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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 was a good read and very disturbing at the same time. The family dispute the issues a bit then they would, wouldn't they? However the way to counter their legal approach is to repeat what I think I read in another review and is often a way to counter such nit picking, and I paraphrase, "even if this were half true it is damming on the family". The sheer power of this family over Tara to the point that despite her obvious success she kept returning and hoping for some reconciliation is scary. "Family", and especially if you are the head of it, can be a blank cheque for bad behaviour and making families accountable is an important part of society's function. Most social services referrals are about accountability to something or someone outside the family. How this family were never referred was astounding and the local community and possible the Mormon community have a culpability in this. Persistently and increasingly meeting all complexity with paranoid dogma is a catastrophic failure of personality and personality development. Indeed I would go as far and suggesting that Hitler was probably a similar character and his malign effect was allowed to spread within the German "family". In healthier societies with good systems, such behaviour rightly leads to life failure and marginalisation. One society's down and out and ne;er do well is another's dysfunctional chief.
Was one of the best books I have ever read. Reminded me of the "Poisonwood Bible" but this was a memoir so true as her memory recalls. The world of loving your parents and siblings but coming to the realization that they were her scourge and trying to find her place in all of this. I hope this will not be her last book.
When I say 'I stayed up most of the night to finish it', I mean it ... and normally I can put any book down when I'm getting sleepy; only I never did get sleepy! I am particularly interested in the Mormon cult and having read a great deal about the FLDS, I know just how intense they can be. Tara Westover is a remarkable young lady; born into the bosom of a completely nutty family within the isolation of mountainous Idaho she seems extremely lucky to have survived at all when you consider the cavalier fashion in which her father treated his children, but then to have had to put up with her brother's violence - which most of the rest of the family ignored - it is amazing that she showed such strength of will as she grew up. Thank goodness that she hankered after learning and thank goodness, too, that many of the teachers she met along the way recognised her undoubted cleverness and did their best to help her along the way. Good on you Tara, and I'm sorry that there is an quite obviously a rift in your family that is never going to be healed, but you'll have to rise above it, just as you've risen above the rest of the unpleasantness that was handed out to you and you have a lot of friends and a wealth of fans rooting for you in the real world. I look forward with great anticipation to your future writings.
This is the only non-fiction book I read this year. Hopefully, this number will be bigger next year, because I truly enjoyed this one. I know a lot has already been said about this book. Some think it's extraordinary, some claim Tara made half of the things up. With non fiction, we all expect every fact to be true, but even truth has it own sides. Every person sees, feels and explains their experiences a different way. So, maybe the truth is really somewhere in between her story and the stories of other people involved, but for her, I believe, the truth is the way she told it in this book. In the end of the day, I think it really isn't important what is the real truth behind this story. What is important is the message this book provides, and that is about importance of education, about the opportunities it offers to a person, and how no matter where you come from, and what your background is, that you can rise above, that you can change perspectives and that you always can change yourself for better. I have watched few interviews with Tara and I do think she is a wonderful young woman - smart, eloquent and strong. Maybe her start in life has been rough, being raised in rural Idaho with a group of Mormon survivalists, but her future will surely be bright. And only her desire to learn, to push forward and to change, is the reason for it.
Amazing and thrilling and inspiring. First hand experience like no other. It must be a part of the curriculum. Snowflakes must see behind their fenced garden. People are so resourceful and resilient when they feel loved and that they belong! Even if in a very strange environment! It tells us all that education has no time window! So powerful and positive !
Quite simply one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Luscious in its language and shocking in its brutality, Educated invites you to share in the becoming of Tara Westover: an unschooled child from rural Idaho whose youth is marred by religious fundamentalism, mental illness and violence. Her uneasy journey from her family’s dirt-blackened scrapyard to Harvard University is a true triumph of resilience. There is no neat resolution and the ending poses as many questions as it answers, but isn’t life just like that?