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Educated: A Memoir

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4.46  ·  Rating details ·  24,590 Ratings  ·  4,139 Reviews
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 peac
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Random House
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Marsmannix Unless you have been raised in a closed, fundamentalist sytem, and i was in one for 26 years, (no matter what flavor: Islam, Hassidic, or differing…moreUnless you have been raised in a closed, fundamentalist sytem, and i was in one for 26 years, (no matter what flavor: Islam, Hassidic, or differing flavors of Christian) you have no idea of the level of brainwashing, gaslighting, emotional abuse that goes on. Your very ability to perceive external reality is distorted through the lens of the system. Yes, it was horrible to read the abuse & how it was ratoinalized. Again, unless you've been in it, of course the outsider will shake their head and condemn the victim.(less)

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Angela M
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 don’t often read memoirs, but when I do I want them to be told by extraordinary people who have a meaningful story to tell and that would be faint praise for this book. It sounds odd to say how beautifully written this is because we are not spared of the ugly details of what this family was about, but yet i ...more
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 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
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
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 reading Educated, I was floored that Tara and her siblings were not in school, and they were not homeschooled either. How could this happen in modern times with compulsory schooling put in place long ago?

Tara made it clear from the start that her family’s Mormon faith did not cause her father’s substantial paranoia;
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Debra
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
"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 expecting to love this book but ended up feeling meh about it. I actually wanted to hurry the book up in parts and other times found it to be a little repetitive. There were other times I wanted her to go into more detail or explain things more. One thing I had an issue with is that her family is desc
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Elyse
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 identifying details have been changed. Aaron, Audrey, Benjamin, Erin, Faye, Gene, Vanessa, Judy, Peter, Sadie, Shannon, Shawn, Susan, Robert, and Robin are pseudonyms.
Tara tells us in her authors notes:
“This is not about Mormonism. Neither is it about any other form of religious belief. In it there are
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Liz
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018
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 granted, like knowing what the Holocaust was or who MLK, Jr. was, were black holes to Tara.

Tara Westover is the child of a religious fanatic, someone who sees the government as pure evil. And by government, he means schools, hospitals, vaccines, seat belts, car insurance, etc. Everything we think o
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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 lot more than ride a pogo stick to get from a junkyard in Idaho to a Ph.D. in Cambridge.
Meanwhile, I’m bouncing on mine, going high and far to escape her whacked-out father and super-scary psycho brother. Plus, face it, I bring out the pogo stick when it’s a fantastic read and believe me, this qualifies
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Karen
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 danger for her in that life, mostly because of her father and one of her older brothers.
This memoir is so brutal at times and hard to read, your heart just breaks for this girl, and for some of her siblings.
Tara rises up to become extremely “educated” despite the fact that she never attended school, an
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Linda
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, net-galley
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 importantly, from the weightiness of compassion and empathy to the restrictions of frustration and anger.

Tara Westover tells her story straight out through the reflections seen by her own eyes, her own jagged experiences, and in her own words. As you step inside of Tara's story you will certainly h
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Dan Schwent
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books, 2018
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 the past?

Yeah, I made that sound like one of the sleazy thrillers I'm fond of but Educated is a memoir, not a potboiler. I don't normally read memoirs but I decided to take Random House up on their offer when they came knocking.

Educated is the story of Tara Westover's childhood on Buck's Peak, a mount
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Carol
Buck Peak - a dangerous place to live....at any age!

Tara Westover grew up on a mountain with a paranoid, volatile father who spent his days preparing for the end of the world; a submissive mother who was blind to her children's hurt, five brothers and a sister....one brother so threateningly scary at times, I could hardly believe what he was doing or what I was reading.

Tara's story is one of courage, strength and struggle as a child and as a young woman. To have endured the ridiculous demands a

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
So this book is billed as being along the same lines as The Glass Castle

My little nothing opinion falls around something like this.


Tara grows up in a different kind of family. Her dad knows that the end of the world is coming and makes sure his family is always ready. He has them preparing food constantly, digs a shelter, does not believe in association with anything government (including doctors)...mom is a midwife that practices with herbal cures. The family has strong beliefs that center the
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PorshaJo
This one first came to my attention via a GR review. I thought wow, I need to read this now. The wonderful Traveling Sisters group set it up as a slow read and I was in. Grabbed a copy from NetGalley and was ready to go. BUT.....and a big BUT......I didn't like this one, I had to force myself to finish. Had it not been for the group read, I'm sure I would have DNF'd this one.

So I'm probably in the minority in not liking this one. It was more of a 'having a hard time believing the story' kinda th
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j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
FIVE STARS
This is one of those books that I can't stop talking about. Literally. My dental hygienist even wrote it down because she asked me for a good book recommendation. She likes biographies. YASSSSSSSSS! I'M READING THE BEST MEMOIR EVER!!! YOU MUST BUY IT TODAY!!! (That was in between spitting and rinsing, of course.)

I love memoirs written by unusual people. Tara Westover is not only highly educated, but she is stubborn as a bulldog and pulled herself up by the steel-toed boots she wore as
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Darwin8u
"Not knowing for certain, but refusing to give way to those who claim certainty, was a privilege I had never allowed myself. 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."
- Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir

description

This book feels like it was written by a sister, a cousin, a niece. Tara Westover grew up a few mountains over from my dad's Heglar ranch. I don't know her. Don't know her family. S
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Berit☀️✨Traveling Sister✨
3 Sad to Say Stars 🌟🌟🌟

Ugh this is hard for me... I really am such a positive reviewer for the most part, but this book I unfortunately found disappointing.... this could be for multiple reasons, I went in with high expectations... I had read so many glowing reviews for this book I was expecting greatness.... also this is absolutely not in my preferred list of genres, but this also could’ve helped the book.... as I have very few books to compare it to.... I finished this book well over a week ago
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Dem
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Written with the skill and resonance of a work of fiction, Tara Westover's memoir is heart-breaking and frank and yet hopeful in its telling.

Westover was born in 1986, grown up in a rural Idaho radical Mormon Family dominated by her father Gene who was determined to raise his children away from the clutches of the government and the wider world. She had never heard of the Holocaust, Napoleon, or Martin Luther King and she had thought Europe was a country. When she gains a place in college throug
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Cheri

” I will not make
The same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break
The way you did, you fell so hard
I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

“I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with”

--“Because of You” Kelly Clarkson, Songwriters: David Hodges /
...more
Luffy
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, this one was a special book. I didn't like what I read in the beginning. But it's a reminder of what harm religion can do. But quickly we came out of this Sam Harris-like territory, and went into more chaos.

There are a few cases like Tara's. But not everyone of them can write like her. She reminds me of Beryl Markham with her biography, West with the Night.

Reading this book was very much aligning with the values that I hold sacred. The written word, if acquired, can be a formidable weapon.
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Esil
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A very high 4 stars.

Educated is a powerful and heartbreaking memoir. Tara Westover grew up in Idaho in a Mormon family. She is the youngest of seven children growing up on an isolated rural property. A fundamentalist version of religion fed her father’s paranoia and his antigovernment and survivalist view of the world. Until she was 17 years old, she had never gone to school and was barely homeschooled. Clearly brilliant, she managed to get into college at Brigham Young and eventually made her w
...more
PattyMacDotComma
Another UPDATE: The Westover family company, with photos https://butterflyexpress.net/welcome/us
UPDATE: an interview with Tara. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/tara-we...
5★
“Dad waves at a tower of cars and says, “Luke, cut off those tanks, yeah?” And Luke says, “Sure thing, Dad.” He lays the torch against his hip and strikes flint. Flames erupt from nowhere and take him. He screams, fumbles with the twine, screams again, and takes off through the weeds.“

There are life-and-death incidents and accid
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Marialyce
2 stars and I know, I am an outlier.

I have been born with a gene called the "doubting Thomas" gene. It has made me very leery of trusting and believing a lot of things and unfortunately this gene kicked in big time in this story billed as a memoir.

While I do believe that the things described by Tara Westover might have happened, I also have to think that this was a book of childhood memories. Sometimes, as children, we distort the truth, and sometimes grown to adulthood we only remember fragment
...more
Rebecca Foster
One of the most powerful and well-written memoirs I’ve ever read. This tells of a young woman’s off-grid upbringing in Idaho and the hard work that took her from almost complete ignorance to a Cambridge PhD. Westover’s is an incredible story about testing the limits of perseverance and sanity. Her father may have been a survivalist, but her psychic survival is the most impressive outcome here. What takes this astonishing life story to the next level, making it a classic to sit alongside memoirs ...more
abby
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
"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."

Even in a rural, religious Mormon town in Idaho, the Westover family was different. They didn't go to school. Tara Westover's father believed school would take his children off their Godly path, which included helping out in the family metal scrap yard and forgoing the doctor in favor essential oils and
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*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This memoir by Tara Westover has overwhelmed me. There is a LOT to digest here. You will be shocked and horrified by many of the stories you read here about the family Tara grew up in. Ironically enough, you will also be in awe and have a grudging respect and appreciation for other aspects of these characters. As I mentally recount the many stories Tara shared of her family, it's staggering to realize that this all really happened. There were many times I felt like grabbing Tara and shouting at ...more
Bianca
I occasionally indulge in memoirs. I wouldn't have paid attention to this one had it not been for the raving reviews of some GR friends.

I already knew the premise and I did ask myself whether I should read it, considering that my anti-religion sentiments don't need any more kindling. Curiosity and/or FOMO got the better of me.

More often than not I feel even more apprehensive about rating a memoir, as it feels like you're rating somebody's life.

Tara Westover is to be admired for escaping such h
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Cathrine ☯️
4.5★
After finishing a personal story like this I’m drawn to reading other reviews because it’s interesting to learn what others take away or if we had similar reactions. A quick scan of professional offerings repeatedly show Morman in the headlines yet while that is her family’s religious identity it’s not about how that particular belief system skewed their lives—people will use what they philosophically embrace to uphold their own desires or agenda and any faith tradition could be at the cente
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Tammy
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Knowledge is power and Educated is a powerful memoir.
Lisa
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
EDUCATED
Tara Westover

MY RATING ⭐⭐⭐⭐▫
PUBLISHER Random House
PUBLISHED February 20, 2018

A gripping, heartbreaking memoir of a woman who, against all odds, overcomes immense family obstacles to gain an education, opening her eyes to a world she never knew existed.

SUMMARY
TARA WESTOVER never went to school, never saw a doctor and did not have a birth certificate. Her parents were Idaho survivalists, and wanted nothing to do with the government, schools or hospitals. She and her six brothers and one s
...more
Erin
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, I will admit that I totally caved into peer pressure on the requesting of this ARC. A February 2018 publication, Educated has been probably the most chatted about memoir since The Glass Castle and it's definitely heating up my social media. Just a quick glance on Goodreads shows me that over 20+ of my friends have read the book and over 50+want to read it. As well, many of my non book reading friends haven't t
...more
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Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father's junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom, and after that first taste, she pursued learning for the next decade. She receiv ...more
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“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.” 77 likes
“The thing about having a mental breakdown is that no matter how obvious it is that you're having one, it is somehow not obvious to you. I'm fine, you think. So what if I watched TV for twenty-four straight hours yesterday. I'm not falling apart. I'm just lazy. Why it's better to think yourself lazy than think yourself in distress, I'm not sure. But it was better. More than better: it was vital.” 40 likes
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