Educated by Tara Westover
Publication date: February 20, 2018
Pages: 334 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars ✰✰✰✰
Strengths: Compelling story and anecdotes
Weaknesses: Some higher education concepts (from her college years) weren't familiar
This was a Goodreads 2018 Reader Choice Award recipient. I'd heard about it for years, of course, but finally worked my way to the top of the library's wait list to read it. Whenever I'm fitting a book into my schedule because I have it for two weeks from the library, I want it to be a page-turner, and this one was. The author's stories of her family's home on the mountain were sad enough to be nearly unbelievable, especially since they were the truths of her childhood as she remembered it.
Like a train wreck, I could not put the book down through the beginning, as she recounted stories from her youth about serious accidents resulting from (usually) her father's poor choices in acting as a responsible adult. And then compounded by her father and mother's ideas of 'treatment' for these life-threatening injuries. Some other reviews expressed doubt about some of these events. I think the truly unfortunate is that even neighbors or onlookers who could have tried something to help these children did nothing, as they probably doubted their own observation of such ridiculous events.
As the author worked her way through college, her internal voice and struggles were even more sad and harder to shake for her and the reader. I didn't understand some of the philosophy references, but I felt maybe I was supposed to be as confused as the author as she struggled through the advanced material while also combating the voices of her memories telling her she wasn't up to the task and didn't deserve success.
Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I just couldn't turn away. I hope that whatever the author is up to now, she's come further with reconciling all of the abuse to her past, and moved on more content and happy in her current life.