Educated by Tara Westover

Photo by Candace Woodbury

Educated is an astonishing coming of age tale. I was engrossed in Tara’s telling of her childhood growing up in a Mormon family in a rural town, roughly 80 miles from my hometown, in Idaho. 

 There are moments while I read when I had the inklings of a sort of déjà vu.  Not only did I grow up in Idaho knowing families like Tara’s and going to church with them, but within my family, there were similar minded individuals and echos of the same beliefs within my immediate family. Other moments I felt like YES!!! For example: when her brother Tyler told her “there’s a world out there, and it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear” that was a YES!!! moment for me.


We all grow up thinking our parents know everything, but as we get older and discover the world through our own eyes and develop our own opinions of the world, we learn that while our parents know a lot; they don’t know everything. Their version of the world might not be ours. Tara went through a radical version of what we all go through growing up, so we can all relate to her story. My family was a more “conventional” Mormon family in comparison, but I also connected on a level where “I was also taught that”, “my Dad was the same way.”   


Her story, her discovery of herself, and her view of the world is an education. It is more than textbooks, graduating high school, or graduating from college. An education is all the knowledge you learn about life, the world and where you want your place in it to be, it’s a discovery of one’s self and who we are. 

I can’t wait to share this book with friends and family, and I am looking forward to future works from Tara.


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