This book has been on my wishlist for a while. But, as you all know, too many books, too little time. But a member of my book club recommended it several times lately and so I just had to get to it.
She was right, this was a highly interesting book. The author comes from a Mormon house and was home-schooled - or rather not. I'm not a big fan of home-schooling since I saw too many negative examples. This is one of the worst. Mind you, I have to admit that I know a few good examples, however, they still don't convince me that it is a good idea. In those cases, the parents themselves were highly educated and could pass that on very well. I have helped many kids to catch up in school in languages and math but I would have pitied my children if I would have had to teach them any science subject.
Anyway, Tara grew up in a family with a lot of problems. She thinks her father was bi-polar, and I think she was right there. Her brother was abusive, both physically as well as mentally, he didn't treat any of his younger siblings well, which they only found out when they were grown up.
Tara managed to get educated, she even went to university. All by herself. That shows what a strong character she was because most of her siblings didn't get very far. And I am sure most people wouldn't have. I can only applaud and admire her for that. And I hope that some people might get help after reading this. In any case, it is a book very worth reading.
From the back cover:
"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.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent.
Then, 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 traveled 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."