Educated

Educated

A Memoir

Book - 2018
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A searing, unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, raised by Mormon survivalists in the mountains of Idaho and forbidden to go to school, defies her family and earns a PhD from Cambridge University.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780399590504
0399590501
Branch Call Number: B W5282
Characteristics: xv, 334 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually dr... Read More »

In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually dr... Read More »

In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually dr... Read More »

In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually dr... Read More »

In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually dr... Read More »


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d
DruC
Jan 13, 2019

I am mystified by the very high rating this book receives because it really isn't very good. It has been critiqued as having considerable inaccuracies and there are many internal inconsistencies and claims by the author that just do not compute. A major one, given her academic achievements and those of one brother, is the claim that they received no actual home education. And yet, they could pass university entrance exams. You just don't pick up that level of ability that easily without a basic literacy. This is not to say that she did not have an abusive and troubling upbringing; however, I find her willingness to capitalize on that (possibly to sensationalize the reality) troubling. This book, in my opinion, is not about the positive effect of gaining an education - the author remains trapped in the family mire of emotional turmoil and less than accurate accounts.

m
MeganM315
Jan 08, 2019

If you have a hard time reading this book I encourage you to try the audio book. The reader really brings it to life.

c
cknightkc
Jan 08, 2019

EDUCATED is a powerful, compelling memoir about family, reinvention, and self-discovery. First-time author Tara Westover effectively describes the effects that social isolation, poverty, mental illness, sexism, abuse, and religious extremism had on her life. Even though at times these obstacles make the book hard to read, EDUCATED offers readers lessons in courage, persistence, resilience, and sacrifice and is a testament to the human spirit. A great selection for book group discussions.

r
ritamotz
Jan 07, 2019

I finished it....barely. I loath this book.

j
jmfh
Jan 07, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. I had to remind myself repeatedly that Educated was non-fiction, because it was at times truly unbelievable to fathom what Westover endured throughout her life. I found myself cheering for her, in awe of her determination and achievements, and ultimately hoping she would recognize the negative family dynamic imposed upon her. Westover writes extremely well, and is able to very successfully portray vivid images of her unique childhood. I think this would make a great book club selection; the discussions to follow have potential to incite continued appreciation for the book. And that's the tea.

a
Activevoice
Jan 06, 2019

Like “Hillbilly Elegy” this is an extraordinary memoir about growing up in America. At first, I thought Westover was outside the mainstream but gradually I realized her story like ‘Elegy’ is about the disenfranchised within America which sadly in not really out of the mainstream, at all. Westover receives basically ‘no’ education but manages to overcome, with the help of her siblings, this limit and eventually receives a post-secondary education. However, the treatment she received as a female within the patriarchal Mormon religion has a much more lasting effect. I just finished “Women Talking” by Toews a fictional treatment of women mistreated within a Mennonite community. Both books illustrate clearly that women with no education have little opportunity to change their lives and are often trapped.

r
rebeccams
Jan 05, 2019

I had to process this book for several days. It's much more than just a memoir. It's about history - all history - who gets to write it and how we remember our own through different filters and lenses. It's also about freedom and finding your own internal moral compass through exposure to travel, education and love. You want to reach through time and warn the various players. You'll likely see your own childhood in a different way after absorbing this book. Plus, you probably won't feel too bad about your own parenting journey (if you have children).

b
beetlebaily
Jan 03, 2019

Superb book. Very tough reading. Really opens up so many issues such as family dysfunction, religious fervor carried to its extreme.

s
singidunum_25
Jan 01, 2019

Interesting thing is that book was out in February 2018 and since then it wasn't in demand until Bill Gates posted his review on goodreads.com. Just call it " celebrity affect".

e
eilokeeffe
Dec 31, 2018

A great book. It deserves its success. I especially appreciated how siblings can help each other when raised in a toxic environment. It is ironic that the chief source of toxicity for Tara was one of her brothers. The mental illness of her father was somewhat balanced by his fierce love for his family. He was not cruel, just harsh and crazy. The cruelty in the family came from the equally mentally ill brother and the family's refusal to see him for what he is: a dangerous bully. I also admired the point she makes that an education is more about learning about oneself than acquiring knowledge about the world. Unusual and effective use of BOLD text.

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Quotes

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c
cknightkc
Jan 08, 2019

“You are not fool’s gold, shining only under a particular light. Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were.”

c
cknightkc
Jan 08, 2019

“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”

c
cknightkc
Jan 08, 2019

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds” — Bob Marley
p. 257

s
stuhaas
Dec 17, 2018

I was able to tell myself that it didn't affect me, that he didn't affect me, because nothing affected me....I had misunderstood the vital truth: that it's not affecting me, that was its effect.

ArapahoeMaryA Oct 23, 2018

My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.

DBRL_ReginaF Mar 14, 2018

“You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them,” she says now. “You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”

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h
harrythedirtydog
Dec 17, 2018

Tara Westover, the daugher of rural Idaho survivalists, was 17 when she first went to school. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara educated herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge transforms her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then does she reflect on where she came from.

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