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Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
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Educated: A Memoir (edition 2018)

by Tara Westover (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,5743881,144 (4.3)389
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. 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 began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.… (more)
Member:cin_who
Title:Educated: A Memoir
Authors:Tara Westover (Author)
Info:Random House (2018), Edition: First Edition, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Work Information

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

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English (377)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (388)
Showing 1-5 of 377 (next | show all)
3.5 stars for me.

What an unbelievable life Tara led with her big Mormon family in Idaho before she decided to get "Educated." She was not only book smarts but 2 of her brothers were too and they all got out under the thumb of their parents who didn't believe in hospitals, education, etc.

I was awed by the fact that her mother believed in oils in treating everything possible and when horrible accidents happened to a lot of kids, that they used this instead of going to the hospital when it was a major accident especially their father who was burned beyond repair.

In the end, Tara was true to herself and no matter what her father said, she was not going to be "converted" back to Mormonism. ( )
  sweetbabyjane58 | Jan 3, 2022 |
This is a hard one to review. I found part one played out more like a fiction account of her childhood, I was able to disassociate myself from the reality of it, but she started writing more about her conflict of her own childhood as she started college I found it almost too real at times. Too hard to read. I am almost hesitant to recommend this to anyone who has similar struggles with family relationships - - whether across the divide of abuse or culture or religion or politics - because it's almost painful to read at times. This pain is visceral if you happen to have any similar real world pain of your own to harness while reading her words. I gave it 5 stars because it was written beautifully and it pulled me in and ripped me to pieces, but I'm not sure I can say I liked it. And I'm definitely not sure I'd recommend it without any knowledge of a person's own personal history. ( )
  KimZoot | Jan 2, 2022 |
I devoured this book. While many of the events in Westover's life are hard and harrowing to read, I didn't want to stop reading to make sure she made it through to the other side of her experience. A testament to the ability of humans to overcome the worst of humanity and carve out their own destiny. ( )
  ms_rowse | Jan 1, 2022 |
I put this book on my reading list after encountering a blurb somewhere and thinking it sounded intriguing. It arrived from the library at a time when I felt like I didn't have time to tackle all the books on my stack and I opened it rather idly, thinking I would be returning it without reading it. I was mesmerized from the first page and wound up setting aside all the other tasks on my long to-do list, I was literally unable to put it down, finished it in a single day and the only thing that kept me from starting it again for a second read was the need for sleep.

I'm not sure what made this book have such a hold on me--some of it was being transported into a culture that is completely foreign (and frankly dystopian), while at the same time having a sense of kindred recognition as the author unspools what it is like to simultaneously know and not understand truths and to be boxed in by your own ignorance.

The book is startling, gripping, even oddly suspenseful. It has been a long time since I read it, but I think it would be a great companion book to Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, which I found similarly engaging. ( )
  a2slbailey | Dec 29, 2021 |
Interesting story of this woman's childhood in rural Idaho and how she eventually went to college, became an academic, and learned about the outside world. ( )
  Pferdina | Dec 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 377 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Westover, Taraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Svensson, PatrikCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, & thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past. - Virginia Woolf
I believe finally, that education must be conceived as a continuing reconstruction of experience; that the process and the goal of education are one and the same thing. - John Dewey
Dedication
For Tyler
First words
My strongest memory is not a memory.
Quotations
...I had finally begun to grasp something that should have been immediately apparent: that someone had opposed the great march toward equality; someone had been the person from whom freedom had been wrested. (p. 180)
...something shifted nonetheless. I had started on a path of awareness, had perceived something elemental about my brother, my father, myself. I had discerned the ways in which we had been sculpted by a tradition given to us by others, a tradition of which we were either willfully or accidentally ignorant. I had begun to understand that we had lent our voices to a discourse who sole purpose was to dehumanize and brutalize others--because nurturing that discourse was easier, because retaining power always feels like the way forward. (p. 180)
I had decided to study no history, but historians. I suppose my interest came from the sense of groundlessness I'd felt since learning about the Holocaust and the civil rights movement--since realizing that what a person knows about the past is limited, and will always be limited, to what they are told by others. I knew what it was to have a misconception corrected--a misconception of such magnitude that shifting it shifted the world. Now I needed to understand how the great gatekeepers of history had come to terms with their own ignorance and partiality. I thought that if I could accept that what they had written was not absolute but was the result of a biased process of conversation and revision, maybe I could reconcile myself with the fact that the history of most people agreed upon was not the history I had been taught. Dad could be wrong, and the great historians Carlyle and Macauley and Trevelyan could be wrong, but from the ashes of their dispute I could construct a world to live in. In knowing the ground was not ground at all, I hoped I could stand on it. (p. 238)
It's strange how you give the people you love so much power over you, I had written in my journal. ... He had defined me to myself, and there's no greater power than that. (p. 199)
I had been taught to read the words of men like Madison as a cast into which I ought to pour the plaster of my own mind, to be reshaped according to the contours of their faultless model. I read them to learn what to think, not how to think for myself. (p. 239)
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Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. 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 began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

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This is a memoir of Tara whom was raised off the grid in Idaho with no education and isolated. Tara craved knowledge and once one of her brothers got into college she followed. She went to Cambridge and Harvard, but she wondered if she lost her way home. She shows how education can change ones life even though she came from a totally different upbringing.
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