• Joan Fernandez


By Tara Westover

Living proof of the indomitable self

I’m so grateful Tara Westover wrote this beautiful memoir, Educated. This true story is about her strict upbringing by doomsday parents who eschewed formal education, the medical establishment and anything else that smelled like “government.” The reader is given an inside view on how their family survived, how her parents rationalized their estrangement for the external world, and what her upbringing was like. What’s amazing is how she was able to move forward and out of that world. Her intelligence in teaching herself earned sufficient ACT scores to go to college without graduating from high school. She went on to advance her education, including earning a PhD from Cambridge. The most important journey, though, was how she fought for herself. Eventually, she could separate herself from the childhood doctrine she no longer believed in. When pushed to deny traumatic events of abuse, she ultimately stood by what she knew was true. Her story of standing up for herself—with all of its tenacity and painful difficulty—is inspiring.

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