In many ways, Tara Westover had a pretty idyllic childhood. She grew up on a beautiful mountain in Idaho with a lot of brothers and sisters. She had cool pets, and even a scrapyard she could play around in. But her father was the lord of all these joys, and he was an abusive Mormon conspiracy theorist who refused to send the kids to a hospital when they got sick or injured. He and his wife also prevented the kids from getting a formal education. In Educated: A Memoir, Westover tells the story of her escape from an isolated, backwoods hellhole into the hallowed halls of Harvard and Cambridge. Her reckoning with her parents and her subsequent search for a chosen family serves as a good model for those of us who may have also had unsupportive and/or actively bad parents.
by Rich Smith
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