Educated

Educated

A Memoir

Book - 2018 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
231
44
6
 …
"Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780399590504
0399590501
Branch Call Number: BIO WESTOVE WESTOVE
Characteristics: xv, 334 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Nonfiction & Biography

If ever there was a book to end the nature vs nurture debate, this would be it. By most measures, Tara Westover should not have survived her childhood. Brought up by paranoid survivalist parents who isolated her family from outside influences, her story will make you wince, cringe and shake your ... Read More »

"It’s an engrossing read, a fresh perspective on the power of an education, and it’s also a testament to the way grit and resilience can shape our lives. "


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
y
yvettedun
Nov 30, 2020

Please be aware of the abuse triggers in this book. It is a first hand account and it leaves nothing out. The fact that it is true is inspiring. Watching someone overcome so much and accomplish so much is worth the read.

r
RueK
Nov 09, 2020

Such a good book. Being a memoir, I couldn't believe some of the horror stories the author went through, like true life horror. An intense example of how family belief and culture can have such a grip on one's own identity and experiences. It's incredible what she went through and how she became educated. How the clashing of worlds, thoughts, opinions can divide. Highly recommend!

m
mlhadley1
Nov 01, 2020

The story was compelling and depressing at the same time. Depressing because how the parents believes & actions warped the lives of the children. A lot of gas lighting too. These reasons reduced the rating. Was very well written, where you could take the troubled trip thru her life with her and feel her struggle to find who she really was and to keep it with the price of 'loosing' the majority of her family. A lot of mental issues in the family that I could see/feel but not identify. I doubt if Tara knows where she really received her will to press forward out of the trap. Was control and love all twisted together.

l
Laurliz
Oct 26, 2020

Bookgroup

d
dddolfing
Oct 18, 2020

Wow! Great book.

LPL_ReadersServices Sep 18, 2020

February 26, 2021 KU's Hall Center for the Humanities will host author Tara Westover at 7:30 pm, via Crowdcast!

a
alassia
Aug 12, 2020

I absolutely loved this book and got so much out of it. Westover's life story is disturbing at times, and her writing style is riveting. I found her to be surprisingly relatable, considering how little I thought we had in common. There were several strong moments that stood out in the book, but my favorite is when Westover talks about how the sacrifices she made to get an education were to have the right to hear and read and understand many perspectives and points of view, and then, to create her own mind. I found that really striking and powerful.

JCLSarahZ Aug 11, 2020

Tara's memoir was a heartbreaking, anxiety ridden horror story that I couldn't put down. I kept waiting for a glimmer of happiness to emerge, but despite her successes, Tara continues to be haunted by her upbringing.

k
kaitoryn
Aug 01, 2020

I don't ever read memoirs, but I've been reading mainly bestsellers lately, so Educated just had to be on my to-read list.
To put it simply, reading Educated was an eye-opening experience. I have never encountered a family or even a single individual like Tara Westover's family. I've seen Facebook posts praising essential oils as though they have holy powers or posts condemning vaccines, but even they are not as close to the absurdity that curses the Westovers. With that in mind, it was absolutely enthralling to watch Tara detach from her roots and her family's beliefs as she pursued higher forms of education.
Although the memoirs frequently highlight the stories that negatively portray her family members, I especially liked how Tara also gifts us moments of tenderness and familial love. Even a simple phrase of dialogue that could have been easily omitted are left in the story, reminding readers that while her family can be absolutely nuts, they are still the people close to Tara's heart. Ultimately, this assists readers with understanding Tara's struggle to acknowledge the problems of her family and her eventual detachment from them.
Without going into excessive detail, reading Tara's life journey was captivating from beginning to end, and as its title suggests, Educated has the potential to inspire its readers to pursue an education, whether from school or simply from the world around them.

p
pateljh
Jul 29, 2020

This is a heart wrenching memoir of a little girl who escapes her Misogynist father, brother and a compliant mother to find her own world and education. It is still surprising that in spite of this dysfunctional family, she still loves them all for a long time until the end. She loves her home and surrounding mountains. The writing is superb.

Only questions I had for her are: Why the author never questioned the blind faith of her family when their God punishes them again and again! - two major car accidents, fire to a brother and father, major accidents at work sites. Another curiosity I had was her mother, a conservative Mormon, adopts the Eastern religious origin concept of Chakra in he practice! May be she didn't know that Chakra came from Hindu/Buddhist writing!!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakra

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote
PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 03, 2020

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.

n
NadiaHathor
Oct 02, 2019

"The blessing was a mercy. He was offering me the same terms of surrender he had offered my sister. I imagined what a relief it must have been for her, to realize she could trade her reality - the one she shared with me - for his. How grateful she must have felt to pay such a modest price. I could not judge her for her choice, but in that moment I knew I could not choose it for myself. 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."

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

I am only seven, but I understand that it is this fact, more than any other, that makes my family different: we don’t go to school. Dad worries that the Government will force us to go but it can’t, because it doesn’t know about us. Four of my parents’ seven children don’t have birth certificates. We have no medical records because we were born at home and have never seen a doctor or nurse. * We have no school records because we’ve never set foot in a classroom. When I am nine, I will be issued a Delayed Certificate of Birth, but at this moment, according to the state of Idaho and the federal government, I do not exist. Of course I did exist. I had grown up preparing for the Days of Abomination, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood.

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

…all the decisions that go into making a life — the choices people make, together and on their own, that combine to produce any single event. Grains of sand, incalculable, pressing into sediment, then rock.
===

“ What’s college? ” I said. “College is extra school for people too dumb to learn the first time around,” Dad said.
===

“There’s two kinds of them college professors,” Dad said. “Those who know they’re lying, and those who think they’re telling the truth.” Dad grinned. “Don’t know which is worse, come to think of it, a bona fide agent of the Illuminati, who at least knows he’s on the devil’s payroll, or a high-minded professor who thinks his wisdom is greater than God’s.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

My strongest memory is not a memory. It’s something I imagined, then came to remember as if it had happened. The memory was formed when I was five, just before I turned six, from a story my father told in such detail that I and my brothers and sister had each conjured our own cinematic version, with gunfire and shouts. Mine had crickets. That’s the sound I hear as my family huddles in the kitchen, lights off, hiding from the Feds who’ve surrounded the house. A woman reaches for a glass of water and her silhouette is lighted by the moon. A shot echoes like the lash of a whip and she falls. In my memory it’s always Mother who falls, and she has a baby in her arms. The baby doesn’t make sense — I’m the youngest of my mother’s seven children — but like I said, none of this happened.

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

One telling in particular has stayed with me. I am seven or eight and am in my room dressing for church. I have taken a damp rag to my face, hands and feet, scrubbing only the skin that will be visible.
===

How the paranoia and fundamentalism were carving up my life, how they were taking from me the people I cared about and leaving only degrees and certificates — an air of respectability — in their place. What was happening now had happened before. This was the second severing of mother and daughter. The tape was playing in a loop.
===
God couldn’t abide faithlessness, Dad said. That’s why the most hateful sinners were those who wouldn’t make up their minds, who used herbs and medication both, who came to Mother on Wednesday and saw their doctor on Friday — or, as Dad put it,” Who worship at the altar of God one day and offer a sacrifice to Satan the next. “These people were like the ancient Israelites because they’d been given a true religion but hankered after false idols.

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

I had misunderstood the vital truth: that its not affecting me, that was its effect.
===
I was fifteen and I felt it, felt the race I was running with time. My body was changing, bloating, swelling, stretching, bulging. I wished it would stop, but it seemed my body was no longer mine. It belonged to itself now, and cared not at all how I felt about these strange alterations, about whether I wanted to stop being a child, and become something else.
===

Dad said that the Government had programmed the computers with a six-digit calendar, which meant the year had only two digits. “When nine-nine becomes oh-oh,” he said,” the computers won’t know what year it is. They’ll shut down.” “Can’t they fix it?” “Nope, can’t be done,” Dad said. “Man trusted his own strength, and his strength was weak. ”
===

I’d never learned how to talk to people who weren’t like us — people who went to school and visited the doctor. Who weren’t preparing, every day, for the End of the World.

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

I was sixteen, had never taken an exam, and had only recently undertaken anything like a systematic education;
===
I began to study trigonometry. There was solace in its strange formulas and equations. I was drawn to the Pythagorean theorem and its promise of a universal — the ability to predict the nature of any three points containing a right angle, anywhere, always.
===

“ Tara can’t drive the crane,” Dad said. “It’ll take half the morning to teach her the controls, and she still won’t know what the hell she’s doing.” “But she’ll be careful,” Shawn said,” and I’m done falling off shit. ”
===
I am not sorry, merely ashamed.
===
I applied to BYU a week later. I had no idea how to write the application, so Tyler wrote it for me. He said I’d been educated according to a rigorous program designed by my mother, who’d made sure I met all the requirements to graduate.
===
Doctors were Sons of Perdition. Homeschooling was a commandment from the Lord.

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

“Holocaust. “ I don’t know how long I sat there reading about it, but at some point I’d read enough. I leaned back and stared at the ceiling. I suppose I was in shock, but whether it was the shock of learning about something horrific, or the shock of learning about my own ignorance, I’m not sure.
===

As a child, I’d been aware that although my family attended the same church as everyone in our town, our religion was not the same. They believed in modesty; we practiced it. They believed in God’s power to heal; we left our injuries in God’s hands. They believed in preparing for the Second Coming; we were actually prepared.
===

I don’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to get a decent education as a child.
===
I’d earned A’s in every subject except Western Civ. I would get a scholarship for half of my tuition. I could go back.

j
jimg2000
Sep 12, 2019

Rosa Parks. An image appeared of a policeman pressing a woman’s finger into an ink sponge. Dr. Kimball said she’d taken a seat on a bus. I understood him as saying she had stolen the seat, although it seemed an odd thing to steal.
===

The word and the way Shawn said it hadn’t changed; only my ears were different. They no longer heard the jingle of a joke in it. What they heard was a signal, a call through time, which was answered with a mounting conviction: that never again would I allow myself to be made a foot soldier in a conflict I did not understand.
===

Algebra threatened to put an end to my scholarship. The professor spent every lecture muttering inaudibly as he paced in front of the chalkboard. I wasn’t the only one who was lost, but I was more lost than anyone else. Charles tried to help, but he was starting his senior year of high school and had his own schoolwork. In October I took the midterm and failed it.

View All Quotes

Age

Add Age Suitability
d
dstradling
Sep 11, 2020

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

k
kaitoryn
Aug 28, 2020

kaitoryn thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

k
karyn8787
Jul 21, 2020

karyn8787 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

y
Yolandaunicorn
Feb 11, 2020

Yolandaunicorn thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

s
shudson118
Jan 23, 2020

shudson118 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

p
pink_dolphin_3025
Mar 23, 2019

pink_dolphin_3025 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary
j
JerryJennings
Jan 04, 2020

A Memoir by Tara Westover is a powerful book.  Westover’s courage to tell her story is important because it provides others with a true journey.  A complex, emotional, brutal, and brave journey a young women took ‘from’, ‘towards; and ‘to’ a healthy new beginning.  Reading Tara’s story was not easy.  She experienced a family life, with her siblings and parents, that left scars. Westover’s candor fills this book. I appreciate how straightforward and humble her writing is. I am so glad I read it.  

This book was selected as one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Sno-Isle Libraries

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top