A Memoir

Book - 2018
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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."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780399590504
Branch Call Number: 270.092 W5288W 2018
Characteristics: xv, 334 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Adult Nonfiction. "A recent Cambridge University doctorate debuts with a wrenching account of her childhood and youth in a strict Mormon family in a remote region of Idaho.” – Kirkus Reviews

From the critics

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Dec 05, 2018

The brave educated Tara Westover has written a compelling,scrupulosly honest memoir of her emergence from her Mormon father's farm in rural Idaho.

An academic of history now her story confronts her pain, the betrayals and controls of others embedded in a life unexamined...because she didn't know she had one.

Well written and fully engaged, the author shares her facts so to encourage us all to value and use our capacity to do the same.

Excellence in spades Dr. Westover*

LPL_IanS Dec 03, 2018

The story of a woman who overcomes her abusive, survivalist upbringing by learning that her reality and voice are just as valid (if not more so) than her father's.

Engagingly written, perfectly paced, and incredibly humane, Educated was the best book I read in 2018.

IndyPL_CarriG Nov 27, 2018

Growing up in an abusive household is, unfortunately, not that unusual. Growing up in an abusive prepper Mormon household that believes every government and medical agency is out to get you and that the apocolypse would be a preferable place to exist is definitely more unusual. Growing up this way and getting the education Tara Westover did is very unusual, and it's what allowed her to break free from the cycle she saw around her and seek the freedom of her own mind and the ability to recognize objective truth.

Do yourself a favor and read this book if you think you might be in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship but you aren't sure you can believe yourself. Also read this book if you have lost faith in the importance of an education in the humanities - it definitely reminded me that the liberal arts are an imperative part of an education; something that is often lost in our more employment-driven systems.

This memoir was difficult for me to put down - at first because it's written in an eloquent and compelling style, and then because I just wanted to make sure she was ok! Trigger warning: there are scenes of violence against women in this book - be aware if this bothers you.

Nov 24, 2018

I had a hard time with the time skips in this book. I could not keep up.

Nov 18, 2018

This memoir has filled me with such raging emotions. the innate love she can have for her parents despite their efforts to unlove her permeates through this book.

JessicaGma Nov 14, 2018

It was a really interesting read in that Tara Westover is pretty young for a memoir, but what she had revealed about her family is astonishing. Rised by fundamentalist Mormons in Idaho, Westover has to break away from her family and the culture she was raised in to become a whole person, which is hard when your trust and faith in those who raised you is broken. As someone alluded to in the comments, she probably has more to come.

Nov 04, 2018

An astonishing memoir of a childhood off the grid and the author's brave and difficult escape from her family's abuse and fanaticism. Gripping. A page turner. Amazing.

Oct 30, 2018

I found the book depressing - and the author's "escape" from her family through education stretched the boundaries of believability. It seemed that if things were as bad at home as she suggests, she would never have been able to move ahead. There was no mentor. And social services were very lax to leave these kids in the care of their parents, once they were registered, and some attending school. An father who risked the kids' lives, a nasty and likely mentally deranged brother, and a mother who didn't even try to ensure the safety or well being of her children. The author maybe made is sound terrible so that her getting away from home would seem more of a triumph. A better book in this vein would be Jeannette Walls "Glass Castle", with more interesting, well rounded characters, and some familial redeeming qualities.

Oct 29, 2018

Chapter 16

Oct 24, 2018

I was shocked to learn the author is several years younger than me. Her story is captivating. She struggles with recognizing the dysfunction of her family...which eventually leads her to be outcasted by them. It demonstrates the pull and loyalties of family even when they are not healthy.

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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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