Up until recently, I'd never really bothered to read memoirs. At least, not since I was in high school. I can't put my finger on exactly what it was that lead me to this book. I know that a friend of mine had just finished reading it (thanks for the update Goodreads!) and it was at the top of the "new and recommended" section in my library app. But maybe it was the title. The simplicity of the design. The way I couldn't tell what it would be about, but I felt that it must be important. It was.
Westover's story, from her incredibly sheltered and unusual childhood to her awe-inspiring journey through secondary education, rang with meaning and truth. Growing up in Utah, I always heard stories about the LDS families who went a step further (or two) in the ways they followed the religion. Hearing one of those stories from within was a much needed reminder that all of our stories look more normal from the inside. Even when, especially when, we're right in the middle of the strangest parts.
My favorite thing was not the story, it wasn't the writing, so full of well crafted imagery, and it wasn't the way Tara seamlessly wove so many memories into a story that could probably change lives. No, the best part of Educated is the way Tara describes trauma. The way she recounts the moments of abuse and manipulation and neglect. The moments of almost willful insanity.
Educated is the kind of book you don't know you needed until you've finished it. I'd recommend it to anyone.