Tara Westover
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 One of . . . The New York Times Book Review's Must-Know Literary Events of 2018 BBC's Books Look Ahead 2018 Stylist's 20 Must-Read Books to Make Room For in 2018 Entertainment Weekly's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2018 Bustle's 13 Authors You Need to Be Watching in 2018 LibraryReads's February Top 10 Daily Express's Must-Have New Reads The Pool's Books We're Looking Forward to in 2018 Vogue's What to Read This Fall 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.


Reviewed: 2021-07-17
Sometimes you don't realize how messed up your own childhood was until you start reading a book about someone else's and see the similarities. Tara Westover did a great job of describing what untreated bipolar depression can do to a family.


Reviewed: 2021-02-22
So good! I don’t know this woman but I am proud of her for leaving the life she knew so well and creating a better one.
Reviewed: 2020-12-09
Originally I thought this novel took place in a third world country. However Tara was raised on a farm in Idaho with many siblings and parents from one end of the spectrum to the other. Mother raised in normal household -running water, in door plumbing , washing hands, education. Thoughts of society fairly average. Father had ‘end of world’ thoughts syndrome. Pissed on hands to clean them. Father maintained a junk yard and family members were required to work there every day. Several times she was seriously harmed by carelessness by the father. Tara frequently found herself on hands and knees with head in toilet because she had offended one of her brothers. Brother Richard found way out, received education and married “normal” educated female and raised family. However was torn between normal wife and abnormal parents. Very impressed by Tara’s means of educating self and moving on to an accepted normal life. There was not enough detail confirming how this was managed based on the family life-style. However very impressive over-coming many obstacles in her childhood. Tara had five brothers and one sister Very fine line for Tara - renounce her father’s misconstrued world and the courage to live in her new one. Which was the direct opposite of a relatively normal life
Reviewed: 2020-06-18
This one had me in tears, particularly at the conversations with mentors as Westover starts to take flight. Awful child neglect, yes, but equally painful glimpses of how brutal laborious jobs are. Very curious to see how her story unfolds. Once in awhile things would jump timelines unexpectedly.
Reviewed: 2020-03-25
Amazing. Thought provoking. Hurt my heart a lot. Makes me want to think even harder about raising good kids, letting them think and form their own thoughts, and raise strong daughters who are ready and feel empowered to do whatever they choose. Tara's story is beautiful and her ambition is very inspiring.
Reviewed: 2019-12-21
One of the best memoirs one can ever read. Truly authentic and well written.
Reviewed: 2019-06-25

with Dr. Burke 06/25/19

Reviewed: 2019-01-14
wow. this really was phenomenal. I would have liked to see more of certain things, but a book can only be so long I suppose. but yeah, really fantastic (coming from someone who isn't the biggest fan of nonfiction at all).
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