An unforgettable memoir about a woman who was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom and, despite her extremely difficult family circumstances, managed to earn a Ph.D. from an elite university. Throughout the book, she shares all the lessons she learned on her way. Tara’s story will continue to motivate you long after reading. You’ll feel empowered to tackle any challenge that lies ahead of you.
💭 What I think about it
If Tara managed to earn her degree despite all the struggles, what will withhold you from achieving your goals? There’s a reason you’ll find plenty of praise for this book from the world’s greatest thinkers.
🌟 Who benefits from reading this book?
This book is not only beautifully written, but it’s also one of the most powerful success stories about higher education. You’ll peek inside a Mormon family and off-grit Idaho life. Tara’s story will motivate and stick with you long after reading.
📚 How the book changed my life
Here are the three key lessons I took away from the book:
- Education can be a way out of the most difficult situations.
- Whatever learning challenge you face, you can do it.
- Life is a quest for learning; one is never done with it.
✍️ My Favorite Quotes
- “You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them,” she says now. “You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”
- My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.
- The thing about having a mental breakdown is that no matter how obvious it is that you’re having one, it is somehow not obvious to you. I’m fine, you think. So what if I watched TV for twenty-four straight hours yesterday. I’m not falling apart. I’m just lazy. Why it’s better to think yourself lazy than think yourself in distress, I’m not sure. But it was better. More than better: it was vital.
- We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell.
- Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yielded now, I would lose more than an argument. I would lose custody of my own mind. This was the price I was being asked to pay, I understood that now. What my father wanted to cast from me wasn’t a demon: it was me.
- I began to experience the most powerful advantage of money: the ability to think of things besides money.
- The skill I was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not yet understand.
- Curiosity is a luxury for the financially secure.
- An education is not so much about making a living as making a person.