Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.
Lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd travelled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it.
The fact that this is a true story blows my mind. It is a coming of age story and journey of self discovery like no other.
Reading this book really put my whole life into perspective and I started to understand and appreciate how lucky I am. We each give out about having to get up for school or do our homework and Westover succeeds in showing that education is a luxury. It is not something to be taken for granted.
Westover's journey reminded me a lot to Kya's in Where The Crawdads Sing, so if you like one then I highly recommend you read the other.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
'I decided to experiment with normality. For nineteen years I'd lived the way my father wanted. Now I would try something else.'
Tyler, I always wanted an older brother as a kid and I feel Tyler is such an interesting character and plays a huge role in Tara's life.