Cover Image: Educated


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Member Reviews

A wonderful look into a different life. It was moving and eye opening. I love memoirs because some things seem so fanatical but they're not - these people are real and this is our community. I love that she leans on education for growth.
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Oh my, why did I wait so long to read this book??  I’m probably the last person on earth that hasn’t read it and after reading it, I’m not sure why I waited so long.  I will say that it lived up to all the hype!! It was written in a way that really pulled me in and kept me wanting to read more.

For me to like a memoir, I have to be able to relate to the author.  Tara Westover is a very relatable person.  We have different backgrounds, but I could relate to some of her family struggles.

The following quote from Tara hit me with all the feels!
“You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them.  You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”

Who hasn’t had someone like that in their life?  You love them so much, but they aren’t good for you so you have to let them go?  It is a heart-wrenching thing to have to do.  You never stop missing that person every single day and there is a pull from within you to go back to them because things might be different this time around, but you know in your heart that it could never really be different.  It leaves you with a feeling of angst.

The story of Tara’s life is about growing up in a Mormon family with a submissive mother, aggressive brother and mentally unstable father.  Tara’s father, the ruler of the family, doesn’t believe in modern day medicine or public education.  So, Tara grew up without an education and the family used natural alternatives to modern medicine, even when more care was needed.   Tara writes of her struggles growing up in Idaho within her brainwashing family dynamics.  There were times while reading the book that I had to just stop…..It was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I wasn’t reading a novel of Fiction, but that these things actually happened to someone.  Even after several weeks, the book is haunting my thoughts.

Educated is also an inspiring memoir.  Tara overcame her Insurmountable odds and went on to college, even without a high school diploma.  She braved a new world, unknown to her, and severed her family ties in exchange for a better future.  That’s one mighty strong and determined women to overcome everything she did!
Your background may not be exactly like Tara’s, but if you have past experiences that are making you feel stuck in your life…..Read. This. Book!! Tara will show you that with perseverance, you can overcome anything and that your past does not define you!

Thank you to @NetGalley, #RandomHouse and @Tara.Westover for providing me an Advanced Reader Copy of Educated in exchange for my unbiased review.  I am just so sorry it took me so long to get to it!!
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I probably would never have picked up 'Educated' if I hadn't seen it all over social media! It's the memoir of Tara Westover, who is born into a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho. Her mother loosely homeschools Tara and her six older siblings, but the majority of their time is spent helping their father in his junkyard. As a teenager, Tara starts to explore the idea of gaining a formal education and enrolls in college. 'Educated' takes us through Tara's experiences in higher education whilst living within a dysfunctional family.

Despite the title, 'Educated' is not just about Tara's thirst for knowledge, but also deals with issues such as emotional and physical abuse. I found parts of her memoir absolutely heartbreaking, and others completely shocking! For instance, the family don't believe in medical intervention, and choose to use alternative healing methods. There are a number of incidents throughout the book where medical treatment was quite clearly required, but they stuck to their beliefs and used herbal remedies. I wasn't sure whether to be in awe of their stupidity or feel admiration for their resilience! 

I would have liked to have learnt more about Tara's struggles to catch up on her missed education. Tara writes about a few instances where her lack of understanding was "exposed", but the majority of the time, Tara seems to glide her way through academia. It felt like a lot of the book centred on the family dynamic - which I enjoyed reading about - but I wanted to know how exactly Tara went from no education to being accepted into Cambridge and Harvard! 

The book was different to what I was expecting... I thought it would be very religious and I would learn more about Mormonism! In fact, religion plays little role throughout, and it was a lot easier to read than I was imagining!
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I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but it certainly wasn’t this.... in all the best ways. This is a hard to believe story of family, mental illness, religious fervor, and cult like behavior. It’s sad and shocking and very real. This is an intimate account of Tara’s childhood and life under the rule of a possibly bi-polar father who’s paranoia and distrust of the government lead to a very different and nearly cult like upbringing for Tara and her siblings.
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What a whirlwind. I adored The Glass Castle and enjoyed this as well. At times, it was a little unbelievable.
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*Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review*

“The past was a ghost, insubstantial, unaffecting. Only the future had weight.”

Welp, this one definitely lived up to the hype for me! It feels like everyone and their mom has read this one by now, so I’m happy I finally got a chance to read it! This memoir is the story of how the author went from growing up in a survivalist Mormon family who didn’t believe in things like public education or modern health care, to graduating from Harvard. 

This story is poignant, inspiring, and heartbreaking. It almost reads like fiction because of how engrossing every detail is and because of every wild thing that happened in Westover’s life. I was almost in tears at some points because of how frustrated I was with what was happening. The way the author wrote about the relationships within her family and the mountain on which they lived really pulled me in and I felt so many things while reading this. This book really calls to question who we really are as people; who we’re raised to be or who we want to be? And what does it take to make a choice between the two?

As you can probably tell, I loved this book! It was the first full length memoir I’ve ever read and now I’m sure it won’t be the last. Tara Westover’s inspiring story is one I think everyone should read and I urge you to pick this one up if you haven’t yet!
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Thought provoking and inspiring, Educated delivers everything you could hope for all in one book! It is amazing that Ms. Westover was able to survive and thrive in her childhood living conditions. I am amazed how many of her siblings also sought not only higher education, but doctorates. Fascinating read all the way around!
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Although I read a physical copy, that I own, I also had an e-copy via Netgalley and will be sharing my thoughts there too (so thank you to them for also providing an e-copy. As usual, all opinions are my own).

Woah. This was such an intense read and one I was fully emerged in. The way in which Westover writes really pulls you into the story, making you forget that she actually lived through these rather traumatic experiences, growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon home, recounting and reflecting on how, as she learned later in life, her father's suffering with intense mental health illnesses affected her upbringing, as well as others in the household (siblings, mother).
Whenever I came out of a read, it made that fact even more impressive and inspiring that this woman went through all this yet put it aside, or used it to drive her to becoming the individual she wanted to become and better her life to make it one that she was happy to live.
There were times were, admittedly, I felt frustrated by her actions and internally screamed "just cut them off", but I understand that wasn't my life to dictate and I understand that a lot of what she felt was warped through her upbringing, probably bringing her a lot of pain and guilt when she wanted to rebel and get away from it all, in her heart. This sort of emotional turmoil, understandably, takes time to register and unlock.

There was a very interesting section where Tara spoke about her understanding of the N word and how, once she went to university, it took a whole new meaning, was her "woke" moment, so to speak. I'm glad that as she learnt and began to undo all the ignorance and shielding, growing up isolated like that had added to (what with one sided manipulation, and mental and physical abuse), it's like she grew into an evolved being and it was an amazing thing to read. Of course, this journey wasn't an instantaneous one, with many set backs and missteps along the way.

Although this didn't focus too much on the Mormon religion and more on growing up with her parents and siblings as individual beings wrapped up in the deep rooted belief of Government conspiracy, and more specifically what that was like to grow up around this way of thinking, when she knew nothing else, I found myself falling down the hole of videos from ex-Mormans/The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This one in particular was interesting: and it reminded me that I used to watch a channel about a young woman's experience within the faith and why she left and her journey to recovery and undoing the harm of her childhood (I want to stress this wasn't completely caused by her religious upbringing but I believe she said it spurred the hurtful actions that was done to her) but for the life of me, I can't recall her, or her channel name, but the lady had such a lovely voice and kind demeanour.

One thing I found difficult to follow was the comings and goings of siblings over the years. It just made for a confusing reading experience, but one I understand because it was a lot of years to go over and Westover announces many times that her memory may have failed her in some cases, often trying to check facts with other family members, so I do get it. Just thought it should be something to note as part of my review.
I also find that Westover tried her best to be as non-biased as she could be (which, when you think of memoirs, you inheritingly think of bias due to the sheer fact that someone is telling their story) but she constantly told you how, if memories differed, other people remembers the scene and I feel that was important and she even notes this at the end.

There was an unexpected moment regarding a vicious and cruel act in relation to an animal and I think that just took me out of it for a minute because it felt so jarring and I get so affected physically and emotionally with that. I feel a little weird stating that because obviously this whole book is traumatic and I'm not trying to undermine the atrocities done to people in this memoir at all, but this part really made me feel sick... and it was only a passing moment.

Overall, Educated, by Tara Westover was very powerful. There was just so much content here to unpack and I probably have only skimmed the surface, but I found it really interesting to read about, so much so that I told my boyfriend parts of it (specifically when I was really hit by shock and disbelief that there are still some people these days that believe in what her parents did, e.g. no hospital {very scary when it came to some of the traumatic accidents that happened}, not believing in public school or greater education, to name a few).
It's weird to say this is an enjoyable memoir, obviously because it's a shocking and unsettling topic, but I definitely got a lot out of it and have so much respect for all that Westover lived through and overcame.
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My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The advent of these COVID Times has created some unique family dynamics:  home schooling is becoming the norm.  After reading <u>Educated</u>, by Tara Westover, you might be tempted to discourage parents from deciding to self-isolate themselves and their children and take over their education.  Tara's self-esteem  and self-image suffered greatly from her father's bi-polar mental health issues and his decision to isolate his large family from the rest of the world.
I have often wondered why it is that a lack of knowledge or understanding (or "ignorance," as some would brutally call it) breeds so much fear and violence.  Tara and her siblings suffered physical and mental abuse all of their lives because of  such "ignorance."    Intolerance arises from a fear of the unknown.  Lack of understanding breeds distrust and anger - a sort of knee-jerk reaction that historically keeps repeating itself.
Tara Westover "educated" herself out of that vicious cycle.  Unfortunately, there are still so many isolated communities that still use fear and ignorance to subdue and dominate its members.  Religious doctrines have also historically been used to frighten and subjugate many a faithful follower.  
Books like  <u>Educated </u>  and <u>The Glass Castle</u>  are vital to our own "education." I rate this one a 4 out of 5 because of the very important message it has brought to the world: open and unrestricted education is key to our evolution!
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This book was an eye-opener, and I can understand why it has been a best seller. Tara Westover exposes us to a world which is usually very much behind closed doors. It was insightful, it educated me and I would recommend that all must read this book
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This memoir will stick with me for a looong time! Wow, mind blowing reality of Tara, growing up Mormon in Idaho, with a mentally unstable father, ruling his family with an iron fist. An unbelievable tale of perseverance and courage, venturing to change her future and make her own way in a scary world. Thank you NetGalley, author and publisher for the e-reader copy for review. All opinions are my own.
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This book tells the amazing life story of Tara.  I had to constantly remind myself that this was fact not fiction as the life that Tara lead with her survivalist family was so strange.  Having grown up in a family where her parents believed that schools taught the devil's work and that Western style medicine was poisonous she was indeed lucky to make it through childhood.  
The book follows recounts Tara's life from her unregistered birth to the educational heights she was able to climb through sheer grit and determination.
Thank you Random House Publishing, Netgalley and Tara Westover for the opportunity to read this incredible biography.
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I DNF'd this at 30%. This doesn't mean that this was a bad book, it just wasn't for me. I am usually not interested in non-fiction novels, especially memoirs. I am trying to read more of them however, and heard a lot of hype for this book, so when I saw it on Netgalley I got it to try and read. It didn't click for me and at about 30% I just couldn't keep reading. Maybe I will try again in the future, but as of right now, I have no intentions to finish the book
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[Thank to @netgalley and @randomhouse for the ebook!]

I am really bad about posting here, but life is so unpredictable this year that I can't even make myself feel guilty about it. Every week seems to bring new challenges and changes. But I am pushing on with reading and giving my best to write even a short review of the books I read.

I read #Educated, the story of Tara Westover's fight for education and enlightenment, in May, mostly on my way to Bonn for a job interview. I rarely read non-fiction and memoirs, but picking up this book was definitely the right decision as I was blown away by Westover's style. Especially the way she writes her childhood self, the child's voice, is masterful. There are few writers who are able to bring a child's perspective to the page like that.

I also feel it showed the struggle of reckoning with a family legacy that we may not agree with. How we try to mend fences and connections, give second, third, fourth chances to family members who may not have earned them, all in the hope of maintaining some imagined family bliss.

As many others have said this is a must-read book. As an additional perspective, you can find her brother's review/comment on Goodreads and Amazon, giving another angle on the events in the book.
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Educated for me was hard to finish. I really don't like giving 2 star reviews, but I did for this book because I felt so many stories Tara Westover told were unbelievable. The chapters and stories seemed to skip around without much fluidity. It was definitely heartbreaking in places and maddening in others. I really wanted to love this book, but honestly, I had a really hard time finishing it.

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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What a memoir! I don’t know why I waited so long to read this. 

This was such an emotional rollercoaster and I was completely drawn in to Tara’s shocking life. I was furious at moments and found it hard to believe the pain and torment she was willing to put up with, but of course no one on the outside can truly understand why. And after all, family is family. 

Tara’s development throughout the years and her ultimate choice to denounce her father shows how truly strong she was, even when she was constantly being drawn back in. 

This was an excellent read and I’ll definitely be recommending it.
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Incredible. What a journey through a harrowing childhood and into young adulthood. Every time I thought things would settle for the author, Tara, another crisis jumped up to catch at my breath. A wonderful memoir examining, truth, gaslighting, religious doctrine, misogyny, and, of course, what knowledge is and whether it has the power to free someone from their past. A beautiful portrayal.
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No words just loved it. Thank you netgalley for provinding this gem .What i liked
• the language is simple , easy to read. 
• cover is soo pretty 
• story line is easy to understand.
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Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s memoir turned out to be so different than I had expected. It follows her through her childhood, growing up with survivalist parents in Idaho. When I first heard about it, I thought that it would mostly be about her finding education and then living her life wanting to continue to learn, which in a small sense it is, but there are so many other aspects of her story played in as well. There are many family struggles that are tied into this novel, as well as some very stark personal struggles. Tara Westover’s memoir is a must read to expand your world view and learn more about a community that many do not know.

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the e-book.
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Here's a fun fact about me: I am not really drawn to memoirs. I occasionally enjoy biographies of famous people of the past and historical figures, but memoirs have never really been my thing - in fact, I don't think I've ever read one before. 

Tara Westover's memoir, however, might just be a personal turning point. It is completely and utterly mesmerizing. It is a book I struggled to put down. She did not only live an exceptional life, but is also an exceptional author, with a real knack for writing. Every single sentence was perfect, the narrative nearly flawless - she couldn't have written a more gripping story if she tried coming up with one. While I was reading, I often forgot this is a memoir, and not a completely fictitious account; the reality she described, the challenges she faced, and the obstacles she overcame were so numerous and so demanding (both physically and mentally) that, at times, the book was hard to read, especially when I remembered this is a true story. 

I think what will truly stay with me will be Tara's drive and passion, how drawn she was to education. How she went from a girl who had never heard of the Holocaust to earning a PhD. A truly remarkable book written by a truly remarkable woman.
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