After months of anticipation, Jill Duggar’s debut memoir hit bookstores today.
And as expected, the former reality star did not portray her parents in a flattering light.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have already spoken out against the book, but they’re unlikely to find much sympathy online.
Jill has long enjoyed the loyal support of a massive, largely because of her willingness to speak truth to power and engage in difficult conversations.
Jim Bob and Michelle, however, have established themselves as pathological liars, so there’s really no question about which side is offering the more accurate account.
In one of the book’s most harrowing excerpts, Jessa describes the confusing events that unfolded after her parents learned that Josh Duggar had molested four of his sisters.
“Mom and Pops gave us the bare details about Josh, and so all I really knew was that he’d been sent away to stay with some of their friends, that he would be working construction, and that hopefully it wouldn’t be long before he would return to us. That was all,” she recalled.
“I was happy to move on and put it all behind me.”
The scandal eventually came to the attention of community leaders in an unexpected way.
Josh confessed his crimes to a girl whom he’d been courting.
She wrote him a letter about the situation, but never sent it.
Instead, she stuffed the letter inside a book, which she later lent to a friend, and it was the friend who alerted the church elders.
Jill says she was terrified when word got out, fearing that the authorities would declare her parents unfit and place their 19 children in orphanages.
In the book, Jill was “terrified” that “someone was going to take us away” from Jim Bob and Michelle.
That didn’t happen, of course — but perhaps it should have.
Though Josh was Jill’s primary tormenter, elsewhere in the book, she recalls psychological abuse she endured at hands of her father, Jim Bob.
In 2017, shortly after Jill welcomed her second son, Samuel, Jim Bob saw her nursing the infant while mostly covered up.
Apparently, this was a moment of shocking depravity for Jim Bob, and he later confronted Jill and gave her a book about the importance of modesty.
“I cried when I got home. I felt embarrassed, humiliated, even though nobody else had been in the room with us,” Jill writes.
“Pops had told us ever since we were little that we needed to be able to stand up for our convictions, even if others disagreed,” she continues.
“Why couldn’t he see that by deciding to wear pants, I was doing exactly what he taught us? All my life I’d been trying to show respect to Pops, but when was he going to show the same to me?”
We now know, of course, that Jim Bob will never show Jill the respect that she deserves.
But we can only imagine how painful that realization must’ve been for a young mother who grew up idolizing her famous father.