“We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell.”
–Tara Westover, Educated
I decided this week to go back to one of the first reviews I wrote on this blog. I started The Picky Bookworm just over a year ago, and man has it been a fun ride! Running a blog is definitely a lot of work, but talking about these super fun books has been such a wonderful journey!
Tara Westover grew up in Idaho, on her parents compound. She was raised very strict Mormon, to the point that she didn’t go to school until she left to go to college. Her father was so untrusting of the government that rarely anyone visited the doctor, to the point that Tara’s mother ended up with a brain dysfunction, with severe migraines.
I loved this book so much! This book carries so much hope, and so much faith, despite everything Tara went through. She go to the point in her life when she realized if anyone was going to change her life, she would need to step up and change it herself. So she started teaching herself math, in order to take the SATs and get into college.
“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”
One of my favorite, and yet one of the saddest, moments in the book is when Tara is in college. She’s studying art, when a word shows up that she doesn’t understand. When she asked the teacher what it meant, every eye in the room turned toward her and glared. That word? Was “holocaust.” She had studied no history, so had absolutely no idea why everyone was so upset with her. She went back to her room and looked it up. The description of her horror at finding out about it was palpable. I could feel it through the pages.
I got this book from the library, after hearing an interview with Tara on “NY Times Book Review” podcast. I was reading it one day at work, and my boss’s boss’s boss saw me reading and told me she was reading it at the same time. I thought that was so cool! We had a chance to talk about it when we finished, and it felt like our own little book club. With the pandemic going, and everyone in my agency working remotely still, I haven’t had a chance to visit with her, but I’m looking forward to talking with her about all the books we’ve read during quarantine.
“Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were.”
I hope you get a chance to read this book soon. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I encourage you to do so very soon. I promise you won’t regret it! Please visit my review that I wrote last year (click here). Let me know what you think in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an update! Until next time, bookworms!