I found this book extraordinary, and captivating. I read the reviews from her two brothers where they tried to explain their parents paranoia and distrust of the government. The father was thought to have schizophrenic and bipolar tendencies and the mother went along with anything he wanted. However, it was she who made their family millionaires with herbal medicines she created.
Tara's rise above her family's negativism was astonishing as she had to put her family behind her. Two brothers reached out but not her parents. Her impressive education earned many awards plus a Ph.D from Cambridge.
I could not put this book down until finished. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time.
Tara Westover is the daughter of a bipolar, Morman who doesn't believe in the government or modern medicine and throws scrapyard metal from his business without determining if his children are in the way--all because God will provide. This is Tara's story of how she taught herself enough to qualify for college and then went on to study at Cambridge and Harvard. It's also the story of how she sought to emotionally extricate herself from this family with the help of her brother. It truly is an insight into foreign cultures, mental illness, and how they influence society and the individual. She is an excellent writer!
Educated is an eye opener. I was so taken with the story of Tara's life that I did a little research once I'd finished the book & discovered her parents' natural oils, etc. business is a huge & well-known one & that her mom has retaliated with a book of her own. If Tara's story wasn't true, her mom wouldn't have written a book - she have filed a lawsuit. I believe Tara's story.
Excellent writing and incredible story based on fact.
An amazing story of a woman, with no formal education makes it to a PhD in spite of a brutal upbringing by Mormon fanatics. More proof of the destructive power of people that cant and wont think but just want to follow.
I know you are all waiting to read this. I see the long wishlists. I am not thrilled with this book.
You have a very bad family situation. The mother is subversive. Her mom, is just trying to survive, but doesn't openingly object to things her husbands states. Her mom will tell Tara, to defy her father's wishes when he can't hear.
The abuse, and neglect, is disturbing to me. The head/brain injuries, left untreated, the poor medical care, There are MAJOR car accidents, and the vehicle not having insurance nor seatbelts and this family was not reported for abuse, neglect? The constant reference to Tara being a whore or whoring after the world.
The thing is, this doesn't really improve when she gets educated. She just does more but different painful things as she tries to break away from her past and reinvent herself.
Well, there have been many I've loved, many I've not cared for, but until now, there've been only two memoirs I despised and could not believe I wasted my time finishing.
The first was Running with Scissors, and Fierce, the sequel to Change Me into Zeus's Daughter by Barbara Robinette Moss. Today I finished the very-well narrated "Educated" by Tara Westover, and it's been years since I've disliked a family--INCLUDING THE AUTHOR--so deeply. To give my reasons would put me in a horribly petty and unkind light, so I won't say much more. This is NOT The Glass Castle, these are just sick, twisted people who might like to blame God for their meanness rather than their own perverted selves.
She makes note in the beginning, that this book is not about Mormons, and religion, and she truly does stick to that by showing a heck of a lot of good people who are mormons. For that, I say, brava.
Ok, one of the main reasons I disliked this so much is that whenever offered help, she refused it. Her reasons? Because that's the way it is. God wants it that way because Daddy said so, so Mommy could ignore Brother breaking her wrist, twisting her limbs, convincing an 11-year-old who didn't really know the definition of the word, that she was a whore...ad in finitum.
Educated by Tara Westover is in itself an education. Westover is the youngest of seven children in a family of Mormon survivalists. She grew up in Idaho, supposedly homeschooled, but basically only able to read and write. Her father ran a junkyard in which the children were regularly injured; her mother mixed essential oils which did nothing to heal the injuries; and one of her brothers beat her regularly. This memoir is the story of how a person raised in dogmatic isolation finds the strength to question her reality.
Westover manages to attend college, even though she never spent a day in high school, and the world opens up to her. She and her siblings all took one of two radically different paths: stay home and follow in their parents' footsteps, or get away and get an education. I am so grateful that Ms. Westover chose the latter, and shared her story about embracing uncertainty.
Whew...Very difficult reading about her life. It's hard to understand unless you have walked a mile in her shoes. But I would think each time she had to confront her family, things would have been different. Daughter in a large family of strict religious Mormons growing up in Utah. Barely home schooled at all by her mother, and determined to break away and get herself "educated". This is based on her memoirs, and her whole life and that of her siblings was one heartbreak after another. Tyrannical, religious father, submissive mother, and obviously mental illness running in her family. Mostly the brainwashing that went on was difficult to understand. I need an easy breezy beach read now!
In a memoir reminiscent of Jeanette Walls' "The Glass Castle", Westover tells of growing up in a profoundly dysfunctional family where probable mental illness is left undiagnosed and untreated, where physical isolation from mainstream society leaves her and her siblings uneducated and unprotected from extremist rhetoric and paranoid fantasy.
That Westover is able to pull herself out of this environment and win academic honors is only half the story. The other half covers her less successful struggle to separate herself emotionally from a family that tolerated, ignored, and occasionally imposed the physical and mental abuse that defined her childhood and adolescence.
It's such a bizarre story that I had a hard time putting the book down. I didn't know that there were people who lived like the author's family. I admire Tara for getting an education and out of her abusive home.
This was to me, a terrifying look at religious fanatics, doomsayers, what ever you want to call them. The author tells a pretty scary story of growing up in a family 'off the grid' more or less. No birth certificates, no real schooling, no phones or tvs (until later). The part I had a hard time accepting is that she kept going back. To a crazy father and abusive brother.
A gripping story of a young girl growing up unschooled in rural Idaho and then breaking away from her family to join the modern world, and the higher reaches of academia no less.
I was most interested in the story line about breaking away from her family's resistance to education, much less enchanted by her account of the emotional and physical abuse in her family. And I did not appreciate the ending at all.
Currently reading "Educated". It's a page turner.
Kudos to Tara for being able to share such intimate and painful memories and experiences about her family. Double kudos for having the strength to rise above it.
This book reminded me in many ways of The Glass Castle. A young girl being brought up in a very dysfunctional family and her uncanny ability to survive and rise above it all. Tara's story relates how an uneducated Morman girl from Idaho is able to get into college and excel in academia despite every effort on the part of her family to prevent her from leaving and succeeding. Tara holds strong beliefs because of her religious upbringing and has a hard time breaking ties to her family and their dysfunction. Her growth is amazing and keeps you completely invested in this true story.
I read this with my book club. I found it improbable and prejudicial.
It is also poorly thought out. The only problem that she sees in her family life is the conservatism. There was also personalities and hangups--including serious brain damage. She claims their family issues had nothing to do with Mormonism, but they lived like all of Zion lived until the US overtook Utah.
She claims she overcame the binary thought patterns of her family, but it seems like she just exchanged them for the equally binary thought patterns of her professors.