Written by Tara Westover
First published February 2018
336 pages, Kindle edition
This is another book I read back in January, and it was certainly a powerful reading experience to start the year with.
Tara Westover's Mormon fundamentalist father was opposed to public education, so she never attended school. She spent her childhood and early adolescence working (and very nearly getting killed) in the family's junkyard, or learning herbal lore and midwifery from her mother, a self-taught healer. She had no birth certificate because her family didn't believe in registering with the state, and no medical records because they didn't believe in doctors or hospitals. What little education she got came from so-called home schooling, and she first set foot in a real classroom when she was seventeen. But after that first taste, she pursued learning for the next decade — eventually attending both Harvard and Cambridge.
This amazing memoir about growing up in an Idaho family preparing for the "end of days" is so fascinating and well-written, it actually reads like a novel. Some parts are hard to get through — child abuse is always ugly, even when (or maybe especially when) it's cloaked in religious nonsense. That she survived to tell the tale — and tell it so eloquently — is gratifying. That she can be so forgiving to her abusers is truly astonishing.
Note: I received my copy of Educated free of charge from the publisher, through the NetGalley website, in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.
Qualifies for the following reading challenges:
2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge.