Tom MacWright

I read Educated by Tara Westover on


The Libby app relentlessly promoted Educated to me. It was on the lists of Obama, Oprah, and Gates: a pretty good lineup. And I needed a break from podcasts.

It’s a brutal memoir. If you’ve seen that variety of horror movie which puts every monster behind a dimly-lit door and relies entirely on the credulous victim? This is like that, but it’s her family behind the door. Her nigh-irredeemable kin are balanced by Tara herself, who is basically good and luckily blessed with a keen memory and plenty of writing ability.

With her life story and her ability, it would have been a crime for Westover to not write a memoir. I’m not sure why I listened to it, though. It’s like staring at a car crash: there’s a sort of beauty, but isn’t it weird to linger too long?