I don't typically go for memoirs but I heard good things about this one so I was excited to give it a try.
Westover's journey from a survivalist family in the mountains to earning a PhD is both jaw-dropping and inspiring, especially coming from someone who doesn't have a college degree!
The book's raw honesty about family dynamics and education will make you feel emotional all around.
Tara’s story is fascinating. She is a strong woman who has overcome a lot.
Thank you to #NetGalley and #raandomhouse for a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Pleasant enough read, much like any memoir about an abused-by-misogyny-addled-man. Clearly her experiences were awful. I feel voyeuristic reading these kinds of books, since I have nothing to offer the author for their baring of painful past wounds except money in royalties. If you liked <I>Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family</i>, this will please you.
I have heard from so many people how great this book was. It was incredibly sad that this was a memoir and that the author lived through all of these things. I really liked learning about the educational process and what that was like for her starting pretty much from scratch with her education. I really enjoyed it until the last part of the book and could not understand why she would want to have anything to do with her parents after everything that she had been through at their hands. I really felt that the book should have stopped after the educational component as the last segment took away from the strength of the book by offering something that actually detracted from it in my opinion. Thanks for the ARC, NetGalley.
I apologize for not writing this review sooner. I had received a hard copy of this title, which I did use to hand sell in my store. I was equally excited to see it hit Obama's reading list. This is a great book for lover's of the Glass Castle. In addition to hands selling this book, it is one of my go to books for giving as gifts, especially for my teacher friends and family members.
This is an incredible memoir of overcoming family trauma, extreme fundamentalism. You see Tara fight for an education that she otherwise never would have obtained.
Did not finish. I wanted to like this book but the writing style just was not compatible with my taste.
A memoir about one woman's journey overcoming physical and emotional abuse from a family that lived off grid, a fear of most institutions, no outside education, no medical assistance from western medicine, and a devotion to the power of their beliefs.
Through determination to escape Tara Westover teaches herself the skills necessary to take the ACT so she can attend college and get out of her environment. The cost of education comes with a price - her faith is compromised, her trust is shattered, and her willingness to forgive at times will impact her future.
Knowledge is powerful and the discoveries Tara makes while seeking answers is difficult to read and unimaginable that anyone would life the life she has. A courageous, insightful, and honest story of a woman's rise above unthinkable circumstances as she questions her life and seeks answers from unlikely places.
A religious community where family loyalty is paramount and to question or speak out is to permanently cut ties. Would you be strong enough to walk away from your life?
Note trigger warnings - psychological and physical abuse.
I received an advance reader copy from the publisher for an honest and fair review.
I liked this book and was intrigued because it is a memoir. It didn't hold my interest as much as I was hoping that it would. Being a teacher, a assumed this would be more focused on education, but in reality that wasn't the focus. Education took a back seat to the family drama. But the family drama was interesting and mind blowing.
Very good non-fiction story of Tara Westover’s life. Eye-opening to the lives of others and different upbringings and systems in America.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I found it to be a very interesting read and some parts were challenging to get through. Tara Westovers childhood was challenging and at times I was unable to wrap my head around the situations. She has an incredible story and worked hard to change her life.
I heard so many great things about this book and now I finally read it. It is written so well and I learned a lot from this author. Thank god there are such brilliant minds out there who write down their memoir so that other people can benefit from their knowledge as well.
A fascinating and terrifying true story of a childhood growing up in extreme isolation and under the control of a bipolar father and a violent and abusive brother. All the things her family went through because they didn’t believe in modern medicine (or seatbelts, or not driving during a snowstorm) are tragically sad, and the fact that her parents eventually converted those tragedies into “blessings” to show how anointed they were by God is just insane. Her brother is a terrible sociopath, but her parents enabled him and turned a blind eye to his fits, prioritizing his feelings and their “family unity” over their daughters’ physical and mental well-being. For years, they gaslit her and others into thinking their abuse was their own fault, because it’s easier for the family if secrets are kept.
It was definitely hard reading this at times, especially when Tara was questioning her own memories and sanity, and prioritizing her family over even her own life. As she kept chanting to herself when her parents came to Harvard to attempt to “save” her one last time, “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?”
But her triumph, her true saving grace, is that her innate desire to learn finally led her to a place where it was more important to stay herself than it was to stay in her parents’ good graces. I also loved her discussion on history itself, and the place of historians within it. Maybe I’m a nerd, but her masters thesis and dissertation both sound interesting.
You always hear about poverty in other countries, but do some not realize that our country has spots that don't have easy access to things? Tara Westover was 17 before she got to see a classroom. Tara saw brother go to college and decided to change her life as well. This is such a beautiful story!
This memoir was far from an easy read. I was amazed that the author was able to survive her childhood due to the abuses she suffered at the hands of her brother as well as the dangers of working for her father. Even more amazing were her educational achievements given the fact that she had never received any formal schooling and had led such an isolated existence. Even as she distanced herself from her family, she still felt conflicted loyalties and questioned what was actually true. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for a copy to read and review.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Back in 2018, I was given the opportunity to receive an ARC from NetGalley of this book. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me this opportunity back then. Unfortunately, due to various circumstances, I was unable to read this novel at that time. There it had remained for the past four years, in my ARC digital library with a promise to be read one day.
That day has finally come. WOW - do I regret not picking up this book sooner. This book and the story it tells is raw and real in a way that few books are. Tara is a brilliant author. This memoir of her life, her family, is so personal and so touching that I felt like I lived her life. I felt her suffering, her fear, her successes.
Tara’s journey is so unbelievable and yet so very real that it was hard to put the book down for a break. I’m incredibly impressed with Tara’s successes. I am infinitely more impressed with her ability to see beyond what she was raised to believe and look at the world through different eyes. For Tara to see the truth of a situation and find the strength to separate herself from the people she loved because of abuse is a true miracle.
Tara’s story is worth reading for everyone. There is a lot to be learned here from a young woman who remade herself - despite many obstacles - into a new and much stronger woman.
Highly recommended to all.
Enjoy and happy reading.
I'm still in a toss up to give this book a 4.5 or 5 star review. The writing was incredible, especially considering that the author had not stepped into a school until age 17.
This book was sitting on my TBR shelf since 2018 via NetGalley. I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it. Though the NetGalley version was an e-book, I decided since I could get an audio copy from the library, to listen to it instead. Once I started it, I pretty much was able to finish it in about two weeks. I also purposely tried not to know anything about the book going into it, despite seeing that it had been a New York Times Bestseller.
The first chapters were a little slow for me to get into, but then it took off and I found it pretty hard to put down (so to speak since I was listening to it). At times I was just so shocked at how the way Tara's family treated her (even though they believed the way they did), especially her older brother's physical and mental abuse. The guilt trips she went through and the way her family tested her loyalty. Despite everything, Tara really made something of herself and I do hope that she is truly proud of how she stood up for herself, even when it meant going against her family--or rather the family going against her. Basically self-taught, I found it so incredible how she managed to earn a PhD from Cambridge University! The title of the book was so well thought out. Even though Tara didn't get the mainstream education as most, she learned a lot from her family from working in the scrap yard to learning about herbs and such to actual book/scholarly learning. It's also not surprising that it took her so long to make the break from her family! She wrote the book rather objectively, in my opinion, especially considering everything she went through to get where she is now. It is still hard to believe that the person who wrote so beautifully educated herself!
I would highly recommend this book not for all the hype and recognition it got, but instead to read the story about an amazing young women who overcame so many obstacles and managed to come out on top, despite so much negativity that came from her family and upbringing. She is truly inspiring!
Awfully repetitive and unrelatable. I understand this is a memoir but it feels wildly exaggerated and I didn't find the writing to be as "beautiful" as everyone hyped it up to be. Overall a huge miss for me
Educated was a book that I had to keep reminding myself over and over again that it is non-fiction and that the story I was listening to (I decided to get the audio from my library) had actually happened to Tara. Parts of it were painful to read due to the sensitive nature of the situation, especially those scenes involving her brother Shawn. Hearing her recount the abusive nature of their family dynamic and how their parents said that she must have given him a reason to react that way infuriated me. Every time she kept going back to Buck's Peak I found myself yelling at my phone. But at the end of the book I was proud of Tara and all that she had managed to accomplish in the years since she stood her ground and left home at the age of 16 to head off to BYU.
Sidenote, I do feel like some of the scenes written in this book may not have happened 100% the way that she wrote. I say that because Tara herself writes about how she would read her journals to see if the memories she remembered were correct. And how at the end she didn't trust her own memories of her life on Buck's Peak with her family. But even if some of the parts are over (or under) embellished, this is still a very powerful book and is well worth a read.
I needed some time before I wrote this review and I find I’m still finding it difficult to. This may be one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. This is a book I’m going to pass down to my daughter for the importance of never giving up on yourself and that anything and everything is possible.