Friday, March 30, 2018


by Tara Westover
Random House, 2018, 334 pgs.  Biography

Educated is the story of a girl raised in the mountains of Idaho to a survivalist father.  She and her younger siblings were born at home and did not have birth certificates or social security numbers until they were in their late teens.  She was technically homeschooled but her father felt that helping in the family junkyard business better prepared her for “the end” which was quickly approaching.  At seventeen Tara managed to get accepted to BYU where she sat in her first classroom and learned of things like the Holocaust, which she’d never heard of before.  From there she tells of discovering the world and finding it vastly different from what she was raised understanding.

Tara’s story is heartbreaking but her strength and determination are inspiring.  She writes with beautiful clarity and honesty, which I absolutely loved.  Readers who enjoy deeply personal memoirs will definitely want to pick up Educated. 



Amy said...

Tara Westover’s childhood classroom was the mountain near their rural home. Her education consisted of herbal remedies, scrap metal and junkyards, mixed with scripture. When Tara was 17, she decided that she would escape her isolated life and get herself educated. Ignorant of much of the world’s history and current affairs, higher education was a long and hard road for Westover. But even though Tara earned multiple degrees, traveled the world, almost overcompensating for her ignorant upbringing, Tara’s real education was in learning how to confront her family over the emotional and physical abuse she suffered as a child.

This book is difficult to read, but too powerful to put down. Reading the internal dialogue of someone suffering from abuse is difficult, and there were moments reading this when I just wanted to put down the book and scream. But despite those aggravating moments, Westover’s writing is too mesmerizing to be called anything but beautiful.

ACS said...

Tara Westover proves that you can do anything when you set your mind to it. Through sheer determination and hard work she was able to get a top tier education despite never having set foot in a classroom before college. She is inspiring not only for that, but also because she managed to overcome and separate herself from the abuse and manipulation she endured at the hands of her family. This writing is thoughtful and raw, inspiring and horrifying. I’m so glad I read it, but am astonished that this was someone’s reality rather than a fictional story. I’ll be thinking about Tara’s life for quite a while.