Educated by Tara Westover

Book Review : Educated

By Tara Westover

  • Publication Date: 2018-02-20
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
5 Score: 5 (From 660 Ratings)

Book Review

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”USA Today

“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review

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 metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. 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 an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

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User Reviews

  • Educated

    5
    By KentKirkland
    An amazing journey through early life of an extremely strong and talented woman.
  • Good

    4
    By Maddy5990
    It’s a great read. Tara’s search for the truth between the ideologies she learned as a child and seeking a different perspective through education is amazing. At one point, I was afraid that she was going to give up everything and conform to her father’s way of life. No offense to Mormonism.
  • Educated

    5
    By heathersm74
    I loved this book!
  • Terrifying, truthful and tortured.

    5
    By tntcello
    In the frantically short time it took to read Tara Westover's "Educated" (I couldn't put it down), I lived the 27 years she narrates with such Beaty and pathos. I was as ignorant of the lifestyle she was born into as she was of the world around her and felt myself growing along with her. This book made me want to scream at her to love herself and reminded me to heed that advice myself. Brava brave Tara.
  • Read this now.

    5
    By Goldilocks01
    Inspirational. Breathtaking. Everything you ever needed to read.
  • Education

    5
    By TCMD1219
    Truly a remarkable book. Difficult to put down. Beautiful story of resiliency of a young woman.
  • Educated

    5
    By Aceshtx
    Spellbinding account of how a child can overcome extreme lifestyles.
  • Education matters

    5
    By NaplesBob
    Exceptional book by a courageous and talented writer! The author’s self discovery and passion for self improvement is very inspiring and should be required reading at the high school level.
  • Degenerate Anatomy

    5
    By toddioDC
    It’s the easiest thing - to read Tara Westover’s harrowing memoir as the confirmation of everything an educated person knows to be wrong with America: her father, his Mormon faith, her family’s delusions; the fear and loathing, and paranoia; the absolute denial of facts and personal autonomy. Why shouldn’t we? Why should this testimony of the most profound human degeneracy - the demonization of knowledge; the vilification of civilization (which is precisely what makes libertarianism inimical to all basic human values) be any less towering a reference of our condition than say Tom Friedman’s “The World Is Flat”? Westover’s testament is not a caricature. She is not a state paid Russian troll. Her story is the ghoulish reality of Red state America: ignorant, bigoted, pathologically religiously abusive, and so thoroughly malevolent and moronic, no one would believe it were it not told in the first person by a brutalized escapee such as its author. Education makes you human. Welcome to the feral state of America.
  • Best book

    5
    By Iowa Janae
    AMAZING!!!!

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