Year 13, Book 62

62. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Tara Westover recounts her experiences growing up in rural Idaho as the youngest daughter of a Mormon extremist, survivalist father. Her father did not trust the government and kept his children out of school and didn’t allow them to see doctors relying only on treatment that could be provided by her herbalist/midwife mother. The only education she received as a child was being taught to read and then trying to learn on her own and receiving some instruction from her older brother. Despite these unlikely beginnings Tara manages to earn a PhD from Cambridge. She shares how difficult it was to break free from the mental and physical abuse of her family and how lost she felt without the common education received by the people around her once she left home for college.

This was a really interesting memoir that looks at the power of family and education and what they can mean to us individually and as a society at large. It seems like the author took great care to tell her story as accurately as possible. She kept journals throughout her life that she used to write the story and often indicates when her memories and those of other family members don’t agree. I give it a 9 out of 10.

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