Study Guide

Tara Bishop in Three Cups of Tea

By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Tara Bishop

Mortenson's wife, Tara, really has next to nothing to do with his mission, but she's in the book, so she's earned herself a page in ours, too.

We're not sure if their marriage is a sign of love at first sight or just another example of Mortenson's impulsiveness. If it's the latter, his romantic spontaneity is matched in her—she says she "sidled up to him" (11.40) at a charity gala, and they end up spending a night together full of dialog straight out of a Lifetime movie: "Welcome to my life" (11.53), Tara says; "Welcome to my heart" (11.54) Mortenson responds. And then they get married six days later. If Mortenson sometimes considers himself a king, then Tara has just been upgraded to a queen.

Over the next ten years, she pops out two little Mortensons—Amira Eliana and Khyber—and serves as a grounding force in Mortenson's life, reminding him that "he ha[s] a duty to his family, too" (18.60) when he starts spending too much time in Pakistan. But as with all the female characters in this book about opening schools for girls, she stays in this supporting role for Mortenson.

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