Cover Image: Educated

Educated

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Member Reviews

[CW: misogyny, gaslighting, violence, psychological & physical & spiritual abuse, child abuse, use of N-word by family member]

I have to thank Westover for writing this memoir. It must have taken her a lot of courage to relive everything and share her own life story with the world.

"Educated" is an unsettling read. It is difficult to believe that everything in the book had happened within the past 35 years. If there were a single antagonist to Westover's protagonist, it would have been her father. But she wrote this memoir candidly and without blame, so the book was not an aggressive rant, but rather like a novel with a reliable narrator. The sense of rote was also probably because getting emotional would have made the writing process unbearable. She did not fault anyone or religion nor get angry, but is accepting of her past and moves on. 

To a small degree, I understand how the worldview of family greatly impacts your own when you stay ignorant of the world. I can only imagine how confused she must have felt growing up and entering higher education. But since then, Westover had found her way and is an unwavering force. Her writings delivered dramatic presentations and life so far has been both heartbreaking and liberating.

All Westovers are technically unkillable even after the accidents of Tyler driving overnight, Luke catching fire, and the many many more that followed. These miraculous recoveries were very much like fiction, but I guess they were lucky.

I love Tara’s older brother Tyler. As a teen, he read a lot and bought math textbooks to study calculus. I love that he and Tara are always close. With the family’s distrust of public education, it took Tyler immense resolution to break free and I silently thank him for that.

Though her family’s memories didn't agree on many past events, it did not take anything away from the memoir. I think their childhood pain had them shut down, and that had resulted in the memory gaps. There were obvious attempts of lying to self throughout Westover’s life as well.

"Educated" is intense and at times horrifying. I would have called it a thrilling read if it weren’t Westover’s real life. Even if you do not believe that the events taken place over the course of Westover's youth were true, I still encourage you to read "Educated" because it makes you rethink your own life. Read it as fiction, and it is just as good; read it as non-fiction, and it is life-changing.
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From page one this book captured my full attention. Maybe because I spent four of my formative years living in Mormon country. Maybe because I love family stories. Maybe because memoirs are my jam. Maybe because gorgeous sentences make my heart sing. Maybe because I value education that comes from reading and life, versus formalized systems. Maybe all of the above.

Education is a book that tells one person’s story but in a way that is relatable, intriguing, and compelling. This is a story about a girl who according to the state did not exist until she was 9, but ultimately at great cost, found herself, through education - formal and otherwise.

Tara Westover writes like the scholar she is at her core. “I had been educated in the rhythms of the mountain...” just one example early on in the book that shows her lyrical style. I love her writing voice.

The themes raised by her life story make for great introspection and fabulous book talk. Our book club read this together and had great conversations. Much later, I continue to think about the book. I will re-read this book and I recommend it for anyone interested in stories of identity, family dynamics, and overcoming.
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This haunting novel definitely lives up to the hype. It's a thought-provoking, at times disturbing and other times hopeful, debut that showed me a world I hardly knew existed and made me realise how strong our family bonds and worldviews are. Highly recommended for a gripping novel that will stay with you long after you finish.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
This book was harrowing and shattered my perception of life and how people live. I was taken aback by this novel many times. It follows a young girl as she grows up in a dysfunctional family and slowly realizes how different her life is than everyone else’s. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a life changing read.
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I saw Tara Westover on Ellen and wanted to read her book, Educated, since. 

This is an incredible memoir of her life growing up in Idaho, on a mountain in a survivalist family. The youngest of seven children. Her family is Mormon, but her dad has his own blend of religion and conspiracy that he rules with. For instance, Western Medicine is the devils work and they all get hurt a lot!!! 

Tara never goes to school until entering college. The “home schooling” has mainly trickled out of her home by the time she is ready to learn. 

This is a coming of age novel. I was riveted to learn what would happen to her next, whether it was positive or the unbearable negatives. What grabbed my interest throughout they memoir is how creative her entire family is. To live in the fashion that they do, it takes a lot of skill and talent. She and I are not to far apart in age so it was interesting as a reader to compare world events like Y2K and 9/11.

Tara is a very inspiring person and her writing is impeccable. I was very drawn to her first exposure to education, finding her self and reconciling with herself. Also, how she finds a way to recover from past trauma. 

Highly recommend this can’t put down memoir. 

Trigger warning: Domestic and Emotional Abuse.

#Educated #NetGalley #memoir #nonfiction
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One of the best books I’ve read in years and I read a lot. Have the arc, finished copy & UK version in my collection. Author tells a beautiful story of her life which was difficult without bashing her family. No matter what she experienced she always loved her family. Love love love this book and author! Can’t wait for her next book!!
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Born into a devout Mormon family, Tara Westover has a decision to make: remain within the restrictive and abusive confines of her home or explore an education to carry her beyond the literal and emotional boundaries of Buck Peak, Idaho. Eventually choosing education as a bread crumb trail into a future where she can make decisions for herself, the transition is neither clear-cut nor comfortable. However, it is transformative and eventually, she is able to reflect, "My father and I looked at the temple. He saw God; I saw granite. We looked at each other. He saw a woman damned; I saw an old unhinged old man, literally disfigured by his beliefs."

     From the outset, Westover is clear that her memoir is not about Mormonism. She is telling her story and not trying to comment on types of people nor their beliefs. I found this resolve admirable as, under the rule of her extremist father, she is raised to believe; "It was not that I had done something wrong so much as that I existed in the wrong way. There was something impure in the fact of my being." A belief that takes her on a truly isolated journey away from everything and everyone she has ever known and that takes many moons -together with the insightful words of her professor- to shift; "Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were. It was always in you."

     On occasion Westover leaves her plain-speaking style to attempt more lyrical reflections like: "That term, I presented myself to the university like resin to a sculptor" and "The sun blazed across the sky each afternoon, scorching the mountain with its arid, desiccating heat, so that each morning when I crossed the field to the barn, I felt stalks of wild wheat crackle and break beneath my feet." For me, these passages were less successful and stood out uncomfortably from the rest of the text.

    However, as many others have reflected, Tara Westover's account of her upbringing is remarkable and will stay with me. My thanks to netgalley, the author and publisher for sharing an advance copy with me in return for my honest opinion.
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I tried to get into this book but I just could not do it. I rarely DNF a book but lately I have been a little more ruthless when I read.
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This memoir follows Tara Westover's remarkable childhood growing up in a Mormon survivalist family that renounced education as a form of indoctrination from the devil, and the "medical establishment" as poisonous and against God's will. Against this backdrop, we follow Tara through her childhood, adolescence and adulthood grappling with the ideas her family holds and her harrowing experiences within that environment as she gives herself enough education to make it to college, then to a PhD from Cambridge University.

Her style was propulsive, yet lyrical in a lot of places and made this book a quick, easy read, despite the heaviness of the subject. I became completely absorbed in my story and could picture her house, the junk yard she worked in, the mountain she lived on, her family members -- all were rendered in wonderful clarity that her story came off sharp and genuine. I was impressed by the fluidity of the memoir, how it moved easily from one part of her life to the next without any glaring gaps that left me wondering if there was anything missing.

Simply put, her journey to education was amazing and inspiring, but the book wasn't meant to be a hero's story of overcoming the odds to reach a goal the hero never thought possible. Rather than focusing on her growth and how her education propelled her onward and upward, this book is an emotional recounting of the impact her education had on her relationship with her family, how her newfound diversity of knowledge gave her insight into the often perverse nature of her family dynamics, which, in turn, eroded her relationship with them. You can tell through her writing how hard this was for her, and the conflict she illustrates between sticking to your beliefs and the person you've gone to great lengths to become, and preserving your relationship with your family is palpable and relatable -- to some degree -- to all of us.

My only (very mild) critique of this book is that it breezes over her education and her research in favor of recounting events with her family, which is understandable. I just wish I could have seen more of how her philosophical research affected her on a personal level, in turn affecting how she handled her family. There is a bit of that in the book already, but a more illuminating look at her time in higher education may have been interesting to read about.

Overall, this is a very readable, very compelling account of Ms. Westover's life journey and one that I think people will continue to read for decades. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys memoirs, or has interest in learning more about what some may consider "radical" religious beliefs.
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Educated was a compelling and easy read. I quite enjoyed hearing about Tara Westover's life and her journey to achieve her academic dreams. I'm aware there is a lot of controversy about some of the information on her family, but I did not find it to be such an extreme story. Across the United States, some families choose to prioritize religion or tradition over education and culture. I think that this is one of those books that will be interpreted differently by each reader depending on their own life experiences. For me, I found comfort in the obstacles she was able to overcome to receive an education. As a first-generation student myself, I could relate to some of her feelings of not fitting into the academic world. 


*I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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This memoir has received rave reviews and I see why. Such a powerful story and one I will definitely recomend
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I've seen this book everywhere and many people said 'it's one of a powerful book" that ever published in 2020. I completely agree with that statement. Reading this book made me thinking, how important is an education for every human being, even for a small scale. Reading this book made me thinking, family is important. Reading this book made me thinking mental health is important.

The writing style in this book is very captivating and remarkable, and powerful. The author's horrible childhood is really hard to imagine that this is happening for real. Starting from a poor education life ended with PhD title, I still can not imagine how she's able to get through it, with her poor background life, no parents supported her, disowned by her own families, in the end she managed to get her highest education level for her life.

The heavy part of this book is of course about her own family. The father, the mother, the siblings, each with their "unbelievable' story that I've ever read and happened in a family. Her parents were successfully  brainwashed their own children and other families member for such a long time, until they obviously believe that the world outside is full with hateful and cruel things. The positive lesson that I get from this book, she never lose her faith at all. she believe that if she keep educated herself, her life will changed. I admire her strength and patience (she always love her parents) despite with what happened in her life, specially related with Shawn, her brother.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the ebook in exchange with an honest review. 

5 stars
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If you want to read a book that will stay with you than read Educated.  If you want to read a book about someone overcoming a horrible childhood and still becomes an amazing adult read Educated.  This book is one that will stay with me for a long time.  I am impressed with Tara's tenacity to overcome a poor education and still go to college. I know that her parents loved her and her siblings in their own way.  I realize this, but it still is amazing the poverty and hardships as a child to where she is today.
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Thoughtful and inspiring.  Shows how to overcome overwhelming odds.  The author is a true heroine.  Highly recommend this title.
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The narrative of the book is very compelling and the story capture the reader hostage from the beginning with the fluidity, fast pace, and insights of the narrative. The author accomplish the difficult task of writing about family relationships permeated by neglect, mental health, obstinacy without eliminating love in the core of it all. I would have liked it more if I could have seen how education itself was linked to the transition of the author. In some instances, it could be interpreted that juts a change of environment would have help Tara with her progress; I wanted to see more specifics as to what concepts, philosophies, discussions, etc., aided her along the way. Also, some events are presented a bit superciliously, but it is almost impossible not to do so given Tara's unbelievable accomplishments.
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Was kann ich zu diesem Buch sagen, was nicht schon gesagt wurde? Es war ja lange Zeit in aller Munde und ich habe es zugegebenermaßen erst recht spät gelesen. 

Tara wuchs abgeschottet und ohne richtige Schulbildung auf, litt unter einem dominanten Vater. Eine richtige Schule betrat sie erstmals mit 17, und von da an änderte sich alles. Bildung bildet in diesem Roman, der auf dem Leben der Autorin basiert, das Mittel zu Flucht und Selbstverwirklichung. Und der Leser lernt wie wichtig Bildung allgemein ist und dass der Zugang zu ihr nicht selbstverständlich ist. Berührend, packend, augenöffnend.
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Educated // by Tara Westover

From the NetGalley description: "An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University."

In Educated, Tara Westover tells her unforgettable story about growing up in the mountains of Idaho with a family that continually grows more suspicious of the government, which to him includes everything from schools to hospitals and what we generally just think of as normal parts of our lives. She tells us about the physical and mental hardships she had to endure, and how she clawed her way out of the influence of her family and chose to build a different life for herself instead.

I first read this book a little over a year ago and consider it one of the reasons why I love memoirs so much. Rather than reading it and putting it to the side without another thought, I actually have talked about this book many times since then. It has helped me understand the difference between a biography and a memoir as well as why I enjoy the latter so much more. There are many things in this book that seem unfathomable to me as well as any many others that did not grow up in a community like hers so it is easy to dismiss her stories as fantastical and exaggerated. She even explains herself that some of her memories do not match up at all with those of her siblings who were present for the same events. But what is important to remember - and I can confirm this personally from experience - is that trauma can alter the way we perceive experiences as well as the way we remember them, and while her descriptions may not reflect events exactly, I do think it can be argued that she describes them as they appeared to her, which is powerful to read nonetheless. I think this book will stick with me for a long time and the only real complaint that I have is that I wish there was more about her actual pursuit of her education since that is what the book is named for.
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Lots of my friends have recommended this book. So as soon as I saw the book title I snapped it up. A compelling story.
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Really compelling writing which gives you hope throughout the book that things will be ok in the end. I couldnt put it down.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the copy of Educated by Tara Westover. I enjoyed this memoir and would definitely recommend.
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