BOOKSLEYING: Educated by Tara Westover

Title and Author: Educated by Tara Westover

Rating: 5 Michael Roths, with a side of Sweet Potato Fries

A Quote: “My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”

Tl;dr (except you wr): Imagine being seventeen the first time you stepped foot in a classroom. And the classroom, it turns out, is that of a college. Tara Westover, the child of two Mormon survivalists, spent her childhood preparing for the end of the world canning peaches, salvaging scrap metal, and helping create her mother’s homeopathic remedies. She never went to the doctor; instead, her mother would cure all illnesses with different salves. Despite all of these barriers, Tara made it a point to go to college; by educating herself, she got herself to college, where she was exposed to another world, one that deeply contradicted her own. As she pursued her studies, she realized the juxtaposed nature of her family life and her new one, reflecting in this coming-of-age memoir.

The Rating explained: I picked up Educated because I had seen its cover absolutely everywhere, and rightly so. Throughout reading it, I had to remind myself that this was a memoir; Westover’s story is beyond compelling, where I wanted to continue finding out what happened. Even after nearly a month of reading this book, I still cannot completely explain my thoughts. Instead, I’m going to quote a review I saw online: “Difficult to read. Impossible to put down.” I was stuck in moments where I could not believe that her life was real; I felt like I was reading a fantasy novel. Westover can somehow explain her own trauma, while also acknowledging how her childhood consisted of placing the blame on herself. It makes you rethink your own contexts, and how they’ve shaped you to who you are now. 

Basically, I cannot recommend this book enough.  

Amount of sleep voluntarily lost during the reading of this book: So much. I didn’t leave the couch for several hours at a time, haphazardly eating in small breaks to continue reading.