Last week a lovely surprise came through my letter box; a gift from my good friend Sarah, Educated by Tara Westover. I’d wanted to read this book since I’d read about it in an article, but life got busy and I’d never got round to it. I’d heard the basic premise of the memoir – Tara, a Mormon, grows up on a farm in Idaho, whose birth has never been registered, she doesn’t go to school and she hasn’t ever been to a hospital or the doctors. She leaves home at sixteen and eventually ends up at Harvard studying for a PhD.
I do love a story about courage, bravery and someone who survives against all odds, but this story for me is different. I won’t spoil it in case you want to read it, but some of the events in the story are shocking and how the family survive major trauma, life-changing injuries and tragedy are incredible on the surface. Yet, it becomes clear as the story digresses that Tara’s mum is a self-taught herbalist and homeopath. Tara is involved at various points in the story helping her mum make up batches of remedies, of which they market as an alternative to Obamacare! The narrative is filled with recounts of using lobelia, calendula, arnica, in various forms. No wonder Tara is such a resilient central protagonist as she has been raised on homeopathy!
It got me thinking that another one of my favourite characters (albeit a fictional one) is Jo March in Little Women who uses homeopathy to help heal her relatives. She is a strong character!
I’d love to know of any more good reads in which homeopathy takes a main part in the story.