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Educated: The international bestselling memoir Kindle Edition
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|Length: 382 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From the Inside Flap
She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.
As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen she decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled 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 the severing of the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, from her singular experience 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. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
[A] fascinating, jaw-dropping memoir -- Nina Stibbe ― Observer
[A] superb memoir… Westover’s journey from a remote corner of the American west to one of the world’s grandest seats of learning is extraordinary . . . Her story, of fighting to be herself, is as old as the hills she came from, but Westover gives us such a fresh, absorbing take that it deserves to bring her own private Idaho into the bestseller lists, book groups and, eventually, cinemas. ― The Times
Brilliantly recounts her journey towards knowledge and enlightenment -- Blake Morrison ― Guardian
An amazing story, and truly inspiring. The kind of book everyone will enjoy. IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN YOU’VE HEARD.-- Bill Gates --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B07142R12X
- Publisher : Cornerstone Digital; 1st edition (20 February 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 1504 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 382 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 647 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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However, there are several themes within the book that really stuck me. The life changing sacrifices people are willing to make for their families, something I have always been aware of but Tara’s story shares this in a completely uncomprehendile way to what I’ve ever know. Religion and how deep belief can run. How someone with little to no education and such a sheltered view of the world could catch up and then exceed well beyond her peers. Herbal medicine- I told a story from the book countless times to friends, still in awe at what herbal medicine and the incredible power of belief could do.
The book is slow at times and word dense however there was never a moment I doubted that I would finish it, I felt for Tara and desperately wanted to see her succeed throughout her story.
If there was one thing I left this book feeling, it was just that, Educated.
As a book club read this is bound to provoke a variety of discussions. From bipolar to religion to survivalists and mental abuse. Sure this book asks more questions than it answers and has many gaps in time. However, if you were to review your own life ,I’m sure you would find the same. Each family member would no doubt remember things differently to you. I have already recommended this book to a friend. An interesting tale and style of writing.
When the unschooled Tara gets into Brigham Young University, it’s the beginning of hard separation from her family, and the ideas she was raised with. It’s a hard, hard journey, leading eventually to Cambridge, Harvard and a PhD, and she tells it brilliantly, and, I imagine, with a huge degree of difficulty. It’s a story of great courage. She had to struggle for her selfhood much more than most and what it cost her is humbling.
In my opinion Tara Westover felt so sorry for herself and was totally absorbed in her own bubble she couldn’t see the real world. I felt very sorry for her involvement in such strong male domination that I hope enlightenment came eventually to create a life without the brainwashing of a cult.
Top reviews from other countries
self-pitying and self- absorbed. This one is not. The author gives a balanced picture of her troubled family,in which madness is combined with ingenuity, intelligence and grit, and of the wider Mormon community in which she grew up. It provides a fascinating insight into the complex effects of mental illness on family relationships and the individual. It is also a moving story of one individual's successful struggle to overcome those effects and live a satisfying life.
I read a review in a broadsheet that mentioned Westover’s author’s voice being distant and a little cold. I didn’t feel this at all. I felt it was all the more powerful for not being doused in flowery descriptions. It was clear and real and honest.
I like the references to how reliable a storyteller is, how our memories differ and how, in real life we have to find a way of weaving varying recollections to find a truth.
It’s an anthem to the power of education and knowledge. Fascinating and incredibly readable. The numerous accidents felt like the tense moments in an episode of Casualty. You know whenever there’s a scene with a tractor that something horrific is going to happen.
It's a 4 for now but more of a 4.5..
Tara Westover tells the story of her childhood and upbringing with such descriptive narrative that it’s easy to see the farm and mountain where she grew up and to imagine what it must have been like to be a young girl in her family house.
When the first incidents start to appear one is held in a kind of shock. This is horrible, so wrong, so very wrong that she is treated like this and we wait for someone to recognise the abuse and intervene and put a stop to it.
But the interventions never come and with each successive incident of abuse, violence and gross neglect we read on in increasing disbelief and horror that no one has stopped these people, called them out on what they are doing and stepped in to protect the victims.
Tara tells her life story so skilfully, she somehow allows us to experience what she went through and yet disassociate from the worst parts simultaneously in the same way she did. It’s such brilliant brilliant writing technique to tell us and yet show us in the same sentence. Offering narrative of what her future self came to understand was happening to her, she relays at the same time perfectly how the young girl she was then lived it.
With either carefully crafted intention or from therapeutic necessity (or maybe both) she leads the reader to flow through the story narrative smoothly and expertly and then stop abruptly when an incident happens. The way she writes and explains each incident forces a rereading of the paragraph more than once, for suddenly there’s a change in pace here and it’s relayed from a disassociated perspective whilst still remaining in the first person.
I can’t help thinking that this emulates in part the way she herself must have visited and revisited these same incidents repeatedly in her head and in her journal to try to make sense of what has happening to her. Except she somehow found a way to normalise it so she could continue to survive and function in such a dangerous hostile environment.
Truly it’s such marvellous intelligent writing and all the more painful for it. We feel a truer impact of her painful incredible story and feel for her in a way that is at once frustrating because we are powerless ourselves to step in and save her from the people who are her family. Or even perhaps to save them all from themselves.
It’s interesting that this is domestic abuse and violence in full flow but Tara never calls it that in the book, save a indicative third party reference in the end. She reaches for instead repeatedly, an understanding of why her family behaved the way they did. Her love for them and need not to unfairly label them, even whilst recalling such pain, is obvious even here.
In some ways the second and last part of the book are more heartbreaking and haunting. Whilst clearly all the physical wounds have healed and by the power of her own internal will, strength, resilience and focus and determination she has transformed her life into what any of us would applaud as a brilliant success (and most of us can only aspire to in our dreams), there is a feeling that this is all overshadowed by the pain of her cruel and unfair eviction from the family.
She describes the effects of their gaslighting with disturbing clarity. Physical violence is one thing but to undermine and eradicate a person’s sense of reality and self belief is an abhorrent abuse that leaves no visible scars, yet has a destructive force that can demolish a life from the inside out.
There’s a sense that even with her intellectual understanding, she still underneath it all keenly feels she’s had to pay a high price for her personal safety, success and happiness. That whilst more than half of her family have cruelly rejected and evicted her and continue to slander her in attempt to regain lost power and control, she still feels love and undercurrents of loyalty towards them even whilst she knows she can no longer concede to the abuse.
The book is an excellent example of the devastating cost an absence of education and self-belief can have. What Tara Westover doesn’t emphasise and is notably non-vocal and modest about is her own inspiring inner strength and brilliance as a human being.
One can’t help but feel that in the absence of having a family who appreciated their incredible good fortune to have such a remarkable daughter in their lives and who lived up to their responsibilities, she at some point is finally able to fully let go of them within herself. To fully let go of that innate desire to have the love and regard of her parents. Is this ever truly possible for a child, even an adult one? That’s debateable but if anyone deserves to be happy and free and lighthearted and at true peace within herself, it’s undoubtedly Tara Westover.