able to trust. However, the growth Jill has achieved through therapy and support from Derick is inspirational. I’m glad she’s reached the point where she was strong enough to write this book. Her strength and hopeful spirit definitely shine throughout.

My Recommendation

I highly recommend this book. If possible, listen to the audiobook since it’s read by Jill Duggar herself. I don’t think anyone else could’ve narrated this memoir the way she did. To listen to her share her own story in such a vulnerable way, is inspiring.

Similar memoirs I recommend: