Educated: A Memoir

Educated: A Memoir Review

An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

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.

Her father forbade hospitals, 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 one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important 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. 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 with severing the closest of 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.

Title:Educated: A Memoir
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Angela M

    Difficult to read. Impossible to put down. A powerful, powerful book that you shouldn’t miss. I can’t just leave it at that because Tara Westover’s story deserves more than those few words. I do...

  • Will Byrnes

    On the highway below, the school bus rolls past without stopping. I am only 7, but I understand that it is this fact more than any other that makes my family different. We don't go to school. Dad wor...

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    5 brilliant stars to Educated! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 I grew up in a home of readers with a teacher mom and a dad who questioned my effort when I made an A-minus on my report card. When I began read...

  • Debra

    "It's strange how you give the people you love so much power over you"I am in the minority on this one, but this did not blow me away. I wanted to read this after seeing so many high ratings. I was ex...

  • Elyse

    Tara Westover’s book “Educated” is a distressing & discomforting - alarming & startling exposure of her Mormon fundamentalist family. “Educated” is a memoir of nonfiction - but names and ide...

  • Liz

    I grew up with my nose perpetually in a book. So, the idea of not being able to go to school, of being deprived of an education, hit me really hard. It was hard for me to grasp that things I take for ...

  • Debbie

    5 OMG How did she end up alive and educated? stars[News flash: I see that this review is WAY too long! I’m such a blabbermouth! Feel free to skip sections. I went way overboard. Geez….]Tara did a ...

  • Karen

    Wow! Tara Westgrove is one of the strongest, and bravest people I have ever read about! This woman grew up as the youngest child in a big survivalist, Mormon family, in Idaho at Buck Peak. So much dan...

  • Linda

    I must tell you.......Educated: A Memoir scalded the very edges of my soul. It took me through a whole gamut of my own emotions from belief to disbelief, from hesitation to doubt to wariness, and most...

  • Dan Schwent

    When a girl raised on a mountain in Idaho by her survivalist fundamentalist Mormon family sets foot in a classroom for the first time at the age of 17, how will things turn out? Can she ever escape th...