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Educated: A Memoir

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Educated: A Memoir

March 2018

EDUCATED by Tara Westover is a brilliant memoir by a young woman who grew up living off the grid with her Mormon family in Idaho. No school. No doctors. And not even a birth certificate to note the date of her birth. Most everyday ways that we live our lives are viewed as "outside" and "wrong."

As you can imagine, Tara’s family lives a tough life. They bear witness to devastating accidents, and instead of seeking traditional medical care, her father allows her mother to treat them with healing herbs. These are used for typical scrapes and scratches, as well as horrific burns from gasoline explosions. For months, her mother cowers in the basement as she recovers from what clearly was a concussion. There is familial abuse, which is tragically ignored.

Without a lick of traditional schooling, after seeing what her brother has done with his life after attending college, Tara studies for the ACT and gets accepted to BYU for college. There at 17 she spends her first days in a classroom. She does not understand the basics of history and science; one day in a class, she realizes she knows nothing about the Holocaust.

A professor takes Tara under his wing, clearly seeing her potential and suggesting that she apply to Cambridge. She pursues education with a passion and later gets her PhD at Harvard. Yes, you read that right. I love books like this where the writer has thrived by taking herself from a tough situation and taking big steps to move on.

This is a memoir that has stuck with me since I read it last summer. I had the pleasure of meeting Tara in September. She is both brilliant and humble --- truly a remarkable person.

For book groups that enjoy reading nonfiction and memoirs, EDUCATED is highly recommended.

Educated: A Memoir
by Tara Westover

  • Publication Date: February 20, 2018
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Random House
  • ISBN-10: 0399590501
  • ISBN-13: 9780399590504