Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
3 words: unsentimental, graphic, dramatic
I’m a queasy reader. Anytime there’s cruelty in a book (I struggled with the first parts of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Jane Eyre), I tend to bail out.
And Tara Westover’s memoir almost had that effect on me. I was appalled by the abuse she suffered at the hands of her family. And I mean, appalled.
Her father repeatedly put her in terribly dangerous situations, her brother flat-out abused her physically and emotionally, and her mother stood by and let it happen.
The thing that kept me reading was the knowledge that she’d make it out. Otherwise, I would’ve stepped away. It was just that painful.
Her family claimed to be hardcore Mormons, but there was no godly love happening here.
And while Westover, having escaped via education and strengthened via therapy, appears to have forgiven them, I’m still ticked on her behalf.
But she truly used her talents and worked ridiculously hard to succeed academically. After never having attended school, she started university coursework and eventually earned a doctorate from Cambridge. Darn impressive.
So this book was an emotional roller coaster. Westover takes us with her through her journey, and it’s not an easy one.
I suffered while reading it, but I’m glad I did (even though it’s haunted my dreams).
Give this book a whirl if you like… memoirs of unconventional and violent childhoods, stories of overcoming the odds, memoirs of breaking free from an abusive family, stories of the importance of education