Stop, drop, and go BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW! Educated by Tara Westover is one of the most captivating memoirs I have ever had the privilege of reading.
I didn’t have any expectations going into Educated. I didn’t read the back of the book to see what it was going to be about. I liked that the cover had a pencil on it and was sold (yes, this is how I frequently choose what to read). Look closely though, there is more than just a pencil on the front cover.
Westover says in an author’s note at the beginning of the book that “This story is not about Mormonism. Neither is it about any other form of religious belief.”
When you finish this book, you will realize how powerful this author’s note is.
Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Can you imagine being seventeen years old the first time you heard about the Holocaust, or the Civil Rights movement?
Westover’s upbringing is unimaginable. I struggled to wrap my head around the fact that someone so close in age to me grew up so drastically different.
When I first read that Westover’s family was Mormon, I automatically assumed they were polygamists and waited for the storyline. It never came. When reading Educated, you will read about horrific accidents that didn’t include proper medical care, violence and abuse from family members, the inner workings of the mind that is likely a paranoid schizophrenic/bipolar man who believes the government is after him. Her upbringing is genuinely baffling and I don’t think I have enough words in my repertoire to accurately describe the hell that Westover went through.
Despite the craziness of Westover’s upbringing, there is that genuine love that exists within any family. She paints this picture vividly and I truly felt for her when she began to distance herself from her family. Her decision to do so was no easy feat.
The best part about this book is being able to see the internal struggle that Tara Westover goes through as she becomes educated and her views of the world begins to morph.
I am in absolute awe of Tara Westover. As a teacher, I can’t help but believe in the power of education. Reading this book is very inspiring, it will make you want to learn about anything and everything because you’re reminded that as much as you think you know, you don’t know what you don’t know.
If you’ve read this book, I’m dying to hear from you! What was your biggest takeaway from this book?
“You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them,” she says now. “You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”
“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”
“The decisions I made after that moment were not the ones she would have made. They were the choices of a changed person, a new self.
You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal. I call it an education”