Educated: A Memoir
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 ...more
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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...more
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; ...more
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 ...more
“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 ...more
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 ...more
[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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
” 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
- Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir
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 ...more
UPDATE: an interview with Tara. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/tara-we...
“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 ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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
1) either she is not a very good writer;
2) or her memories are often faulty and/or selective, with an emphasis on the macabre and tragic, which is understandable I guess.
Much of Tara's misfortunes and fortunes seem to make no sense, or not explained well in the context of her life story. There are multiple miraculous recoveries from numerous life-threatening untreate ...more
If you need a book for Idaho though, this is your ticket!
Thanks to the publisher for providing me early access to this title via Edelweiss. It came out on the 20th of February, 2018.