Educated came recommended to me in light of my recent decision to estrange myself from my siblings. It helped me move towards accepting that sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is to walk away.

Tara’s memoir is a heartwarming and hair-raising story of a young woman’s coming of age. She is the daughter of Mormon survivalists in Idaho. Her father distrusted the medical establishment, the schools, and anything to do with the government. Tara grew up isolated from mainstream society on a beautiful mountain. She spent her time doing manual labor salvaging scrap in her father’s junkyard which sometimes could be life threatening.  Yes it felt like a jail sentence – doing time. The miracle is that she somehow managed to take pre-college exams and get into college with no education, then earning a PhD from Cambridge University.

What I found most inspiring were Tara’s various awakenings that occurred as she became educated. She moved from a young woman who didn’t even know about the Civil Rights Movement, to a popular dinner guest with her stories of scraping and hunting on the mountain, eventually becoming a daughter who chose to estrange herself from her parents. Tara writes poetically, sharing her thoughts and feelings as she carries you along with her transformation. I highly recommend this book in general but especially for anyone struggling with questions such as – who am I? How do I live a happy life without being part of my family of origin? How and when do I decide that it is time to move on? How do I find peace in a crazy situation? 

Thank you, Tara, for sharing your journey.


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