Tara Westover

When I think I have it bad, I only have to remember this story. Like many American kids, I went to school, learned, had parents who could function in society, and didn’t have to fight tooth and nail just to get an education and choose how to live. I cannot fathom living in a house where I was forbidden from learning about the world, constantly faced physical and emotional abuse, wasn’t even taken to a doctor for life-threatening injuries, and dealt with even more hypocrisy than the so-called regular world. How Tara got away from her family and made anything of herself—let alone became a successful scholar and author—is beyond me, even with the glimpse Educated gave me into her world.

 

            “Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yielded now, I would lose more than an argument. I would lose custody of my own mind. This was the price I was being asked to pay, I understood that now. What my father wanted to cast from me wasn’t a demon: it was me.”