Educated || Brace Yourself For An Intense Read


Title: Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Page Count: 384 pages
Genre: Memoir
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Buy It: Chapters Indigo






Tara Westover was 17 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.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. 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.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed 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.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.




Whoaaa, what. a. book. This was a TOUGH read. I was angry for most of it. And sad for the other portions. I’m so glad I read this with my Alaskan book club fam because I needed to discuss it desperately. If you’re a fan of The Glass Castle you have to read Educated. It will completely drop your jaw and make your eyes bug out of your sockets. Most of the time I was just in shock. 
Sometimes books that get so hyped up really turn me off. Especially if they’re based on true stories. I am so so glad I read this memoir though. I was completely engrossed and couldn’t fathom the horrors Tara went through along with some of her siblings. 
The most surprising factor of this book was that Tara is in her mid 20s and she had written it over the course of her life (documenting events in her journals that would eventually come to be this book) which means everything that’s happened to her happened not long ago. She still lives through these events daily. Truly horrific. But her ability to stay strong and get out of the situation was inspiring. 
This is a really potent story and will make you feel a lot of emotions. I highly recommend people take the time to read this one and hopefully it’s with a book club!

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