Educated by Tara Westover
I’ve always been fascinated with life on the fringes, the world of the periphery. Although it is set in Idaho, in the centre of the United States, Tara Westover’s Educated is precisely that; that of a life lived truly on the edges.
In this jaw dropping memoir, Westover looks back at her childhood. Born into a Mormon fundamentalist family, the youngest of seven children, she recounts the money struggles, the repeated abuse she suffered at the hands of those closest to her, the challenges she faced every single day. It’s not long before her father removes all of his children from school — ultimately, they were virtually uneducated and end up spending most of their time helping their parents with work.
Yet, against all the odds stacked against her — she doesn’t even have a birth certificate — Westover manages to gain admission to university. Despite her huge lack of general knowledge — she had no idea, for example, that Europe was not a country and what the Holocaust was — her teachers are impressed by her talent and she heads to Cambridge University. Oh — and follows that with a fellowship at Harvard before heading back to Cambridge for her Ph.D.
For all she tells us, Westover’s extraordinary tale is written in such a way that somehow, it doesn’t seem dramatic. These are her experiences, her life and she tells it to us exactly how it was. She owns them. And, that life, what she went through, is as much a part of her education as any doctorate.
An inspiring story worthy of all the praise it has had and continues to receive.
Order your copy of ‘Educated’ here.