BUY THE BOOK: Amazon
BOOK TYPE: NON-FICTION / MEMOIR
Educated is a vulnerable, honest memoir. Tara Westover was born to survivalists preparing for the end of the world in the mountains of Idaho. She spent her time as a child preparing for "the end" by stockpiling home-canned goods, burying weapons throughout their land and stewing herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer. Tara never saw a doctor or medical professional for any ailments growing up - including burns from explosions, concussions and more. Her father did not trust the medical establishments.
Tara didn't step foot in a classroom until she was seventeen. One of her older brothers got himself into college and came back to share information about the new world he'd discovered outside of their family. That's when Tara began to imagine a different life for herself. She studied on her own and in time, was admitted to Brigham Young University. It was at BYU that she first learned about world events such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Holocaust. Despite her inner struggles, Tara went on to continue her education - excited by the knowledge and insights she gained, and always ready to learn more. Yet, regardless of the amount of education she obtained, she continued to encounter inner turmoil, feeling loyalty to her family, but also desperately wanting to learn and thrive outside of the family.
The description of the book includes: "It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one's closest ties." And I think that line sums it up extremely well.
Tara Westover is an extremely talented writer. She has the ability to pull you into the story - the story that is, in fact, her life. And the title of the book couldn't be better. Educated. By striving to become educated outside of her family and their own belief's, Tara becomes separated from her family in more ways than one. As she grows up and discovers a whole world outside of the only one she ever knew, she finds that pursuing knowledge - getting an education - is about more than reading books. It's about more than listening to one tiny pocket of the world. It's about more than she ever thought. Gaining an education, Tara begins to find, is about striving for honest insights into the world around us, it's about gaining confidence and independence and it's about becoming who we're meant to be, not who we're told to be.
I rated Educated 5 stars. I highly recommend this book. Even if you don't regularly make a habit of reading memoir's...pick this one up. The writing is incredible. The story is astonishing. The book is a must read.
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