There are billions of ways of life that exist in the world. Within the United States alone, there are five different geographic perceptions, many different religious practices and millions of varying ideas about family constructs. Tara Westover explains how her perception of the world changes through religion, family and geography and how that helped her become the person she is today in her memoir Educated.
Educated focuses on a lifetime of learning. By introducing herself through her childhood, Westover gives a detailed understanding of what life is like when growing up under strict Mormon practices in rural Idaho. Through that, the reader comes to comprehend how different religious practices were relayed to Westover, especially in childhood, which created a separation between her and the rest of the world. Many of the things she knew about were based on the opinion of her father, a devout Mormon who believed public schooling was a form of brainwashing.
“We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell” (361).
Due to this upbringing, Westover’s education was based on the knowledge of what was around her. She grew up knowing the beauty and pain of nature as well as a very early understanding of self-sustainability. This was learned through the many years she spent working in her father’s scrap yard, where manual labor was equivalent to success and the quiet valley she grew up in hid that gaining success was physically dangerous. As she grew up, that idea of success was challenged by the town around her, and, eventually, the world.
A #1 New York Times bestseller, Educated connects every reader through the changes of growing up, while specifying the struggles of Westover’s world and how she single-handedly had to change it to become herself.
Can’t wait to start reading? Start here with a link to the audiobook from Audible.com.
Jill Ciampa is a professional writing major studying publishing, technical, and public policy writing. She enjoys spending time reading and watercoloring. She can usually be found watching Netflix, traveling, or trying to get someone to understand her French. Follow her @jillcia on Twitter.