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review 2018-09-29 21:32
Educated
Educated - Tara Westover

This book was in intense read. The family gets into so many car crashes for people who don't have insurance! I had to resort to skimming several times because Westover does not sugarcoat the more grotesque aspects of what happened to her and her family. But the parts that I could read are very compelling. I'm close in age to the author which also made for an interesting reading experience (I think we were living in England at the same time...). 

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review 2018-09-28 23:43
Educated:
Educated - Tara Westover
I did not want this novel to end. I really enjoyed this novel, much more than I had anticipated. I knew that this novel was very popular but other than that, I went blindly into this novel and I’m glad I did.
 
This novel is a memoir about a family, living in Idaho, that is sure to capture your attention. A survivalist, the father rejects the government and anything to do with any one of its organized branches. No doctors, no schools, and no documentation. As I listened to this audio, I could feel the anger and the frustration that the father had for the world around him. I could feel the superiority that he felt, as he stockpiled his supplies and he talked about his neighbors. He felt untouchable.
 
Mother was a midwife and later, she became a healer as she began mixing potions of herbs and other natural ingredients together at home. I was amazed how often this family was injured as I listened to this novel. These injuries were not minor either, these injuries were serious and for mother to be a healer, I was glad that at least her skills were utilized. I liked seeing how this family lived and how their life was over the years.
 
This was a powerful novel. I recommend the audio of this novel, for I feel that Julia Whelan did an excellent job.

 

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review 2018-09-03 02:08
Educated
Educated - Tara Westover

We listened to this one while we worked (my best friend/business partner and I), and I will say there was quite a bit of moaning and yelling at the narrator throughout. Westover's childhood was appalling, and no amount of back-pedaling by her parents and estranged siblings can convince me otherwise. Considering that their lawyer uses the only three children who escaped the family and paid their own way through an education as an example of the alleged "home schooling" success, I have to side with Tara's story whole-heartedly - not to mention that every single one of the others relies on the mother's "healing oil" business for their livelihood. I never thought anyone would make Jeanette Walls' story look like a walk in the park, but here you have it. Also never heard so many near-catastrophic accidents happen in one family; if nothing else, that alone is reason for Tara to distance herself from them.

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review 2018-07-10 04:25
Educated by Tara Westover
Educated - Tara Westover

What else is there to say? This book made me gasp and cringe and shiver. I kept audibly reacting to this book prompting a lot of discussion with my spouse. Westover's was a truly awful experience, vividly rendered in this memoir.

There is much about this book that may seem unbelievable, but I don't doubt that in essence, its true. Many victims go back to their abusers, again and again. It was shocking to find that Westover is a near contemporary of mine, and while I was hunting Pokemon on my GameBoy Color she was dodging iron. Not to mention the scissors. Oh my God the scissors.

This is a one-sitting book, no question about it. I couldn't put it down and you could not get me to shut up about it.

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review 2018-05-08 04:24
An amazing achievement!
Educated - Tara Westover

Educated, Tara Westover, author; Julia Whelan, narrator The author was raised in Idaho near a beautiful mountain called Bucks Peak. There was no record of her birth, and she never attended school. This is her inspiring story. Her parents were Fundamental Mormons who brought her up to be self-sufficient and modest in dress and behavior. Her mother, Faye, was a talented herbalist and an unlicensed midwife. Her father, Gene, was a survivalist who ran a junk yard, dealt in scrap metal and took odd construction jobs, locally. He was the master of his home and believed that a woman’s place was as a homemaker and mother. All of the children became part of his crew at one point or another in their lives, when necessary. Many sustained life-threatening injuries because of a lack of judgment and/or common sense. Their father believed that G-d would guide him and them. They all fell under the spell of their father, to a greater or lesser degree. Gene believed he communicated directly with his G-d and always had the one right way, even when tragedy occurred because of his foolish decisions. He believed whatever happened was G-d’s will, and G-d would always provide and care for them. Angels would guide them, and they would not be given more to deal with than they could handle. He was sure the end of days was coming, and he prepared for it, hoarding food and burying fuel underground. Neither of Tara’s parents seemed quite stable. They were afraid of hospitals which might poison them; they were afraid of schools which might brainwash them. They were fanatic in their beliefs, and Tara’s formative years were sheltered from the outside world. She was often subjected to abuse by one of her brothers which went unnoticed or ignored by both of her parents. Her father believed females needed to be taught how to behave properly. If she accused her brother of hurting her, he demanded proof. Often, she had no one to protect her. When, for some odd reason, she was allowed to apply to college, never having been to public school, Tara spent hours studying for the ACT. Her home schooling had been sparse at best, but her brother encouraged her because it was the path he had followed. On her second attempt she did well enough to enter Brigham Young University. She was out of place, unworldly and dressed differently than the other student, having no prior knowledge of anything worldly beside the religious books she had read and the medicines she had made with her mom. She was adept at construction with her brothers and fathers but had no idea about something so simple as basic hygiene. Growing up, Tara did no know what she was missing, but as she entered the world, the opportunities and education she was exposed to caused tremendous conflict within her. She began to see the difference between her world and everyone one else’s world. She began to question her lifestyle. As Tara describes her life, set firmly in the current events of the times, it is hard to believe that she and her family could survive so many mishaps intact, without the benefit of medical care or education. It is hard to believe that life was able to fulfill her dreams. She has written her memoir clearly and succinctly as she tells the story of a young girl who was both sheltered and abused. The miracle of that young girl’s success and her ability to break out of the mold she was in and grow to the person she is now, is the highlight of the book. The book is stirring as it illustrates the miraculous possibilities one can hope for and achieve against all the odds placed in the way. Without the inner strength and insight Tara possessed, it would have been impossible.

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