All the stars in the Idaho Sky! Tara Westover is so very brave. And her book is hands-down, 5+ stars amazing. This is by far the most riveting memoir I’ve ever read. I am so fascinated by cult-like religions, as well as homesteaders/survivalists and end-of-the-world preppers – and this quenched every thirst I’ve ever had for all those things and infinitely beyond. This was the extreme of both of those worlds. I cannot believe this is real life. The epitome of “you can’t make this sh*t up,” I imagine those words running through Tara’s head often.
This is a story of growing up in middle-of-nowhere Idaho with Mormon anti-government parents, who “home-schooled” Tara and her brothers and sisters, while preaching these crazy ideals on these poor kids who just didn’t know any better. They believed everything their parents said (who wouldn’t believe their own parents?!), and the abuse and neglect she had to essentially endure because of it, was heartbreaking. These kids grew up with no birth certificates, never stepping foot inside a classroom or a doctor’s office, zero modern medicine (including for severe burns and brain injury!), living in filth and squalor, and the constant pressure to be of extreme faith and a tireless servant of a God, that required way to much of these poor children. And all under the watchful eyes of a father who takes no less than their utter devotion to that God, no matter what the consequences.
It pains me to see them choose sides throughout – you really do get the sense that these parents love Tara in all the way they know how, and they honestly feel that what they are doing is right and just, but it’s just so blatantly wrong. I applaud Tara for trying so very hard – throughout every victory in her life without them, and coming out on the other side, not bitter at all, still feeling love for her family.
I was enthralled by this memoir. There wasn’t any second of this book that dragged, or lulled – I literally could not put it down. The writing is so well thought out, every person rich with description and character, and you root for this strong-willed little girl to get out, and make something of her life and triumph over the family who may love her, but believe her to be evil because she just wants to be free. And we know, because of this amazing book, she finally is.
Love. Love. Love!
Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to review and to Tara Westover for sharing her story.
Get it now on Amazon here —> Educated by Tara Westover
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (February 20, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399590501
- ISBN-13: 978-0399590504