Published February 20th 2018 by Random House
I read all kinds of reviews and accolades for this book, so decided that I needed to read it. Being a retired teacher and administrator, I didn’t want to read it. Well, I am certainly glad that I did. This book hurt my heart and my soul. This is a book that I had to take time outs from. It was so real and so hard to read all at the same time. This is the story of Tara Westover and her dysfunctional family. They were Mormons, but her father took it to an extreme. He did not trust the government, medical care and certainly not schools. He was also a survivalist who stockpiled supplies and lived off the land. He did not have a high school diploma, yet was smart. He also had some sort of mental illness, whether it was bipolar disorder or schizophrenia it was never diagnosed.
Tara Westover never went to school, was not even home-schooled, yet she ended up with a doctorate. She is stubborn as a bulldog and pulled herself up by the steel-toed boots she wore as a child working in her family’s Idaho junkyard. The first class room she ever entered was the first day of her freshman college year at age 17. She had never seen a doctor. Never had a vaccination. Never taken any kind of medication, not even an ibuprofen. She had no birth certificate. She didn’t even know her birthday. As she continued on in her education, there were many things about the world that she didn’t know. She always felt she was a fake, that she didn’t belong there. She was poor, uneducated and a whore, at least that is what she thought.
As you read this book, be prepared for some physical, verbal and emotional abuse. Tara wants to be part of her family, even with her successes at school, but she can not bring herself to accept that the things that have happened in her family were okay. She is so damaged along the way, that without the counselling she finally participates in, she would not be where she is today. EDUCATED is a fascinating story of sheer perseverance and grit. As I said at the beginning of this review, this book brought out so many emotions as I read it, but in the end, I am very glad I did. Bravo to Tara Westover.
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