“The music ended. The girls glared at me as we left the stage – I had ruined the performance – but I could barely see them. Only one person in that room felt real to me, and that was Dad. I searched the audience and recognized him easily. He was standing in the back, the lights from the stage flickering off his square glasses. His expression was stiff, impassive, but I could see anger in it.”
Educated is a memoir like I’ve never read before. Throughout the book, which reads like a novel, I felt along with the narrator and author, Tara Westover. The passage above seeps with fear, embarrassment, and shame, and through Westover’s deft pen, I could put myself in her ballet slippers. How did the daughter of a survivalist even make it onto the stage of a dance recital? Let this curiosity lead you to your local library or bookstore, because this story is one you will want to read.
While we have all faced our own trials and tribulations, few could compare to those experienced by Westover. From surviving the incessant physical abuse by her brother to treating her father’s third degree burns with herbs and tinctures at home, I was equal parts inspired and appalled. Westover’s rise from the emotional and physical warfare of her family-life to the intelligent, accomplished, and educated of her adulthood is an epic feat. It is an honor to read her story, as it stirs up the possibilities within.
“‘The most powerful determinant of who you are is inside you,’ he said. ‘Professor Steinberg says this is Pygmalion. Think of the story, Tara.’ He paused, his eyes fierce, his voice piercing. ‘She was just a cockney in a nice dress. Until she believed in herself. Then it didn’t matter what dress she wore.'”