Welcome to my blog where I share my book reviews
and life along the winding road

Friday, March 8, 2019

Educated by Tara Westover

The Westover children didn't attend school. Many didn't have birth certificates. Their father promoted survival (each had a head for the hills pack in case of emergencies) and stockpiled supplies, in preparation for the end of the world, hidden in the hills of Idaho. Their mother, who became an unlicensed midwife and healer, stewed herbs for treating everything from gashes obtained while the children helped with junkyard scrap, to extensive burns and head injuries. They were forbidden to see a doctor or go to the hospital even for major injuries after a car crash.
But the book is mostly about how the children struggled with trying to get an education. Their "school" was to find a book, go to their room and figure it out on their own with varying amount of help from their mother.  They were oblivious to world events such as the Holocaust, Civil Rights Movement and international and domestic events. The only news they were told by their father was the disastrous Ruby Ridge event which their father used to instill in them that the government, which he called Illuminati, would brainwash them if they entered a schoolroom and the Weaver family (who also lived in the hills) were victims of the FBI/government.
Despite the disadvantages Tara Westover and her siblings had, Tara managed to be accepted into Brigham Young University and eventually studied in Cambridge and Harvard.

The children were split regarding their education. Shawn, Luke, and Audrey worked for their parents either in the scrapyard or their mother's healing oils business. Tony's trucking company in Las Vegas was successful for a while but eventually failed and he returned to work for the parents.
Richard, Tyler and Tara became independent from their family and all obtained doctorates.

The book was a book club read and reminded me of a previous book we had discuseed - Hillbilly Elegy


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