Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (Random House, 2018)

One characteristic shared by all entrepreneurs is a drive to overcome obstacles in following a dream. Like most entrepreneurs, our clients at Gray Plant Mooty dream on a daily basis of pushing boundaries, building businesses, and creating value … and perhaps getting away from the polar vortex and unrelenting winter weather we’ve been having!

Others demonstrate the drive to improve, to expand, and to create in other spheres of endeavor. Such is the case of Tara Westover. Raised in rural Idaho, she was supposedly home-schooled (but actually left to her own devices) by survivalist parents who mistrusted the government, the medical profession, and formal education in equal measures. Family dynamics routinely encompassed physical and mental abuse.

A spark of curiosity develops into a quest for knowledge that leads her, via Brigham Young University, to a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, a fellowship at Harvard, and a doctorate from the University of Cambridge, but not without some bumps in the road. The strain of straddling two worlds leads to a mental breakdown along the way, but in the end the dream is within her grasp.

Included in former President Barack Obama’s 2018 summer reading list, this book is a remarkable memoir of a young woman caught between two worlds as she works to follow her dreams in the face of great obstacles.

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