Author: Tara Westover
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Genre: Nonfiction | Memoir | Autobiography
Synopsis from HarperCollins
Review: Educated is not an easy book for me to review. I devoured and took pause to absorb what I listened to with lots of wincing, wondering in my head ‘did that REALLY happen?’, and heart palpitations over graphic scenes. This sounds like a horror novel but it’s Westover’s true life story about growing up in a strict Mormon home ruled by abuse, mental illness, deprivation and neglect.
A paranoid father goes to the farthest extremes to protect his family from Illuminati takeover. Tucked away in rural Idaho, Westover and her siblings didn’t grow up riding bikes or going to the swimming pool with friends. A dangerous junkyard was their playground, borrowed textbooks and stolen moments studying their education and medical attention administered based on ‘a feeling’ and homemade tinctures to heal the most severe of injuries – this was their norm and it differs greatly from the upbringing I had.
Westover details her account of trailblazing a new and unfamiliar life leaving behind her extremist family and their beliefs to attend BYU and later Harvard and Cambridge earning a Ph.D. After a gut-wrenching upbringing I so, so admired how Westover took her deprivation and created educational opportunities having never set foot in a classroom – utterly amazing!