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If you believe this so call memoir, then I have a bridge . . . She is a clever writer, left home to pursue an education because like millions of others she found life at home difficult at times. The difference? They didn't decide to turn a nontraditional childhood into a fortune and use her family as rungs on a ladder to riches and fame. I don't buy a word of it.
I loved this book because it mirrors my own life so much and was so validating. My mother has borderline personality disorder, I ran away from home to get a medical degree never believing I could, and still I am often shocked with how my family makes me out to be a terrible person when I get along with the rest of the world besides them so well. My whole life I had wondered what was wrong with me, until I moved away and realized it was my family, not me, and I grew up in severe dysfunction. Ditching narrow minded religion (of the Catholic variety) was the best thing I ever did for myself. I thoroughly enjoyed this because I have lived a similar story and it is always nice to hear you are not alone. Fantastic read. Thank you for writing this Dr. Westover. It was so nice to hear it’s not just me.
This is an excellent book. I enjoyed every page. It is absorbing, well-written and inspiring.
Two niggles which i hope would be taken up in a sequel, if one were to be written.
First, I'd like to read more about the "educated" in the title. Much more about how her education inspired her and broadened her horizons. In parts, I got the impression that she was portraying herself very passively at university.
Second, I would like more insights into why she still feels that her family (and extended) family are so important to her. Why she couldn't--and perhaps still cannot--simply walk away from the whole situation.
As an educator, I really wanted to love this book. The content was interesting, upsetting and disturbing but was written in such a detached and matter-of-fact way that I felt like it read as a list of things that happened.
I can only presume that Tara's experiences have mean that she has had to be detached and I am inspired by her determination to keep on moving forward despite everything that she had experienced.
When I read a book, connecting with the individual/character is important to me and I didn't feel the connection.
I have to say that there were moments in the book that were very special and hit a nerve, but this was not carried throughout.
Well, Perhaps I missed something. This is not a good book. It’s a sad story of abuse, victimhood and a reminder that having an education does not make you clever.
Tara Westover did not need a Cambridge education to know that it was time to leave a family of abusive nutters.
I found the entire book frustratingly difficult to read. Not just because it was not particularly well written, but because of the decade long cycle of abuse that she refused to recognise and face up to, despite ample opportunity and support.
Very powerful! I usually use reading before bed to relax my mind to sleep but this book often had me contemplating many things. It brought up memories of a family life that didn't always make sense as a child but you did what you did because that is all you knew. As an adult it has been a struggle to navigate what I learned growing up on a farm with strong "male" values and reconciling this in a world where I have become educated and am a professional and self-sustaining women. You gave me lots to think about. Very admirable life and proud of how vulnerable you had to be to write this story. Amazing first book...definitely a profound journey...thanks for sharing.
I was intrigued by the book when I heard about it. It was an interesting and enlightening read. Didn't know much about the Mormon community before the book (although she emphaises her memoirs are not a refection of Mormons but her experiences).
Was good to get an insight into how people in rural communities live. Tara was not allowed to go to school and "home schooled" herself, if you could call it that. After this, she still managed to break free from her schackles and achieve so much in life. At times I did wonder how someone who could barely pull an essay together and read, got scholarships, unviserity degrees, places at Cambridge and Harvard and get a PHD?!
The stories about the abuse from her brother were horrendous, which made me sad. Her father was quite controlling, preparing for the End of Days - burying fuel, food, supplies etc. He didn't believe in government institutions and therefore his family didn't have passports, birth certificates, pay bills, or even seek any medical care. Which was shocking. So many times the family got into accidents. But they never saw a doctor. At times the accidents were so frequent and life threatening and horrifying! (it made me question their bad luck to have so many accidents? and yet pull through them with just their mother's homemade tinctures?).
We definitely see the author transition from a young girl to a woman by the end. Although the last section or so did drag a little for me!
Overall a great read. It will keep you engaged and turning the pages.
I really wanted to like this book, particularly given the glowing reviews. However, I found some of it very contradictory - one moment the strict Mormon parents were expecting Tara to behave and dress modestly, the next they were taking her to drama classes; they didn't want her to leave home, yet gave her money for travel. It was depressing that her dreadful parents prospered and supported her brother who was a violent psychotic thug - surely even parents can see that someone trying to strangle his sister is deeply disturbed. It is hard to believe this was happening in 21st century America, and I was glad to see that Tara did eventually find a kind of freedom even though she kept being drawn back to the place that caused her such misery. I would not re-read this book.