Yes, it’s as good as its hype – a fine, fine book. If I’d known it was this good I wouldn’t have waited. Seriously. And I darn near cried – not quite.
I’d been looking at this widely acclaimed book since it came out as the whole idea behind homeschooling and living off the grid intrigues me. Then it was on sale at Amazon and I knew I could get the Audible version at a reasonable price. Voila – from Wish List to iTunes. Happy days.
That said, it was much better than I expected although quite different.
Educated: A Memoir
by Tara Westover
2018/ 335 pages
read by Julia Whealan – 12h 10m
rating: 9 – nonfiction/memoir
(both read and listened)
Tara Westover was raised by parents who didn’t send her to school or train her to be a part of the world as we know it. Her father was a rather paranoid man of fundamentalist Mormon views who also decided to live off the grid and was making a fair job of giving it a try. The family had a piece of land and Dad was in the junk business as well as construction.
Her mother got into midwifery, healing herb and home remedies while her older siblings, several brothers and a sister or two, either left home or were stuck.
Their home included father’s junk dealing business with his grandparents living nearby for most of the year. In the house were her mother’s plants for healing and the house smelled like that, and it was very dirty.
“The most powerful determinant of who you are is inside you,” he said. “Professor Steinberg says this is Pygmalion. Think of the story, Tara.” He paused, his eyes fierce, his voice piercing. “She was just a cockney in a nice dress. Until she believed in herself. Then it didn’t matter what dress she wore.” (p. 243)
While writing this Westover doesn’t trust her own memory and consults with her siblings and tries to re-imagine. Their memories don’t always agree and Westover is upfront about that.
I’m often a bit wary of books that get great reviews across the board and are heavily hyped, but I get the feeling, from your review and others, that this really does live up to it.
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Yes, I too kind of avoid books which seem hyped but this caught my eye from the subject-matter of isolation and home-schooling. And I enjoy good memoirs but I also kind of distrust them. That’s okay, I read them anyway and I did enjoy this one very much.
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