Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #79 - Educated

Today's review is for

Author: Tara Westover
Pages: 352

This is the true story of the author and her upbrininging in Idaho.  Her mom and dad "lived off the grid" and refused to put their kids in public school - or any school - because of the government involvement.  She and her brothers and sisters didn't even have a birth certificate until they were older.  Her mother was an untrained midwife who relied on herb concoctions to heal her patients and her children (they never went to a hospital unless it was forced on them), and her dad was a scrapper.

By the time Tara is 17, she is ready to get out on her own.  She is encouraged to try and take the ACT test (Even though she hasn't ever had formal schooling - not even home schooling) and she scores high.  She is accepted into BYU and it starts her journey to Cambridge, Harvard, and a Ph.D.  Now she recalls what it was like for her growing up as a mormon whose parents didn't want anything to do with the outside world, and how she felt torn between where she came from and where she ended up.

This book was okay.  It was a bit frustrating, but I kept having to remind myself that I was having a hard time putting myself in her shoes.  I would get angry every time she returned to her family and their "crazy notions" as I like to call them, and a brother who had threatened to kill her.  I was surprised how hard it was for her to separate herself from her old life even though it was clear to the rest of us that she was being abused.  It wasn't until she finished her Ph.D. that she finally parted from her parents and the abusive brother and told the readers she hasn't seen them in a few years.

The other problem with this book is that it just wasn't well written in my opinion.  It has only been a few years since she finished that Ph.D program, and it didn't feel like she has put enough distance between the end of her "saga" and writing an memoir.  I think if she would have waited another 10 years, she could have collected her thoughts and her notes and reflected better to write this novel.

I cannot say I don't recommend it.  I know her situation is rare, but any time you get a chance to look into the lives of people who don't trust the school system or the hospitals or anyone, really, it is a fascinating experience.  It is hard not to judge, but it gives you insight into another way of thinking that obviously exists - even in the year 2018.

Stars: 3

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