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Book Review: Educated

book review educated by tara westover

Many of my book club friends have been talking about this book, and then someone mentioned it during the ACFW conference in St. Louis, so I had to find it. I listened to half of it during my drive home from St. Louis, then finished it up on my commute. It's a memoir, so not my usual genre, but it reads like a novel.

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


The book is very well written and easy to follow. As the youngest of seven children, you can imagine the book has a large cast of characters. Not all receive time center stage, but it's easy to keep up with the main people. The narrator of the audio version does a great job not just reading the book but telling the story.


The book includes some language and quite a bit of psychological and physical abuse. If these are triggers for you, it might be a good one to skip.

My thoughts:

Tara Westover grew up in the mountains of Idaho with a Mormon fundamentalist family. She describes them as survivalists. She's seventeen by the time she actually goes to school, and she manages to get there on her own hard work. Say what you will about the way the family lives, none of them are short on work ethic.

Multiple times during the retelling of her childhood and young adulthood I caught myself saying, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard." Yet this family lived out a life as off the grid as possible.

My teenage daughter was listening to part of the book with me when Tara's brother began gaslighting her and physically abusing her. He also psychologically and physically abused girlfriends and his wife. I stopped the audiobook to remind my daughter that she is to walk away from anyone who treats her like that.

Unfortunately, many women growing in this lifestyle aren't given an education so they are unable to care for themselves away from their family or a husband. They are also made to believe they are less-than the men in the family.

Tara pulled away from her family to seek out an education, and as she learns all that she's missed by not going to school, she wonders if that same education will forever separate her from the family who shaped who she is.

This book has been out a while, but it's a great one for your TBR pile.


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