“It’s strange how you give the people you love so much power over you.”
Tara Westover was born in a Mormon family in rural Idaho. She is the youngest of 7 siblings, 5 brothers, and 1 sister. His father suffers from Schizomania or bipolar disorder or some other undiagnosed mental health issues because of which he holds some extreme views about the world and the government. As a result, he doesn’t send his children to school, get them treated at home with herbology and homeopathy even for extreme illnesses, and fill their brains with extreme conservative ideas.
Tara didn’t step foot into a classroom until she was 17. She got into Brigham Young University by teaching herself mathematics and grammar. Later with the help of her professors who recognized her talent, she got into Cambridge and also completed her doctorate in intellectual history.
There are some books that you read for pleasure and there are some that you read to learn. Whenever I pick any non-fiction book, my whole aim is to figure out what I can take away from the book. I am a huge supporter of education and having spent 21 years of my life in school and college, after having a master’s degree, spending every day in work learning new things, I still feel that my education is incomplete. And this book has inspired me to pursue my dream for which I am always scared as it involves me going back to the basics. But if Tara can do it without any formal early education, then so can I.
Educated is an amazing story, not only in terms of how Tara got herself educated but also how she got away from the negative and unhealthy conditions at her home.
“You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them,” she says now. “You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”
I understand that for memoirs, the events are often aggravated to make the book more engaging and hence I am going to give leeway to the book on points that seem a little unrealistic. Born in one of the most backward states of India, I know that there are extremists people like the one mentioned in the book and how difficult it is for the children of those families to build a life for themselves going against all their ideologies. It was surprising for me to know there are people like this in the so-called advanced and westernized part of the world too.
This is a powerful and inspiring read. I am going to recommend it to anyone who loves reading memoirs. This is a good pick for anyone who is starting with non-fiction too, as it is very easy to glide through and you can also take away something to apply in your life.