Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story 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.
I’m late to the train here, but truly an unbelievable read. I’ve never would have been able to conceive of a story so remarkable and strange. As it is said, truth is stranger than fiction. Westover’s journey, education, and family ties can teach everyone something.
It would be easy to simplify the story and claim that “she made it out.” But I think that conclusion is too simplistic. She uses the pages not to describe surviving a deranged family but to explain the moments that shaped her. In one passage, she describes a journey with Bedouins in Jordan on the night Osama Bin Laden was killed. She says when the towers fell ten years before, she had never even heard of Islam. I think that one story stands as a testament to the power of humans to learn and adapt.
Westover went from a tough upbringing with no education to earning a Ph.D. from Cambridge. It’s a remarkable story. I’d highly recommend reading the book.