Wow!! This book is incredible!! Tara Westover has such a way with words that she pulls you into her world immediately, and her memoir reads like a novel, without ever losing sight of the fact that Educated is real life, her real life.
Tara Westover was born into a Mormon family in Idaho, and grew up what would be considered as “off the grid”. While religion, or maybe fanaticism, are an overall part of Tara’s childhood, it’s not the main focus of the story. Tara’s father believes in stories of the Illuminati and the dangers of government involvement as well as being a fervent believer of the Mormon teachings (which I am not familiar enough with to even start talking about), and leads his family to live a very unconventional life... One where the children don’t receive a formal education in school. It’s so much more complex than this though, and as I don’t want to spoil this amazing book for anyone I will stop there with the background.
Tara’s memoir takes you back through her childhood through her own eyes. We, the readers, are 6 when she is 6, we are 12 when she is 12. We are there with her, living with her. I could literally smell the mountain air of Buck Peak, feel the snow under my feet, and the force of some of the things that she endured shook me to the core. Educated is not an easy read, there are moments when you need to put the book down and look at something pretty and sparkly, or cuddle someone you love. There are moments when I burst into tears, and others where I had to skip over a scene because I was scared how it might affect me mentally. Tara’s strength is incredible, because she went from literally having no education whatsoever to putting herself through college, then several universities. And her family dynamic is so deep and scary that your logic is telling her to run as fast as she can away from it all, but your heart understands what pulls her back.
Educated will be released on February 20th through Random House and I recommend getting it as soon as you can. I think it’s going to be on my mind for a very long time.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance galley!