Tara's home life is less than perfect. As a child, she often stayed at Sookie's grandmother's house in order to escape her abusive, alcoholic mother, Lettie Mae Daniels. Her controlling and physically abusive father, Joe Thornton, normally abused her mother in front of young Tara and even ruined her 7th birthday party. On one occasion, the little girl almost shoots her father to put an end to everything, but changes her mind at the last moment and buries the gun in the front yard of her house. As an adult, Tara finds herself taking care of drunken Lettie Mae on a regular basis.