Living in the dark

Jan 11, 2019-

Tara Westover describes her life as a young girl who struggles to understand the contrast between her upbringing and her experiences in the real world in her autobiography Educated.

As a girl who had spent most of her childhood believing her father’s words, without even thinking once or questioning its veracity, had to step into a different world than what her father had described to her. In the book, she puts down her struggles that she endured throughout her life to become what she is today.

Westover was born in Idaho, United States. She had a huge family and grew up with her six siblings. Due to her father’s blind faith in god and conservative traditions, she could not attend any schools. Her father believed that a public school goes against the will of the god so he did not allow any of his children to attend school. For Westover, it was like living in a dark underground without having much contact with the real world.

Her life took a turn when the rumour about the end of the world started. This hugely affected the Westover family as they started preparing for the end of the world. According to her father, when the others would be starving to death, they will have everything needed for the rest of their lives.

The book entails many of the Westover’s interesting incidents as she examines her childhood. At times, it also provides the readers with inspirational and motivational moments through the struggles of Westover.

Through this book, I was able to understand the thought process of a common person in the rural US, one of the most developed countries in the world. I was also surprised to read about the huge gap between rural and urban areas of the country in terms of gender equality and education.

This book was in the New York Times bestseller list for 40 continuous weeks and was also enlisted in one of the 10 best books of 2018. The former president of the US, Barack Obama, included this book on his annual summer reading list. It was also in process of being translated into 30 different languages.  

While reading the book, it took me through an emotional roller-coaster. I could not stop my tears after reading the struggles of Westover and how she achieved the life that she has now. I found that the book is an example of the proverb “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I would like to reccomend this book to those people who have interest in reading autobiographies and understand the struggles of life.

- Shambhavi Bashyal

Grade 8

Kanjirowa National High School, Koteshwor, Kathmandu

Published: 11-01-2019 09:00

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