Educated by Tara Westover is a book that is difficult to read but impossible to put down.
Detailing a world that I will, thankfully, never be able to truly understand, Westover's courage shines through the words on the page as he explains her life as the daughter of survivalist parents who are, along with their children, preparing for the end of the world.
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Educated Plot Synopsis:
Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected.
She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.
As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.
A review of Educated by Tara Westover:
Westover's writing is beautiful and is a testament to the hard work she has put in, to not only distance herself from the life she lived as a child but to gain an education, having never stepped foot into a school until she began attending college at 17 years old.
It's definitely not an easy read, made even harder by the fact that you know it is true, and nothing is tied up into a happy bow at the end (I guess that is life in itself too though), so it's definitely not a book for everyone. But for someone toying with the idea of reading it, I would urge you to pick up a copy, if only to have your eyes opened to the fact that some people are still facing hardships such as this in the 21st century.
As mentioned, Westover's writing style is beautiful to read but it's not overly descriptive. Instead, it takes on a clear and honest tone, and I appreciated that she often referenced her own unreliability as a storyteller, providing time for you to pause and reflect on the way that our memories can fade and also differ from those who experienced the same event. I don't think that these gaps in Westover's memory detract from the story she is telling at all, if anything they strengthen it as she often seeks the advice of others to tell certain aspects of an event she is detailing.
Overall, Educated by Tara Westover is a remarkable book, written by a remarkable woman. It is definitely not a memoir that you'll easily forget.
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