Earlier this year, I finally got around to reading the memoir Educated by Tara Westover. So many people had recommended it to me. It’s an international bestseller that has been translated into more than 40 languages. It’s won multiple awards.
Amazon says: Tara Westover grew up preparing for the end of the world. She was never put in school, never taken to the doctor. She did not even have a birth certificate until she was nine years old. At sixteen, to escape her father’s radicalism and a violent older brother, Tara left home. What followed was a struggle for self-invention, a journey that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
It is no doubt the most amazing story of survival and yes, self-invention. I was rooting for Tara throughout and felt deeply for her. She really suffered and there were moments where I had to read with my hands over my face. I wanted to reach into the book and strangle Tara’s parents and scream at them for what they did to their daughter and what they didn’t protect her from. It’s a shocking read and I do recommend it. Talk about triumph over adversity – with a hell of a lot of work by Tara – a courageous and tenacious woman, to become who she is. I also felt it needed a smidge more editing and that certain things weren’t answered or explained. No matter, this reading lark is subjective. Power to Tara, for what she has been through and for this incredible piece of work.
I wondered if her family read it. I hoped they did and that they were truly ashamed and apologetic – although knowing of them what I knew via the memoir, I doubted this would be the case.
But I heard something a couple of weeks ago that even in the context of Tara Westover and Educated made my jaw drop.
Her mother, yes her mother, has written a counter-memoir. It’s called Educating.
Yep. Can you imagine? You could have knocked me down with a feather. The woman has got more front than Brighton and is even more spectacularly deluded than I thought possible.
On Tara’s website, below a picture of her book, she says: “Publishing it was pretty much the most insane idea I’ve ever had. And a lot of insane things happened as a result.”
She is not kidding. She might be referring to her global fame or her mother’s book. Maybe both.
Here’s a blog about the situation that I found fascinating. I’m going to read more about the whole situation and see if Tara has spoken about her mother’s memoir.
Will I read Educating? I doubt it. I’d feel pretty disloyal to Tara, to be honest.
Have you read Educated? Did you know about Educating? If you do, or do now, will you, have you, read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Mine are mainly this: BLIMEY.