It’s been over two weeks since the publication of Jinger Duggar’s memoir, and we’re still seeing fresh takes delivered an almost-daily basis.
Many fans have continued to express their disappointment over the fact that Jinger wasn’t more critical of her most infamous family members.
Others, meanwhile, are dissecting every passage in search of low-key shade that Jinger might have subtly directed at her parents and siblings.
We guess it’s a coping mechanism — which is a little strange, as Jinger made it clear from the start that this book would not be a scathing tell-all.
Anyway, Jinger made up for going easy on her family by being brutal in her comments toward their church — the infamous Institute for Basic Life Principles — and its disgraced founder, Bill Gothard.
In one early chapter, Jinger describes the grim life of a typical IBLP family.
“Imagine this scenario: A man and a woman get married. They immediately start having children because Gothard opposes any kind of birth control,” she writes.
“Since they’re not allowed to send their kids to school, the mom is in her home, with morning sickness from pregnancy for half the year, trying to manage and homeschool five kids,” she continues, noting that the husband works long hours to “provide for the family.”
“She feels overwhelmed, unable to handle the responsibility of raising so many children practically alone,” Jinger explains.
Now, it seems that many readers are interpreting that passage as a passive-aggressive description of a real-life family situation that Jinger has witnessed firsthand.
“Sounds like Erin Bates to me…. She crammed 4 kids in one bedroom of their two-bedroom rental,” one Redditor theorized, according to UK tabloid The Sun.
Bates, of course, was one of the stars of Bringing Up Bates, a now-defunct WeTV reality show inspired by the Duggars’ own 19 Kids and Counting.
But other readers guessed that Jinger might have been describing a situation that’s even closer to home.
“Jessa too – they didn’t move out of their 2 bed-starter home (the infamous “mold house”) until after Fern was born,” one Reddit user wrote.
“It’s not Jessa in the first page, she owns the home, my guess is Erin Bates or even Michelle, they had a million kids in a tiny home,” another guessed.
“People guessing it’s about this person or that person, it’s literally everyone in the cult who follow Gothard’s teaching and has an optimal fertility,” a third observed.
“I’m sure Jinger has seen hundreds of them, we only know the famous ones. It’s everyone.”
Yes, it’s unlikely that Jinger is specifically throwing shade at Jessa, especially since Jessa’s husband, Ben Seewald, is credited elsewhere in the book as the spiritual mentor who helped Jinger escape the IBLP.
As for how Jinger’s book has been received by the members of her family who are still in the IBLP — well, the bestselling author says there have been some “interesting” conversations in recent weeks.
“It’s been interesting,” she recently told Fox News.
“We’ve had lots of conversations about our differences. Some receive it better than others for sure, but at the end of the day, I know they just want what’s best for me. Even though my parents are still in IBLP.”
It sounds like Jinger is not on the greatest terms with some of her more close-minded siblings.
But we’re sure that’s a small price to pay for finally sharing her story with the world.