Allt jag fått lära mig (Educated)

Tara Westover’s childhood was the very opposite of the safe, emotionally stable environment with basic healthcare and education that is the right of all children under the care of their parents.

Tara and her siblings received none of these things.  
The Westover children were neither allowed to go to school, being erratically homeschooled, nor were they taken to a doctor when ill. Added to this, the family lived with a constant sense of forboding with much of the childrens’ time taken up by helping their survivalist parents stockpile food, weapons and fuel in preparation for the End of Days.

Even when seriously injured, twice in car accidents and on numerous occasions while working in their father’s scrapyard, the children were denied medical help and instead had to rely on their mother’s knowledge of herbalism to heal them.
It is incredible that Tara found the will to break free from the control of her manipulative, conspiracy-fearing father whose behaviour was condoned her submissive mother, and a physically abusive brother. Yet she not only escaped, but also reinvented herself. Never having previously set foot in a classroom Westover went on to get herself a first class education, culminating in a doctorate in history from Trinity College Cambridge. 

Educated is Tara Westover’s moving memoire of her flawed and often traumatic childhood, shut off from the outside world. It is also story of an intense desire to learn that saved her. It must have been hard to write this book, and I have read that Tara is now estranged from most of her family as a result of it, but there is no doubt that it was cathartic at the same time.

Westover’s book is an impressive piece of writing, highly recommended by both Barak Obama and Bill Gates.  I found it hard to put this book down and harder still stop thinking about it once I had finished it. Definitely one of the best books I have read this year.