“Educated: a memoir”, describes the incredible but unusual life story of Tara Westover. Tara grows up in a Mormon Survivalist Home, isolated from the rest of the world. This book tells her journey from a strict and abusive childhood in rural Idaho to earning a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Westover was raised by survivalist parents who kept her and her siblings isolated from the outside world and never allowed them to attend school. Instead, they were required to work in the family scrap metal business, which involved dangerous and grueling work. Westover’s father, Gene, was a violent and controlling man who inflicted physical and emotional abuse on his children and wife. Despite these challenges, Westover was determined to get an education and eventually managed to escape her oppressive household and pursue her dreams.

The road to obtaining an education was not easy for Westover. She faced numerous setbacks and obstacles, including her own lack of formal education and ongoing conflicts with her family over her decision to pursue higher learning. Despite these challenges, Westover was determined and resilient, and she eventually managed to earn her GED and enroll in college. From there, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and eventually a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University.

Throughout the book, Westover grapples with the trauma of her past and the difficult process of reconciling her identity and her relationships with her family. “Educated” is a powerful and inspiring story of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of education. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever faced challenges or adversity and persevered in pursuit of their dreams.

Before she turned 17 years old, Tara never received any proper schooling. After long hours of self-study she is permitted to university. Eventually she makes her way to Harvard and Cambridge. In this memoir you read about this fascinating journey in which she tries to adapt to a world that for us has become so normal and daily.

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In 2021, Lisanne recommended “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover and said…

“Tara’s story is now on my personal reading list and it´s the ultimate example of how complex family ties can be sometimes. But the story is also about how powerful faith and education can be – the ability to see life as it is and then imagine a different life.”

Intriguing coming-of-age story

This is an intriguing coming-of-age story, that reads like a psychological thriller. I have to say that I loved the book more than the documentary, but the story is either way very upsetting yet beautiful. I admire their courage of putting a story that’s so deeply personal out there.


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