Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm so torn about how to review this book. There were many parts that were hard for me to read. Some parts brought up long buried wounds from childhood, some parts had me shaking my head in disbelief and horror, and some parts made me so happy she is trying to build a different life as an adult.
Family relationships are hard. I felt very triggered by parts of the story. My family was different than Tara's but I can definitely relate to parts of it. Some of it was so foreign to me that I could barely wrap my brain around it, though. Her brother is clearly mentally ill. That the family excused his abuse and turned a blind eye is disgusting. Her father and mother probably believed they were both doing their best to raise the family in line with their personal beliefs, but damn, do they all need lots of therapy. I think the reason Tara has been unable to cut ties with them is because they do love her, and the story does show those bright moments. Walking away from family can't be easy. I'm glad she has regained some of the relationships she lost. I'm not sure if it can be viewed as a cult mentality, or religious zealotry, or mental illness, or what, but it's disturbing to read.
I can't put myself in her shoes, thankfully, and I'm glad that some of the family was able to get an education and choose a somewhat different life. Clearly she had one leg up with her natural intelligence and has had several lucky breaks to get to where she is now, but she has overcome some serious odds. And I personally feel she is still messed up and needs to continue working on herself, but hey, who doesn't need to do that?
I'm glad I read it. 4 stars.
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