Book and Author of the Week
By Tara Westover
All of the book clubs included this book by Tara Westover on their reading lists, but in reading the blurb, I felt that this book was not promising for me. When I finally picked it up and read it, I was really moved by the narrative of her life as the daughter to father who believed God spoke directly to him. Her father was a survivalist with his family living in a remote corner of Idaho with his junkyard and his complete distrust of the corrupt outside world. His wife was a homeopathic healer and midwife, he felt that modern medicine went against the will of a God he had a personal connection with. Her brother became violent after a head injury that changed his personality, but her father would not allow him to seek medical attention.
Home schooled most o her life, Tara went against the will of her father and entered formal schooling where she received a scholarship to Brigham Young College and then a fellowship with to Cambridge in England and despite her superior educational experiences, she could not break free of her father's influence in her life. This story had so many nuances and connections to my own educational struggles (not with my family as hers was). Despite her success, she could never come to a realization of her self actualization of her incredible accomplishments.
Is human experience defined by Nurture of Nature? And the influences of both spheres showed me how a person can be torn between the two unable to resolve this internal conflict. This is a true human story where the title of her book serves both as hindrance and definition of the concept of education. For me the hindrance was being able to discard the broad topic and get down the the essence of her incredible hero journey.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled to get where they are today because of their education and yet remained the person they were when the journey started. As an educator, I endorse this personal account as a testimony of the value of education, something in recent years has come under increasing scrutiny.
Author worth knowing,
Who is this guy? Where is he from? Fredrick Backman wrote one of my favorite books from a few years ago in A Man Called Ove. in the next book of his I read, Beartown was about how hockey ruled this rural town in Sweden was shaken by a rape allegation of their star hockey player. His unapologetic narration presented both sides of the issue in a very poignant way. His follow up Us Against Them continued the saga of Beartown and a really good one at that weaving through the fabric of life in a hockey town.
Currently living in Sweden, Fredrick has the potential of being the next great Swedish import since ABBA. I recommend this author to anyone who likes to read a good human story.