This month I'm reviewing Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover. Y'all, this book is intense.
I'm sure many of you have heard of this book, or heard Tara Westover being interviewed on the radio. But if you haven't, here it is in a blurb:
Tara Westover grew up on a mountain in Idaho. Her father didn't believe in modern medicine, which is why Tara and most of her siblings were born at home and, thus, have no birth certificates. Her father was also hugely suspicious of modern education, so no school. I would not describe her early education as "home schooled," but rather "sketchy at best." At some point Tara is urged to do more with her life than work in her father's junk and scrap business and apply for college, which she does.
There were many, many instances of me reading this book, closing this book and walking away for a bit. I think it's because I went into it with very different and incorrect expectations.
Hey, here's a gal who was raised in kind of a wacky family, and with some grit and pluck,
was accepted into a university and then went on to Cambridge!
My assumption was a lot more light and whimsical. When in actuality, this story speaks of fanaticism and abuse that's never acknowledged. Usually, and you know this, Gentle Reader, I go for books that I can later review as a delightful read. So, of course, I didn't exactly choose this book; I'm reading it for book club. And that's the good thing about Smart Girls* because I read books I would normally pass over.
Should you read this book? Yes, I absolutely recommend it. Tara Westover is a brilliant writer, and her story is amazing. But it's hard. Like a lot of good things.
Now, a word about the above photo:
It took a while to get this photo. (I like to think Supermodel Gigi Hadid takes a lot of photos, too before the magazine settles on one.) And as my husband was clicking and handing me the phone for approval I remarked that David Brent and his weird poses made a lot more sense to me now.
Younger: Who's David Brent?
Me: "He's the boss from the British Office TV show played by Ricky Gervais, and when he had to pose for a photo, he would do this weird thing with his hands around his face:"
Younger: "Well, I've never seen The Office, but I know in the French version everyone is doing the Pip-Pip-Dippity-Doo in the supply closet."
*Yes, Smart Girls is the name of my book club. We calls like it we sees it.