Everyone who has paid taxes and continues to do so, has dreamed of living "off the grid". Educated, is the memoir of Tara Westover, who because of her family, did just that!
Mom is an herbalist, with a love for natural healing from the abundance around her. Tara and her mom are always working to prepare the family for the inevitable downfall of all humanity. Dad speaks to "God" and has his own visions of what needs to be accomplished to keep his family safe in the trying days to come.
While running his scrapyard, he is also consumed with the coming Y2K debacle and the end times. He is constantly preparing bunkers with food and water, staples and gas so that when the inevitable last days arrive, they will be safe and saved.
Buck's Peak in the Fall
Tara never goes to school proper. She and her siblings are home schooled. Mom make tinctures and creams. These will be their only forms of medicine, because Dad doesn't believe in Doctors. Mom also becomes the local midwife, after learning from the elderly woman who has been the midwife for years. All of this is kept very quiet as they don't want any interference from the government. Every birth is punctuated with worry that things will not "go" according to plan. Heaven help them if a mother should die in the birthing process.
Tara's brothers are a mixed bunch. Some take care of Tara with tenderness and love, while one of the eldest has a mean streak the width of a country road. While Tara is terrorized by him, Dad and Mom just keep on working and ignore any of his actions and the subsequent injuries that Tara has received at his hands. Even such simple things as birth certificates were not issued for the children. All were home birthed and never registered anywhere. Not until one of the brothers wants to get a driver's licence does Tara's mom start the process of registering the birth of her children.
Tara's story is unique in that it takes place today. With all the means of communication and learning, the Westover family knew none of it.
Despite her lack of many material things, Tara is gifted with a tenacity that will not let her fail. Once she has made the decision to leave the mountain, there is no holding her back. Educated is a story that is real, interesting, happy and sad at times, but never dull.
I read this in three days and just hated when my eyes were so tired they could not read another page.
Educated is a story of re-birth both physical and emotional. It's a story of choices and the possible breakdown of all that you knew to be true. Tara is like the caterpillar turning into the butterfly. Change though can be painful too and you will see that in the pages you are reading.
From a seventeen year old girl, who has never entered a classroom before, to a young woman who has a PhD and has studied at Cambridge and Harvard, she certainly has learned that you and you alone can become "Educated".
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