The May pick for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club “Now Read This” is Tara Westover’s memoir “Educated,” about growing up in a Mormon survivalist family in rural Idaho. “Now Read This” is a partnership between The New York Times and PBS NewsHour, in which every month we discuss a work of fiction or nonfiction that helps us make sense of today’s world. Join us!
“Music was the first thing that came into my life that made me think there might be something out in the world that was worth leaving the mountain for,” Tara Westover, author of “Educated,” told PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown in a recent interview.
It was hearing classical music for the first time, she said, that made her realize there were things she could not learn at home in rural Idaho. Westover, who grew up in a family of survivalists, did not step foot into a classroom until she was 17.
She did get some exposure to music early on, however. Westover’s mother sent her to singing lessons, and her father Gene took pride in his daughter’s beautiful voice, as well as encouraged her to sing in church. Westover grew up Mormon, but said she no longer practices.
During the NewsHour interview, Westover sang a Mormon hymn from her childhood: “Come, Come Ye Saints.” Mormon poet William Clayton wrote the poem in 1846 after learning that one of his wives had given birth to a healthy baby boy. Watch and listen to Westover sing the hymn in the player above.