Educated was my second audiobook of 2019 and the fourth book I finish this year! It was also the first memoir I have ever read.
Educated is the story of Tara Westover who was raised in rural Idaho in a family of survivalists. For someone who did not have an extreme religious upbringing, this story seemed stranger than fiction at times. But I did grow up religious, so it was not hard for me to empathize with how some people perceive the world.
Tara Westover didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was seventeen, and she did so at university. She never went to school as a child, but was “homeschooled” by her mother, who had given up trying to teach her children math. Her childhood instead, was spent preparing for the end of the world, which her father was absolutely sure was bound to happen soon. She also spent her days running around the mountains and fields near her home and working at the junkyard her father owned.
Her parents didn’t believe in government education, afraid they might brainwash their minds, and thus when she decided to go to college, she did so against her parent’s wishes, which is why I admire Tara so much. By doing this, she was leaving behind who she was, her family, her upbringing, her education.
Educated is a fascinating story, but not because it’s hard to believe people might have such extremist religious beliefs, not trusting hospitals and schools. For me, it was fascinating story because of where Tara took herself, seeking the education she had never received. She graduated from Brigham Young University with honors and then went to study at Cambridge and Harvard. She taught herself mathematics and science to be accepted. It was her journey to find knowledge and truth that took her as far away from her home as she could’ve gone, to places she had never heard of or had imagined herself being at.
This is a story of endurance, bot physical and mentally, as Tara was abused constantly by her older brother. She had to overcome the physical barriers her family had imposed over her, as well as the mental ones. She did, and this is why this story is so impressive.
My review: 5/5 stars ★ ★ ★★ ★