Book Review- Educated
Educated was my book club’s choice for Dec/Jan read and boy did it create quite the discussion.
About the Author
Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist, and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom, and after that first taste, she pursued learning for a decade. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a Ph.D. in history in 2014.
Click here to visit her website
The Synopsis of the Book
Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her 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. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far if there was still a way home.
Well, this book created quite a diverse conversation at our meeting. Half of us absolutely loved it and the rest either finished it but didn’t enjoy it or couldn’t finish it at all. I was one of those that couldn’t finish the book. We had one member who found this book to be an extremely emotional read because she was able to relate to it so much. Listening to her was heart-wrenching as she revealed to us some personal insights into her childhood.
This story is a raw account of the author’s family and her abusive childhood that at times were hard to read. How she and her siblings survived some of the brutality was amazing. About a third of the way in I had read enough and closed the book feeling hatred toward her father and just too upset for the author to be able to read anymore.
But after listening to our member’s account on how it helped her understand her own childhood on so many levels I can see how this book can be uplifting for many in some way. Note; I did not feel this way prior to our meeting. Only after we had shared our thoughts. This is why I love book clubs. They show all the sides of a book.
I applaud the author for the courage it took to tell her story and give hope to others. This story will stay with you for a long time.
Our Overall Rating
COVER DESIGN – 3 STARS – For some of us, we thought it was misleading. Our first impression was that it was about schools.
CHARACTERIZATION – 3 STARS – Many of the characters were unlikeable
STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – At times very depressing and hard to read.
OVERALL RATING – 3 STARS – A tough one to swallow that will leave you wondering how many other children are experiencing the same abuse today.
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