Title: Educated

Author: Tara Westover 

Published: February 20th, 2018

Pages: 352

Genre: Autobiography, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Publisher: Random House

Listened to on Audible 


Wreath(13)-BlackGoodreads Description: 

An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castleabout a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

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.

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.


Things I enjoyed about this book: 

I love memoirs because they give us the chance to step into the shoes of another person’s life. Educated continued to keep me engaged and guessing what was going to happen next. I kept finding myself saying outlaid, “Wait what? This is for real?” It is a complete underdog story, with so many heart wrenching moments. I can’t imagine be able to be successful in a world where I was completely shut off to educational. Tara proved us wrong.

The Things I Didn’t Enjoy: 

It’s hard to pin point things I didn’t like about Educated because it’s not just a work of art, it’s Tara Westover’s life. There were many points throughout Educated that felt repetitive. While I know these events were reoccurring, I did feel like it could have been condensed. I also caught my self questioning the validity of the story. It’s really that out there.



Tara Westover deserves 4 out 5 bird feathers. Tara is brave. It is a miracle she has become the person she is today. Following her life sketch was heart wrenching and eye-opening at how lucky we are to be given the opportunity to attend public school. It made me very grateful for my education. I think the aspect of religion was respectful for the most part, but my be misinterpruted by those not of the Mormon faith. I would recommend reading with a grain of salt – religiously speaking. Educated contained a lot of mental, physical, and emotional abuse. While listening to Educated, I found myself gasping and wanting to yell at her to leave and never turn back! I took away a star because of the repetition. I felt like Tara spent a little too much time trying to convince me that her life was hard rather than telling me. Overall, I recommend it! I think it is an important read to understand the need for education.

Parent’s Guide:

There was physical, mental, and emotional abuse in this book. Other than that clean!


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