Educated by Tara Westover – book review

Synopsis

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

Overall Plot

Educated is broken up into three parts. Part 1 consists of Tara’s mother becoming a midwife. We are introduced to Tara’s family, her mother Faye( a herbalist), her father Gene( a devout Mormon), and her six siblings , Tony, Shawn, Tyler, Luke, Audrey and Richard.

The Westover’s didn’t use medication. When a member of the family were sick, only a mix of herbs was used to treat the illness. The women had to dress modest and most of the time everything was “God’s will” according to her father. 4/7 children ( Luke, Audrey, Richard and Tara) never attended school and had no birth certificate.

In Part two, Tara passes her exams and despite her father’s disapproval, she attends college where she finds it very difficult to fit in as a Mormon.

Part three is the final part of the book. Tara suffers from night terrors, an intervention is organised for her brother Shawn and Tara attends Trinity College.

Review

Educated is a wonderful memoir exploring the life of a young girl growing up in a Mormon household. This memoir covers serious topics such as physical abuse and violence.

I liked reading about the Mormon lifestyle because while I’d heard of the name, I never really knew about their religion or beliefs. It is evident from this memoir that Tara had a difficult childhood surrounded by religion, physical abuse and struggling to fit in to society due to her faith and background.

Conclusion

The admirable part of this memoir was that despite the author having never stepped foot in a classroom or having a birth certificate early on, the author still received an education. However, some chapters were a tad bit repetitive. The chapter describing her college roommates could have been particularly shortened. Overall, an admirable memoir.

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book in my charity shop book haul

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