A Memoir

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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"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
Characteristics: xv, 334 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Nonfiction & Biography - Advanced to Round 2

"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. "

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Mar 26, 2019

I enjoyed reading Educated very much! The book is very well written and intriguing. There was never a moment when I was reading that I got bored. Westover tells a story of her childhood and growing up in an unconventional way. Her struggles with her family and past stay with her throughout much of her adulthood. Westover writes in a way that easily connects with the reader. Reading this book made me feel like I had gone on the mental and emotional journey with her. I was left feeling empowered and inspired by her story. I highly recommend this book no matter what age you are or genre you prefer.

Mar 25, 2019

Educated is one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. As most of you know, Tara Westover was raised in a survivalist family in Idaho that did not believe in education or anything else sponsored or provided by the government. Her father was mentally ill and abusive, both physically and psychologically. So were some of her brothers. Her mother did not protect her. This is set forth in miserable detail, page after page.

It is truly miraculous that Tara was able to take the ACT and apply to Brigham Young University. She struggled there, but did graduate and went on to study at Harvard and Cambridge, eventually earning her PhD in history at Cambridge.

When she arrived at Brigham Young, she had huge gaps in her knowledge and no real structure in which to place the new things she was learning. For example, she had never heard of The Holocaust or the civil rights movement.

And even when she “got out” into the world, her family had a strong hold on her. I kept waiting for the memoir to focus on her new life instead of her horribly dysfunctional family. No such luck.

I much prefer Heartland to Educated. I think there are MANY more people growing up in families like Sarah Smarsh’s family; thank God there are not huge numbers of families like Tara Westover’s family. And Sarah was able to describe some positive things about her family; yes, they had problems, but they kept striving even when the deck was stacked against them. I see nothing positive about most of Tara’s family.

But both of these books make me wonder: How many amazing people are we losing because they are growing up in these difficult circumstances, without ever getting the opportunity to learn and show what they can do? It took Herculean effort for both Sarah and Tara to learn and succeed, and we are better off for having their contributions. I bet there are so many others who are not able to overcome the huge disadvantages of being born into poor families (and/or mentally ill families), and that is a tragedy.

Mar 25, 2019

On the one hand -- this book was an easy read that I simply could not put down. Yet it also filled me with angst as Tara's world bled into mine for the few days I was engaged with it.
It's greatest contribution to me, was to help me understand how victims of abuse can keep returning to what is so obviously an unhealthy and dangerous situation. While it's biggest disappointment was the author's casual acceptance of vaccines (her family had never vaccinated her) as she grew to, "think for herself." (But not really in this case -- as she merely substituted the global pharmaceutical industry's unscientific beliefs for her family's likewise unscientific beliefs.)
In the end I found myself left with the saying, "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Tara Westover must be one incredibly strong woman!

Mar 24, 2019

This is one of the greatest pieces of non-fiction work that I have ever read! The author's way of recounting specific moments was so powerful I can imagine it will cause any reader to feel a variety of deep emotions. Additionally, the overall writing of the book was well crafted, making it both captivating and intriguing. It was a story that gave me hope and reminded me of the importance of hard work, dedication, and resilience. Despite all the trials she faced, and having the odds stacked against her, she still went on to pursue her dreams and achieve success. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!

Mar 24, 2019

Educated was a book I could not set down! It drew you in and made you feel many different emotions as you were reading it. It was written very well, consisting of numerous stories from her childhood that gave you a better understanding of what she went through. Tara's story was inspiring because although she went through the most tough situations, she made herself into someone amazing. It was also interesting to be informed about a different religion that I did not know much about. I highly recommend this book!

Mar 24, 2019

This is a brilliant book! After reading, I now understand why it has received such high praise. Westover tells her story brilliantly and has the ability to draw you right into the moment with her. At times, I would be reading this book and need to remind myself that this is a memoir and not fiction - the story really did happen no matter how shocking it seems. The life experience that Westover describes is very different from my own, so I found it to be very interesting to learn about. This memoir is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read. Her journey of survival and recovery from abuse is a must read for anyone looking for a powerful story.

Mar 22, 2019

Insanity and brilliance in the family with a father's iron grip on the family. so disturbing

Mar 20, 2019

A powerful story of a girls fierce family loyalty, and the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. Loved this book.

Mar 18, 2019

Educated: The best auto biography I have ever read. This motivating story is sure to open the minds of readers of any age. I like how it motivates us to get education and to fight for our rights.

Mar 11, 2019

This is the story of the author's triumphant and difficult path to survival and rebirth through education. Tara was born into a family dominated by an abusive, violent and paranoid father, a mother who was subservient to her husband and a violent and paranoid out of control brother. A father that demanded loyalty at all cost. Combine that with a rural survivalist upbringing, a father who didn't believe in public schools, birth certificates, doctors or hospitals. Add a Mormon faith featuring patriarchal philosophy, and a belief in the need to prepare for the coming of the Day of Abomination or end of the world. Tara accomplished the seemingly impossible!

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Feb 18, 2019

"Dad and his mother got along like two cats with their tails tied together. They could talk for a week and not agree about anything, but they were tethered by their devotion to the mountain."

Jan 08, 2019

“You are not fool’s gold, shining only under a particular light. Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were.”

Jan 08, 2019

“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.”

Jan 08, 2019

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds” — Bob Marley
p. 257

Dec 17, 2018

I was able to tell myself that it didn't affect me, that he didn't affect me, because nothing affected me....I had misunderstood the vital truth: that it's not affecting me, that was its effect.

ArapahoeMaryA Oct 23, 2018

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.

DBRL_ReginaF Mar 14, 2018

“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.”


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Mar 23, 2019

pink_dolphin_3025 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over


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