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April 2019: History > Educated by Tara Westover - 5 Stars- Trim the TBR

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Booknblues | 5361 comments Educated is a memoir, a nonfiction, that read like the most incredible fiction book that I couldn't put it down. Tara Westover is a gifted writer and I was engrossed in reading her work and reading it I often had to suspend reality.

Tara grew up on a mountain in Idaho, with a father who was part survivalist, part prophet and a close to psychotic. Her mother could bend like a willow tree, but in the end fed from the same spring. Tara grows up being "home-schooled", but it is more home than schooled.

Somehow she escapes this existence and ends up with a PH.D. in history from Cambridge. As she turns in her dissertation she thinks:

"As I walked home carrying the heavy manuscript, I remembered attending one of Dr. Kerry’s lectures, which he had begun by writing, “Who writes history?” on the blackboard. I remembered how strange the question had seemed to me then. My idea of a historian was not human; it was of someone like my father, more prophet than man, whose visions of the past, like those of the future, could not be questioned, or even augmented. Now, as I passed through King’s College, in the shadow of the enormous chapel, my old diffidence seemed almost funny. Who writes history? I thought. I do."

This is really and incredible story and yet the impression I am left with leads me to examine the word incredible and wonder and reflect on the necessity of suspending belief.

message 2: by NancyJ (last edited Apr 06, 2019 09:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4899 comments Well put BnB! I wondered if this book would live up to the hype, and for me, it really did. I'm about 3/4 through and I am also incredibly impressed. Not just by the dramatic stories, but by her insights and growth. The stories are variously entertaining, horrifying, funny, heartbreaking, and they all sound credible. I appreciate her notes about different people's recollections of certain stories, and I recognize that her approach is consistent with her research interests ("who writes history?" as you noted above).

The most powerful part for me is how she changes her conception of herself gradually. (view spoiler)

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

So glad you loved it. Wonderful review. Your last paragraph sums up perfectly how many people must feel after reading it.

Booknblues | 5361 comments I think that Tara found her way as an individual at great cost and it was never easy for her. (view spoiler)

Susie | 4488 comments That’s an exciting review! I think this is up next for me, although I do want to squeeze in the new Max Porter.

Booknblues | 5361 comments Susie, I can't wait to see your reaction.

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