Best Books to Read: Educated (Tara Westover)

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Educated is a memoir written by Tara Westover, who is not a household name, but is someone whose story is worth hearing.

In Educated, Westover discusses her life all the way from childhood to her present life. It is an amazing story of resilience and perseverance, especially considering her upbringing and family life. Westover comes from a very traditional Mormon family in Idaho, and her parents had some very unique views and parenting habits. Westover’s parents disapprove of any government interference, and this extends to professions such as doctors and teachers.

Westover goes into detail about several incidents in her childhood where her dad got her family into significant car accidents, but rather than go to the hospital to get treated, their family was treated using traditional herbs and healing techniques. Also, most of the members of Westover’s family did not go to school, and those who did risked facing the scorn of her father.

Outside of problems stemming from her father, Westover had a particularly toxic relationship with one of her brothers, who she gives the pseudonym Shaun. In Educated, Westover describes the abuse she faced from her brother, and how the conflict spread to the rest of her family.

Despite all of these hardships, Westover managed to go to college (without ever having an education) at BYU, before later moving onto study at Harvard and Cambridge. It is a really inspiring and gritty story, and definitely one worth learning more about. While I am sure that the content of the story probably resonates more with females than males, I thought it was still a valuable book worth reading!


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