Book of the Month Secondary Story

July Book of the Month

Educated is an excellent read; beyond the story, Tara Westover writes her memoir as if she has been writing essays for her entire life. Her choice of wording suggests that she has had expert instruction on writing since a young age. Truth of the story, however, is that she never stepped foot in a school until she was 16. Sporadic homeschooling helped her learn the basics of math and reading, but anything beyond that was completely unknown to her. Her knowledge of history is what her father told her; fabricated from a prejudiced point of view. Her father, and subsequently her mother, believed that the government was going to collapse at any moment and that the family needed to spend their time stockpiling food and supplies for the end of the world. This delusion carried over into the education of the Westover’s seven children. Her father believed that the government of the United States was conspiring to brainwash the children into believing their propaganda. He believed that vaccines and western medicine were also controlled by the government. His zealotic religious beliefs also hindered his approval of anything that existed outside of his world. Part of Tara’s education as a child was to never question her father and mother, that a woman’s place was in the home, and that the world will collapse if you should fail at these rules. Tara’s real education came when she followed in her older brother’s footsteps and applied to a local Mormon college. Her journey from here includes an education about herself, her family, and the whole wide world before her.

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