“Educated” by Tara Westover
Tara Westover’s memoir is both enlightening and frightening. She tells the story of her life growing up within a large family of children who were “homeschooled” in name only. They actually had no education at all except what they taught themselves. The author was seventeen-years-old the first time she entered a classroom. Amazingly she earned a PhD from Cambridge in 2014. This is her first book and I recommend it.
Westover recounts growing up in the shadow of a beautiful Idaho mountain on which her father owned a junkyard. Her mother was a midwife who helped support the family by selling medical remedies made from herbs and oils. The children received no immunizations and never saw a doctor through illnesses and serious injuries that children should never have to endure.
The father of this family was a religious zealot and all decisions were made by him based upon his interpretation of the Bible. To make matters worse he was mentally unstable as was one of the sons. The result of these factors made growing up emotionally as well as physically dangerous.
Tara Westover’s journey to become “educated” is troubling but very inspiring. Her memoir is a #1 New York Times bestseller.