Educated by Tera Westover

Title: Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Genre: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5

“An education is not so much about making a living as making a person.”

The book Educated is a true story that describes the journey that molded the author, Tara Westover, into the person that she is today. Tara came from a strict Mormon family in the rural mountains of Idaho where hospitals, schools, and seat belts were viewed as acts against god. The saying “Jesus take the wheel” was a literal representation of how the Westovers lived their lives. Everything was left in God’s hands, no matter how dangerous the situation was.

As Tara grew older, she began questioning the ways of her parents. One of her older brothers enrolled in school and introduced her to books. Soon after,she followed in his footsteps and enrolled at age 17. Tara struggled in school at first, finding that most of the teachers assumed she had completed grade school. However, the dangers that she felt working in the mountains at home pushed her to keep trying. Her hard work paid off in the end, landing her spots at Harvard and Cambridge University. Although this also caused a strain in her relationship with her parents, Tara learned the value of creating her own path.

“What a person knows about the past is limited, and will always be limited, to what they are told by others.”

The book itself is a true icon for the importance of an education. Tara Westover beautifully displayed the hardships of a life with the lack thereof. Her descriptions of wounds that were inflicted, such as the burns her father endured, had me covering my mouth both from shock and disgust. 

Reading Educated was a great reminder of the privilege that I had in being able to pursue an education with the support of my family. Without an education, Tara found herself isolated and following a path that she didn’t fully understand. Through her passion of reading and writing, Tara finally found her voice and the power to control her own destiny. 

“I would never again be made a foot soldier in a conflict I did not understand.”

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